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MNGOP Sen. Pratt: Gay marriage ceremony had nothing to do with move to lock Senate doors

Pratt says the move to lock the Senate doors was political, not personal.
Pratt says the move to lock the Senate doors was political, not personal.

Just as Tuesday's marriage equality bill-signing ceremony was about to begin, a group of MNGOP senators invoked an obscure rule to lock the Senate doors. The upshot was that some gay marriage-supporting senators weren't able to be in attendance for the historic occasion on the Capitol steps.

THE BACKSTORY: MNGOPers blocked some senators from attending marriage equality bill signing [VIDEOS]

But reached for comment today, the MNGOP senator who first proposed locking the doors, Eric Pratt of Prior Lake, said the ceremony had nothing to do it.

"There weren't many senators on the floor at the time, and I thought it was a pretty important point that we were talking about," Pratt said. At the time, the Senate was in the midst of debating a bill to allow child care workers to take unionization votes.

"I thought it was an important enough discussion that everyone who could be should be there," Pratt added.

The next day, Sen. Scott Dibble blasted Pratt and other Republicans for using the locked-door tactic.

During remarks on the Senate floor, Dibble said the MNGOPers  "diminished what was really a remarkable occasion."

"I just wanted to express ... an extreme sense of disappointment at what happened yesterday," he added.

Pratt said he was "completely surprised" and "caught off guard" by Dibble's comments.

"I personally thought the accusation was unfounded," Pratt said. "It had nothing to do with the celebration. A number of senators were excused to attend."

"And my motion was only for the duration of that amendment we were discussing," Pratt continued. "I think [debate on that amendment] took 20 minutes, 15 minutes. In all honesty I wasn't looking at the clock, I was focused on the discussion we were having."

Asked whether he was aware of any instance of that rule being invoked in that past, Pratt said, "I couldn't tell you."

"It's my first year in the Senate and the first time I've done it," he said.

Pratt said he hasn't spoken personally with Dibble since Tuesday, but at this point he considers the issue "resolved."

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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