A Minnesota House member's statements made on the House floor one day before the beginning of a debate over gay marriage sparked an outcry.

Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, a Republican from Glencoe, on Monday used a procedural tactic known as “points of personal privilege” to introduce a close friend, Kevin Petersen.

“The interesting thing about Kevin is he was active in the gay lifestyle for about 10 years,” Gruenhagen told colleagues. “And then he left it, got married and now he has three children.”

The introduction drew an audible outcry from members. (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

Gruenhagen and Petersen formed the Pro-Marriage Amendment Forum to promote passage of a constitutional amendment which sought to define marriage as a heterosexual union. Minnesota voters turned down the amendment last November.

The remarks came a day before the House and Senate are set to begin committee hearings on a marriage equality bill.

Gruenhagen two weeks ago criticized the effort to make Minnesota the 10th state to legalize such unions, saying that its legalization would promote the “lie” that being gay is not a “sexual choice.”

“There is no gay gene, OK? The concept that you're born that way and it's an immutable characteristic is an unscientific lie,” the Pioneer Press quoted Gruenhagen as saying.

House Speaker Paul Thissen, a Democrat from Minneapolis, responded at the end of the session by adding restrictions to the use of “points of personal privilege,” saying members could only use it to recognize groups, not friends and family.