U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, is shown here speaking during a rally before a bus tour through the state to convince voters to remove three state Supreme Court justices who joined in a unanimous ruling legalizing same-sex marriages, Monday, Oct. 25, 2010, in Des Moines, Iowa. CREDIT: AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Republicans in Congress were quick to offer public prayers and sympathies following the horrific mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub on Sunday night. Most of their pronouncements, however, neglected the fact that nearly all of the victims were gay.

But on Wednesday, one prominent Republican lawmaker broke ranks with the majority of his colleagues. Appearing on CNN’s “New Day” with Chris Cuomo, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) decided to acknowledge that the shooter specifically targeted gay people.

“I think it’s clear that gays were targeted in Orlando,” said King. “It does matter.”

King — who once embarked on a 1,300-mile bus tour to urge people to vote out every “activist” Iowa Supreme Court Justice who “forced” same-sex marriage on his state — also said he was sympathetic toward America’s LGBT community; that they were in his prayers; and that he considers them in “equal standing with God.”

“It’s tragic they were targeted because of their sexual orientation,” said King, who once said same-sex marriage would lead to people being able to marry their lawnmowers.

“It’s tragic and we’re sorry about that,” added King, who last year introduced a resolution in Congress declaring that same-sex marriage “perverts” the definition of marriage. The resolution also encouraged businesses to refuse to recognize same-sex couples’ marriages.

King — who in 2012 said businesses should be able to discriminate against gay workers, and that gay people should not make their sexuality “public” — also said on Wednesday that America’s LGBT community is “in our prayers as if they were the Christians that were slaughtered in Charleston, South Carolina some time back.”

“[They have] equal standing with God, Chris,” added King, who in 2014 said he did not expect to see gay people in heaven.

Watch King’s full comments on the shooting here: