Many Americans celebrate Earth Day by planting trees, organizing a citywide trash pickup, or talking about the consequences of climate change and the ongoing threat it creates for our planet. But on Earth Day yesterday, all four Republican candidates for Senate in North Carolina used the opportunity to deny that climate change is real. TPM reports:
Fittingly, all four Republican candidates in the North Carolina Senate race were asked on Earth Day if they believed climate change is a proven fact. And all four candidates said "no."
The question was asked during a GOP primary debate on Tuesday night. The candidates, House Speaker Thom Tillis, Rev. Mark Harris, Dr. Greg Brannon, and nursing practitioner Heather Grant, in response to the question, said "no."
It should come as no surprise then that Harris will join some of the nation’s most fervent opponents of gay rights at the April 24 North Carolina Regional Briefing, hosted by the anti-gay Family Research Council. Speakers joining the GOP hopeful at the event include:
I know of a case where in a hospital a homosexual male had a cellphone lodged in his anus and as they were operating on him the phone went off, the phone started ringing. There’ve been instances where men have put bats, baseball bats, in their rectums.... Even the homosexual lobby knows, those who are pro-homosexual, they know that they cannot win the argument describing what it is that these people actually do to each other, the objects, the animals in certain cases, the little gerbils; thank God I’m a human being!
“Since they cannot produce they must recruit young people to their perverted, warped agenda. One cannot think of anything more nauseating, debased, lewd and immoral than recruiting precious young people into such shameful conduct,” he wrote in a Return America newsletter.
After months of deliberating, Southern Baptist pastor Mark Harris announced that he will run for US Senate in North Carolina as a Republican challenger to Kay Hagan. Harris’ wife described his Senate bid as “God’s will” and claimed that “the kind of preparation God has given Mark in ministry is the kind of leadership that is needed in a legislative body.”
As we’ve noted, Harris was behind the successful campaign to amend North Carolina’s constitution to include a ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions. No stranger to anti-gayrhetoric, the Republican candidate recently sat down with Wayne Powers on “Speak Out Charlotte,” where he insisted that being gay is a choice.
“I’ve yet to buy in, as there is not the medical evidence, that an individual that chooses the homosexual lifestyle is born that way,” Harris said. “That is a choice.”
After Powers wondered why someone would choose to be gay when they will most likely face discrimination and ostracization, Harris said that “it’s kind of like if you get down to the issue of the evidence of global warming, you’ve got scientists on both sides; you have the medical community on both sides.”
Harris may want to find a new analogy, as there is indeed a consensus among climate scientists on the existence of man-made climate change.
The pastor who helped organize and finance the campaign to pass North Carolina’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex unions, Rev. Mark Harris of Charlotte’s First Baptist Church, is pondering a run for US Senate against Democratic Senator Kay Hagan, a marriage equality supporter.
As reported by Jeremy Hooper, Harris, who leads North Carolina’s Baptist convention, emphasized that the Amendment One campaign wasn’t just about marriage but attacking the gay community:
Harris also preached that God would mourn the anti-gay amendment’s defeat:
His church also promoted a column by his wife that put marriage equality advocates in the same category as Nazis and eugenicists, argued that people are gay as a result of sexual abuse, warned that the supporters of the “gay agenda” like Oprah Winfrey and Katy Perry are warping the minds of children and contended that gay youth are simply deluded.
Harris has informed his congregation about his potential run for Senate, the Charlotte Observerreports:
Harris, 47, met in Charlotte last week with about 70 people from around 20 North Carolina counties who are trying to draft him to run.
“I’m certainly humbled and flattered by the confidence that these folks have expressed,” he said. “It’s a little bit overwhelming to be honest. Right now we’re doing two things. One … doing a lot of listening to people and the second and most importantly to me is just to pray and seek God’s leadership … and see if that’s his plan for me.”
Harris announced that to his congregation at the end of Sunday’s service, and walked off to a standing ovation.
Last year, Harris campaigned heavily for Amendment One, which recognizes marriage between a man and a woman as the only valid union recognized in the state.
He has hosted Republican precinct meetings at his church and last year brought in a number of prominent conservative speakers, including former presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.
A few weeks ago, Harris met with GOP consultant Tom Perdue of Atlanta, onetime chief strategist for former U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes, now the state’s Republican chairman. Among the many GOP candidates Perdue has helped were former U.S. Sens. Paul Coverdell of Georgia and Bill Frist of Tennessee.