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GOP Senate Hopeful Disputes Separation Of Church & State

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GOP Senate Hopeful Disputes Separation Of Church & State

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

August 26, 2006 - 11:00 am ET

(Miami, Florida) U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris has stunned Democrats and some in her own Republican Party by saying that the separation of church and state is "a lie" and that God never intended the country to be a "nation of secular laws".

Harris first came to national attention as Florida's Secretary of State when she certified George W. Bush as the winner in the state over Al Gore in 2000. She then capitalized on the notoriety to become a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and is now in a primary battle for the GOP nomination to run for the Senate.

She made her remarks on religion and the Constitution in an interview this week with the Florida Baptist Witness, a weekly publication put out by the Florida Baptist State Convention.

Harris told the Witness that not electing Christians to office would allow Congress to "legislate sin," and that "everything I do" is a product of her religious faith.

She went on to call same-sex marriage one example of sin. Harris voted in favor of a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage. The measure failed to get enough votes in Congress to advance.

Harris told the publication that "we have to have the faithful in government" because it's " God's will".

Harris is one of four people seeking the GOP nod to run for the Senate from Florida.

Florida Democrats were quick to pounce on the remarks. U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, said she was "disgusted". State Rep. Irv Slosberg called Harris' remarks "outrageous, even by her standards."

"What is going through this woman's mind? We do not live in a theocracy," he said.

GOP activist Ruby Brooks said Harris' remarks to the Witness were "offensive". "It's the height of hubris," she added.

Harris' campaign issued a statement Saturday saying that she had been "speaking to a Christian audience, addressing a common misperception that people of faith should not be actively involved in government.''

The statement went on to say that her comments reflected "her deep grounding in Judeo-Christian values.''

©365Gay.com 2006

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