The Democratic party claim they won’t seat the homophobic representative-elect of North Carolina Mark Harris because of election fraud.
The evangelical minister edged out his Democrat rival, Dan McCready, by just 905 votes in the midterm elections this November. McCready conceded defeat, but after claims of fraud started to emerge, he withdrew the concession.
According to The Washington Post, some of the fraud claims include the illegal collection of absentee ballots by strangers. North Carolina has since dissolved its elections board without certifying the results of the vote.
Mark Harris has denied any knowledge of wrongdoing and is cooperating with the investigation, while Democrats, who now have a majority in the house, claim he is interfering with a bipartisan investigation.
Incoming House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said in a statement on Friday: ‘In this instance, the integrity of our democratic process outweighs concerns about the seat being vacant at the start of the new Congress.’
The courts dissolved the North Carolina State Board of Elections and Ethics after it ruled its partisan makeup unconstitutional, according to The Charlotte Observer.
The board was supposed to hold a hearing on the race, but a new one will not be seated until 31 January 2019.
A history of homophobia
Harris has a long history of extreme homophobic views. In a 2015 sermon, he decried the ‘moral decay’ of decriminalizing homosexuality.
In a recording published by Media Matters, he said: ‘In one generation you and I have witnessed this country sliding from a nation who once shared a moral vision based on Judeo-Christian ethic to a nation floundering in moral decay…
‘We have watched in one generation where homosexuality was once criminalized to now we see the criminalization of Christianity.’
He also campaigned to abolish LGBTI rights protection. Harris gained the support of Vice President Mike Pence’s wife, Karen.