A sixth grader in North Carolina said she was shocked on Wednesday when a candidate for the 6th Congressional Republican nomination told her that same-sex marriage was like “a man marrying a dog.”
Candidates vying to fill a seat that will be vacated by U.S. Rep. Howard Coble (R) met for a forum at Greensboro Montessori School where they were quizzed by students on topics from immigration to gun rights.
Sixth-grader Lana Torres explained that she supported marriage equality, and asked Rockingham County District Attorney Phil Berger Jr. what he would do ensure equal rights for LGBT people.
“Two years ago, the voters of North Carolina overwhelming approved Amendment One, which only recognized traditional marriage, and I was a leader in that effort,” Berger replied, according to the Greensboro News & Record. “I was the spokesperson for traditional marriage in North Carolina, and I am very much in favor of traditional marriage.”
Torres told the paper that she pressed Berger following the conclusion of the forum.
“He talked about a man marrying a dog,” the student recalled. “I found that really offensive, that he would compare gay marriage to something so offensive and outrageous.”
However, Berger wasn’t the only candidate with views outside the mainstream.
Retired business owner Charles Sutherland addressed the topic of climate change by announcing that “we’re heading into another Ice Age, not getting warmer.”
“We need to prepare for that.”
Watch video coverage of the candidate forum below from WFMY, broadcast April 2, 2014.