Candidates Express Views on Abortion, Same-Sex Relationships

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The two Republicans running in state House District 81 can be expected to disagree at their debate Wednesday over abortion and same-sex relationships.

Rep. Justin Harris, R-West Fork, and Lisa France Norris, owner of Norris Legal Drafting in Alma, are scheduled to debate from noon to 1 p.m. at the Fayetteville Clarion Inn. The debate is hosted by the Washington County Republican Women.

In the recently released Arkansas Voter’s Guide, which includes a candidate questionnaire, Harris and Norris offer their views on several issues, including abortion and marriage. The guide, at arkansasvotersguide.com, is issued by the Little Rock-based Family Council. The council’s website says it is a “conservative education and research organization.”

On abortion, Harris writes, “ I believe that we must protect the rights of the unborn.”

Norris takes a view that Harris characterized in a recent tweet as pro-choice. She writes, “I believe health care decisions are best made between an individual and his or her health care provider — not by government or courts.”

The candidates also were asked to give their opinion on marriage and whether same-sex couples should be allowed to form domestic partnerships, civil unions or other legal arrangements.

The response from Harris is brief. “I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman,” he writes.

Norris gives her view on marriage but also expresses an opinion on other “such arrangements.”

“I am supportive of the traditional definition of marriage as between a man and a woman,” she writes. “Regarding other such arrangements, I would be cautious of restricting the right of any American to freely associate or enter into voluntary contracts.”

District 81 encompasses parts of Washington and Crawford counties. The winner of the May 22 GOP primary election faces Democrat Michael “Wolf” Grulkey of Alma in the Nov. 6 general election.