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HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -
A North Carolina pastor gave a controversial sermon recently in which he condemned homosexuality and gave parents permission to hit their children if they seem gay.
Pastor Sean Harris delivered the sermon to the congregation of Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, NC Sunday.
The issue of gay marriage is heating up in the state. North Carolina voters head to the polls May 8 to decide a state constitutional amendment that would specifically ban same-sex partners from marrying.
During the sermon, Harris said, "So your little son starts to act a little girlish when he is four years old and instead of squashing that like a cockroach and saying, 'Man up, son, get that dress off you and get outside and dig a ditch, because that is what boys do,' you get out the camera and you start taking pictures of Johnny acting like a female. And then you upload it to YouTube and everybody laughs about it and the next thing you know, this dude, this kid, is acting out childhood fantasies that should have been squashed."
Harris went on to say, "Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch. Ok? You are not going to act like that. You were made by God to be a male and you are going to be a male. And when your daughter starts acting too butch, you reign her in. And you say, 'Oh, no, sweetheart. You can play sports. Play them to the glory of God. But sometimes you are going to act like a girl and walk like a girl and talk like a girl and smell like a girl and that means you are going to be beautiful. You are going to be attractive. You are going to dress yourself up.'"
Harris issued a letter to his congregation through a blog post Monday in which he said he misspoke.
Part of the letter reads, "For the record, I want to ensure everyone that I do NOT believe physical force is capable of fixing effeminate behavior or homosexual behavior. Parents should not punch babies or children. (Ultimately only the gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to deliver one from sexual immorality and behavior including effeminacy.)"
Harris said his statements are being taken out of context by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.