Former VA Lt. Gov nominee launches petition to legalize LGBTQ discrimination
You can’t keep some people down – despite an utter failure in a run for public office.
Norfolk based pastor and 2013 republican Lt. Governor nominee E. W. Jackson has released a petition hoping to legalize anti-LGBTQ discrimination in the work place and in public businesses, specifically by removing fines from those who chose not to serve LGBTQ folks, or fire someone for being LGBTQ.
From the petition website:
…it is a violation of civil rights to fire Americans from their jobs, fine them in their businesses, restrict them from contracting with agencies of government, discipline them in their schools, or punish them in the military for peaceably expressing faith in Jesus Christ, the Biblical definition of marriage, the sacredness of life or any other article of faith…
While the language seems innocuous enough, the use of “religious freedom” in discrimination is the new calling card by the anti-gay right.
Jackson, who managed 44% of the vote in his bit for Lt. Governor last year, has long been an opponent of LGBTQ equality. During his campaign, he faced questions about past comments such as gays are “sick” and hot yoga leads to satan worship.
Despite public outcry over his comments, during a Lt. Governor debate, Jackson stood by his remarks:
“If you don’t know him, if you don’t follow him, if you don’t come to him, you engage in some sort of false religion,” Jackson said. “That’s controversial, but it’s the truth. There is only one God, there is the God named Jesus Christ.”
“The family was ordained by God. He ordained it one man and one woman in the bonds of holy matrimony,” Jackson said. “(In the Bible) I don’t hear anything about two people of the same sex being married.”
“The First Amendment rights of Christian citizens are being trampled to validate same sex relationships,” said Jackson in a release explaining the need for his new petition. After a New Mexico photographer was fined for denying her services to a gay couple’s wedding, and after the city of Houston subpoenaed local pastor’s sermons to show malice behind their fight against local equality legislation, Jackson said this act is part of his group’s new offensive against the “gross violations of Christians’ Constitutional Rights.”
Those who sign the pledge, which Jackson hopes to bring before next year’s new congress, are also asked to pledge to support “traditional marriage, the sanctity of life, the First Amendment right of religious conscience and “the Judeo-Christian values which are the foundation of our nation.”
The key word in this fight is the religious conscience – a term currently already on the law books here in Virginia in the form of a “conscience clause.”
Currently, it is legal for adoption agencies and genetic counselors to deny services to those who do not meet their personally held religious beliefs. This translates to christian run organizations denying adoptions to same-sex couples, and genetic counselors able to withhold a patient’s test result if they suspect the information might lead to the mother having an abortion.
“This petition continues EW Jackson’s hostility against LGBT Virginians,” said James Parish, Executive Director of Equality Virginia. “It’s unfortunate that there are still some who think that they should be able to fire somebody or to refuse them service based on that person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Equality Virginia has been tracking VA’s conscience clause legislation for some time, and they expect more legislation pushing this legal discrimination during the 2015 General Assembly session..
“No Virginian should be treated differently because of who they are or who they love,” said Parish. “We cannot, and will not, let that happen.”
“If you’re faith-based, it’s within your right to select the adult leaders who are going to uphold the tenets of your faith.”July 25, 2016
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