Lt. Governor Battle Heats Up, Jackson Defends Anti Gay Comments In Debate
A Lt. Governor debate held in Arlington earlier this week shined a spot light on Republican candidate E.W. Jackson’s history of anti-gay, and generally vicious comments.
Jackson, who has compared LGBT people to pedophiles, called them “sick” and called hot yoga the tool of the devil, took time to clarify that he would separate his personal beliefs from his political responsibilities.
While these remarks are some what old news, Jackson reaffirmed many of these stances, as well as expanding on them, when he spoke at a Strasburg church in Shenandoah County this past weekend. The Times Dispatch lays out some of the highlights from his weekend speech:
“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.”
Meanwhile, at Tuesday’s Lt. Governor debate, Jackson defended his comments saying they were made in a church where he was invited to preach, meaning he was speaking as a preacher and not a politician.
Arlington’s Patch.com quotes Jackson’s defense:
“I’m not running to be the preacher, pastor, or theologian of Virginia,” he said at George Mason University’s Founders Hall in Virginia Square. “What this amounts to is a religious test.”
Critics did the same thing to John F. Kennedy, who was Catholic, and Mitt Romney, a Mormon, he said.
“It’s not his religion… what matters is how he would govern,” he said. “I would govern according to the Constitution of Virginia and the laws of Virginia.”
The Patch.com story goes on to quote democratic Candidate Ralph Northam, a Norfolk pediatric neurosurgeon, asserting the vitriol coming from Jackson isn’t right in any context.
“Whether it’s said in my church, or whether it’s said in my medical clinic or whether it’s said on the floor of Senate… what is said is from me. One of the jobs of the lieutenant governor is to unite people,” Northam said to applause.
“Those kind of statements, whether they are said in a church or in the floor of the Senate, they are offensive to people. They should be offense to all Virginians. And they have no place in the commonwealth of Virginia.”
Jackson has accused his democratic opponent of focusing on social instead of economic issues, however Jackson and his fellow Republican candidates continue to make headlines for their fringe comments.
Over all turn out in off-year elections like this one are usually low, but with the VA Senate at an even split between republicans and democrats, the Lt. Governor serves as the tie breaking vote, making this election particularly relevant to Virginians.
Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam on transgender rights, medical marijuana, Trump and his 2017 gubernatorial run
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