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EW Jackson’s Disingenuous Apology for Past Stances on LGBT Rights

E.W. Jackson announced on Monday that he would run for United States Senate.

Mr. Jackson has run for political office twice in the past, losing a primary for United States Senate in 2012, and losing a general election for Lieutenant Governor for 2013. Perhaps Jackson believes the third time will be the charm.

I believe in democracy. I believe that every man or woman, so long as they have not heinously broken the law (Roy Moore) or had a stance that is totally unacceptable with common political thought (also Roy Moore), has a right to run for public office.

However, when it comes to E.W. Jackson, he doesn’t have a good track record on LGBT rights.  He has stated a multitude of horrendous things [1] about the LGBT community, but most importantly, he believes that gay people are “frankly very sick individuals.”  [2]

But now that Mr. Jackson is a candidate again, he wants us to forget what he said. He wants the voters of Virginia to think he can apologize for his rhetoric.

The Richmond Times Dispatch [3] reported:

Jackson, 65, is pastor of The Called – Exodus Faith Ministries in Chesapeake. He’s known for his socially conservative views on issues like gay rights, and in the past denounced gays as “very sick people” and “perverted.”

But it’s 2017 now, and E.W. Jackson said he regrets his past tenor.

“I regret using any words that hurt people or that make people think I hate them, or that make people think I look down on them,” he said.

So while his Christian faith means he opposes legal same-sex marriage, “I am going to endeavor in this campaign to express that in a way that calls attention to my faith, where appropriate, without implying some sort of hostility against gay people or transgender people. Because I don’t believe that. And that’s one of the many lessons I’ve learned.”

He also noted that some of his past statements were “said not in the context of a campaign but on Christian radio where I’m speaking as a pastor and minister to Christians.”

Were he to see someone bullying a gay or transgender person, he would step in “and physically fight for them,” Jackson said.”

Let me just dissect his comments in order. I am glad that Mr. Jackson, quote, “regrets” using that language, but to be honest, I don’t believe a word of it. I cannot and will not believe a single word of his disingenuous, half-hearted apology solely so that people cannot judge Mr. Jackson’s past comments.

I regret that I have to so passionately denounce a member of my own political party, but I cannot let someone slip by with something so egregiously wrong. But I have to tell my story of why I am so passionate about this topic.

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The picture above is of my wife Lauren and me. Lauren is my everything. She is the reason I get up in the morning. I fight in politics so that our lives can be made better, so that America can still be free when our children grow up. Lauren is one of the greatest things to ever happen in my life, second only to having my Christian faith. I love my wife more than she will ever know.

But what most people do not know is that we met because of my best friend in college who was a fellow College Republican chairman. One weekend he invited me to go out to the bars with him to meet his friends, and we all had a really great time.

That night I met Lauren and fell head over heels. She changed my life more than any person ever had. Six months later, I proposed and five months after that we married. I also accept the fact that in politics and in my social life, my friends like her better than me, and I’m okay with that. My wife serves our community, serves in our church, and most importantly, keeps me grounded. Four years and two cats later, our marriage couldn’t be stronger. We have our rough days, but I know that I am a better man because of Lauren.

You see, my best friend in college was a member of the LGBT community. He was also a great Republican. He worked, and still works, to make America a better place to live. He contributes to his community, he goes to church, he believes in the greatness of America. He has stood by me on my toughest days. Being gay does not affect our friendship and I am happy that he is living his life as he wishes.

So if it sounds like I am angry, I am excruciatingly angry because so many of my friends have had to listen to the bigotry that E.W. Jackson and others have spewed for years.  It is difficult to believe that someone like Mr. Jackson could change his mind that quickly solely out of regret and not political expediency. I hope he can prove me wrong. Only time will tell.