Saturday, April 29, 2017

From the Archives: Senate candidate E.W. Jackson defends anti-gay stance as ‘fundamental’

Publisher's note: This article was originally published on on April 29, 2012. The publishing platform was discontinued July 1, 2016, and its web site went dark on or about July 10, 2016.  I am republishing this piece in an effort to preserve it and all my other contributions to since April 6, 2010. It is reposted here without most of the internal links that were in the original.

Senate candidate E.W. Jackson defends anti-gay stance as ‘fundamental’
April 29, 2012 7:26 PM MST

In a previous interview on, which he featured on his campaign Twitter feed, Virginia Senate candidate E.W. Jackson said that he thinks “we maximize individual freedom [and] we let people make their own choices, where those choices don’t impinge on the life, the liberty, or the property of others,” adding that under those conditions, “we’re going to always be a better country for it. We persuade people of what is right and decent and good and moral; we don’t try to force it on them.”

Jackson was one of the participants in a debate on April 28 in Roanoke sponsored by the Republican Party of Virginia. He and other GOP primary candidates George Allen, Bob Marshall, and Jamie Radtke answered questions about policy topics from a panel of political activists.

‘Fundamental rights’
After the debate, the Charlottesville Libertarian Examiner asked Jackson to restate his position on government non-interference in the moral lives of citizens.

“Where life is concerned, where property rights are concerned, in other words, when the fundamental rights of other citizens are concerned,” Jackson said, “I think government certainly has a role and our constitution indicates it’s supposed to secure those rights for other citizens.”

He added, however, that “if that’s not what’s at stake, then yes, I tend to believe that we are better off when we are freer to make our own decisions and to chart the course of our own lives without the government telling us what we should and should not do and, frankly, I think most Americans feel that way, given the overreach of this government.”

Not a libertarian

E.W. Jackson gay marriage Senate debate Virginia politics
To follow up, Jackson was asked how that position is consistent with his stated policy stance on prohibiting same-sex marriage and supporting the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

“For me,” he replied, “the issue of marriage is a fundamental issue. It’s a fundamental moral and spiritual issue and I don’t think that the state should be sanctioning marriage between other than a man and a woman.”

Jackson conceded that he would not call himself a libertarian and added that “I don’t know that libertarians would call me a libertarian,” but that what he had said previously is that “libertarians like me because they know I lean very strongly into keeping government out of the lives of people.”

With regard to gay marriage, he added, “you’ve got to remember, what is really happening there is that people who want homosexual marriage are inviting the government to put its imprimatur on what they want to do and to change 6,000 years of human history and 200 years of American policy. So in my view, they’re the ones who are trying to use the government to intrude upon those of us who believe that marriage as it is is just fine.”

‘Affecting our culture’
The next question was how Jackson would be affected if the gay couple next door were to get married.

“I’m talking about it affecting society, affecting our culture in the long term,” he answered.

“I would turn the question around and say, if you’re going to upend 6,000 years of human history, it is incumbent upon you to prove to me that somehow we’re going to be better off with that.”

Asked whether “gay people and abortion” are the only exceptions to his general view that the government should not interfere in citizens’ private lives, Jackson replied:

“Well, I don’t know that I would limit it, as you put it, ‘gay people and abortion.’ I think it would have to be something you’d have to look at on a case by case basis. Look, you have to remember something. We’re called to represent the constitution, to represent the people of the United States. We’re also called to represent our own consciences.”

Podcast available
A complete audio recording of this interview with E.W. Jackson is available as a Bearing Drift podcast.

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