Evangelical Split On LGBT Rights?
Bishop Harry Jackson was a guest on The Michelangelo Signorile Show on Friday to respond to the fact that Mark Buse, John McCain’s Senate Chief of Staff and a longtime McCain adviser (and a Freddie Mac lobbyist whose firm earned $460,000 in lobbying fees in late 2003 and 2004) is now widely known to be gay.
Jackson, pastor of the Hope Christian Church in Maryland and founder of the High Impact Leadership Coalition, is on the board of the National Association of Evangelicals, Ted Haggard’s old stomping ground. Jackson isn’t among the most high-profile Christian right leaders on the national level, but he does travel in their circles, was a participant in infamous Justice Sunday, and talks to them all, including Focus on the Family’s James Dobson, Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins and the rest. So, while the big honchos are being curiously quiet, when Jackson says evangelicals weren’t happy with Palin’s performance at the vice presidential debate when it came to gay issues — and that there is a “split” among them about how Sarah Palin should have addressed the topic, as well as about John McCain’s chief of staff — it certainly is interesting:
“A lot of folks were upset that she didn’t say there is a marriage amendment on the ballot in Florida, California and Arizona…She missed an opportunity to say I’m for marriage…She could have defined that thing clearly and she would have a lot more people enthusiastic about her campaign. There have been people [grumbling]…I do think she seemed a little wishy-washy and unclear on the marriage issue. She left making it sound like she and McCain and Biden and Obama were exactly the same and they’re not.”
What’s even more interesting is that Jackson, possibly reflecting other leaders and possibly showing the beginning of a split on gay rights among evangelicals, now says he’s in favor of a national civil unions or domestic partnership scheme — because he’s being “realistic” — even as he still is opposed to gay marriage…
Signorile has quotes and video.