Bishop Harry Jackson, the Maryland minister who’s leading efforts to oppose same-sex marriage in D.C., said the gay judge who ruled against California’s Proposition 8 on Wednesday took away voting rights from blacks.
“This is a travesty of justice,” Jackson said of the ruling by Judge Vaughn Walker of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
“The majority of Californians — and two-thirds of black voters in California — have just had their core civil right to vote for marriage stripped from them by an openly gay federal judge who has misread history and the Constitution to impose his San Francisco views on the American people,” Jackson said in a statement released by the National Organization for Marriage.
“The implicit comparison Judge Walker made between racism and marriage is particularly offensive to me and to all of us who remember the reality of Jim Crow,” he said. “It is not bigotry, it is biology that discriminates between same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples.
“To make a marriage requires a husband and a wife, because these unions are necessary to make new life and connect children to their mother and father. Judge Walker’s slur will not stand the test of time and history, [and] we demand that Congress and the Supreme Court act to protect all Americans’ right to vote for marriage.”
Jackson apparently was linking a passage in Walker’s ruling comparing state bans on same-sex marriage to state laws that once banned interracial marriage. A U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1967, Loving v. Virginia, overturned state laws that prohibited interracial marriage on grounds that such laws violated the constitutional rights of interracial couples seeking to marry.
Walker ruled that Proposition 8’s ban on same-sex marriage violated the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection and due process clauses.
“Bishop Jackson’s claim is part of a cynical attempt by NOM to wrap its anti-gay bigotry in the cloak of the Black Civil Rights Movement with the goal of mainstreaming their radical right-wing agenda and the hope of making inroads into the African-American community,” said Michael Crawford, co-chair of D.C. for Marriage. “Bishop Jackson’s intellectually dishonest reasoning to enforce marriage discrimination against gay and lesbian families is very similar to the language used in previous years to deny African-Americans the full rights and responsibilities of American citizenship. No one should be fooled. NOM and Harry Jackson have no more interest in civil rights than denying gay and lesbian families equality.”