McAuliffe Campaign: Anti-Gay Rhetoric Has No Place in Political Discourse

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    The following statement is from the McAuliffe for Governor campaign. Needless to say, I agree 100% – there is no place for bigotry in American politics, and anyone who expresses bigotry – certainly of the extreme version we've heard from the 2013 Virginia Republican ticket – should be immediately be disqualified from voters' consideration of an even semi-plausible choice.

    Terry McAuliffe's campaign denounced the extreme anti-gay rhetoric of Ken Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson on Wednesday, saying the attacks “do not represent Virginia values and have no place in political discourse.” The statement is in response to numerous anti-gay comments by Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli and newly-nominated Lieutenant Governor candidate E.W. Jackson, such as Cuccinelli's remark that the "homosexual agenda" brings "nothing but self-destruction, not only physically but of their soul.

    McAuliffe spokesman Josh Schwerin stated, “While we can have earnest disagreements about public policy issues, the manner in which Ken Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson have demonized fellow Virginians who happen to be gay is divisive, dangerous and is damaging to the Commonwealth.”

    Schwerin added, “While Terry McAuliffe is focused on important issues like growing Virginia’s economy and creating jobs, Ken Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson have focused much of their careers on waging divisive, social battles, that will alienate mainstream Virginians, and deter families and businesses from locating in the Commonwealth."  

    The statements from Cuccinelli and Jackson have drawn heavy scrutiny from across the political spectrum, including Republican Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, who said Jackson’s anti-gay statements were “indefensible.”

    Additional background on the GOP ticket’s anti-gay agenda:

    Ken Cuccinelli: the “homosexual agenda” brings “nothing but self-destruction, not only physically but of their soul” {Marc Fisher, Washington Post, 2/05/08}

    Ken Cuccinelli: homosexual acts are "intrinsically wrong" and "they don't comport with natural law." Homosexuals "choose" to be homosexuals and society shouldn't "encourage" that type of behavior or "alter our law to make people feel good."  {Virginian Pilot Editorial, 10/26/09; Susan Baer, Washingtonian, April 2011}

    Cuccinelli comments that equality protests are part of an overall strategy by homosexuals to "dismantle sodomy laws" and "get education about homosexuals and AIDS in public schools.” {Washington Times, 2/19/04}

    E.W. Jackson: “Their minds are perverted, they’re frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally and they see everything through the lens of homosexuality,” when talking about the gay community. {Americans for Truth Radio, 10/19/12}

    E.W. Jackson: Members of the LGBT community “want to destroy the very faith which established this nation, its very foundation, because it is an affront to them and they want a sexually amoral society remade in their image.” {S.T.A.N.D., 2/2/11}

    Reactions to E.W. Jackson’s incendiary anti-gay rhetoric:

    Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling: E.W Jackson’s comments are “simply indefensible” and “simply not appropriate, especially not from someone who wants to be a standard bearer for {the Republican party} and hold the second highest elected office in our state.” Bolling added that Jackson’s comments “feed the image of extremism.” {Washington Post, 5/20/13}

    State Senator Adam Ebbin: “Employers simply would not want to locate in a state where Cuccinelli and Jackson are using their elected offices to degrade and attack some of their employees.” {5/21/2013}

    Roanoke Times Editorial: “If Jackson strikes a blow for diversity, he undermines it with outrageous rants that raise questions about his fitness for office. He has shown stunning intolerance of gays and lesbians, denouncing homosexuals as “very sick people.” {5/21/2013}

    U.S. News & World Report: Virginia Lt. Gov Candidate’s Anti-Gay Comments Threaten GOP Efforts {5/20/2013}

    NBC12: Jackson’s rollout filled with controversial past statements {5/20/2013}

    Washington Post: E.W. Jackson complicates Cuccinelli bid {5/20/2013}

    • FWfromNOVA

      Oh no my friends, Bishop Jackson is an equal opportunity hater…he is anti-Muslim, anti-atheist , anti-black, anti-Democrat, anti-public schools, anti-woman, the list goes on and on.  Have you seen this gem:

      http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo

      Unless your a straight white Christian Republican male, you on on EW”s sh*t list. EW makes Allen West sound sane. I’m beginning to think it must not be that hard to go to Harvard Law School.

    • Glen Tomkins

      They’re trying to goad the bishop into attacking, without themselves pressing home much of an attack.  Best outcome for our side is if the bishop now accuses the McAuliffe campaign of being run by and for gays, to serve the gay agenda.

      Stuff the bishop said last week, much less last year, is old news.  If our side can goad him into saying similar things now that he’s their candidate, and in response to what is pretty mild pressure, not only are his new statements real news, but he looks like a monomaniac homophobe.  Swing voters who would shrug off homophobia in an R candidate as the expected — if not something that they favor at least not a deal-breaker for them — would have doubts if they start to think that all they would see from a Cuccinelli-Jackson administration would be an anti-gay agenda.  And homophobic stuff he says now, if it includes the specific theory that the McAuliffe campaign is gay-run, starts to get him away from the slack people tend to cut general theories and pronouncements, however looped.  Crazy theorizing doesn’t look really crazy until you start to apply it to specific cases, and you start to see the real-world implications.

      My bet is that the bishop passes.  With the SCOTUS decision on Prop 8, and maybe parts of DOMA, coming up soon, knowing that he’s going to have to say something about that, an anti-gay statement now would really tend to establish a pattern of monomaniacal homophobia.  And, as FWfromNOVA points out, there’s so many more dimensions to this guy as a hater than just homophobia!  Don’t stereotype him!