Home 2013 races Audio: EW Jackson on Gays, “Being Black,” and Baking Cakes

Audio: EW Jackson on Gays, “Being Black,” and Baking Cakes


E.W. Jackson, from yesterday’s Politics Hour with Kojo Nnamdi and Tom Sherwood:

Here is what I have a problem with. I think that there has been an attempt to try to equate homosexuality with being black, or being American…an American of African descent. You cannot equate the two. Because one is an immutable outward characteristic which allows discrimination upon the mere visual inspection of a person; seeing them. The other is a matter of behavior, and where behavior is involved, people have to make judgments about how they feel about that behavior…

…If you own a bakery, as happened out in Seattle, and you bake cakes for people, and a couple comes in and says, look we’re a homosexual couple, we’re getting married, we want you to bake a wedding cake for us, see that’s behavior. Now, do you force that bakery…you’ve gotta back this cake for this gay couple, we don’t care what you think? Or do you allow them the freedom to say you know, I’ll bake…any other kind of cake, but my own convictions prevent me from doing what you’ve asked me to do? See, that’s very different than a black person walking into the bakery and saying will you bake me a cake, and the person saying, no I’m not going to bake you a cake because you’re black.

So, by this “reasoning,” what if a bakery owner belongs to a religion that “believes” black people (or Jews or Muslims or any other group of people) are bad, “unclean,” whatever? Should they not have to bake a cake for them either (or serve them in their restaurant, retail establishment, hotel, etc.)? I’m simply not following E.W. Jackson’s “reasoning” here, maybe someone can help me out. Also, in what way is homosexuality just some sort of “behavior,” as opposed to a deeply ingrained, even “immutable,” characteristic, just like being attracted to members of the opposite sex (aka, “heterosexuality”) or even race (which is largely a construct, as basically NOBODY is purely of one “race” or another – except for the HUMAN race, of course – and everyone has a wide mix of genetic material from hundreds of thousands if not millions of years of ancestors)? Finally, how should personal religious beliefs mix in a society that is governed by a secular constitution, the rule of (civil) law, and NOT by religious law? On all of those areas, I  believe that E.W. Jackson is extremely (emphasis on “extreme”) confused.

  • and that maybe he (Jackson) should distance himself from Cuccinelli!

  • demomatic

    Considering how hard Tom Sherwood attacked Doug Gansler’s Lt. Gov. running mate last week, I’m disappointed how easy Ewww Jackson got off.

    I called in, hoping to ask Eww if he’s planning on running against Mark Warner for the Senate, but Kojo and Sherwood didn’t take any calls during the segment.

    Bruce DePuyt did a much better job nailing Jackson. Oh well-

  • tjbv.1

    You’re not following his reasoning, Lowell, because no one can. His argument is broken at the first premise–equating “black” with “homosexuality” is in error because the first is “immutable” and the latter not. (God, I wish James Baldwin were still alive.) From there devolves the libertarian argument that a seller should have the right to decline a patron for whatever reasons he or she likes. But the premise is false on its face, and what follows is non sequitur. Sexual orientation, like race, is not a behavior; both are immutable.

    Jackson is doing what Cuccinelli does all the time: “Your very being is frightening to me. Therefore it should be illegal.I will make it so.”

    The greatest problem, though, is that the warrant of the argument is based on a belief that the US is somehow a Christian nation. As long as that factual error persists in Jackson’s and Cooch’s heads, similar arguments will persist, but not prevail. Sometimes you just have to wait until the prevaricator dies.      

  • cascadian

    Rev Jackson should get his story straight before telling it. The incident with the gay couple and the baker  took place in the Portland, OR suburb of Gresham, not Seattle. There was such a backlash that the anti-gay baker closed up shop.


    As a native of VA, I’m watching the VA races with great interest, hoping my beloved home state doesn’t turn into a clone of NC or worse yet, Kansas.

  • fendertweed

    he is slick, he is articulate in a semi-incoherent way (a stupid person’s idea of what a smart person sounds like) and he glosses his fatuous and bizarre views with the umbrage that he’s being insulted for his views, that he’s been a lawyer (a very bad one from what I’ve read) and went to Harvard Law School (so what?  so did a lot of people who have no place in public life), etc.

    The softball treatment (relatively) that he got was disappointing, he never broke a sweat laying out his convoluted & distorted views & analysis of the law and issues.