Rev. Jesse Jackson: Push for Gay Marriage Rights Like Slavery Abolition

"If the states had to vote on slavery, we would have lost the vote," Jackson said.

Posted: 05/11/2012 10:48 AM EDT
Jesse Jackson

As the flurry of reactions to President Obama’s declaration in support of gay marriage continues to swirl, Rev. Jesse Jackson added his opinion to the mix, lauding Obama for taking the bold step, but also calling for the president to take an even stronger stance. On Thursday, Jackson said President Obama should throw his weight behind federal freedom of marriage legislation in the same way abolitionists sought federal laws banning slavery. The L.A. Times wrote:

"This is a bold step in the right direction for equal protection under the law for all citizens," Jackson told the Los Angeles Times on Thursday morning. But, he said, he wished the president had gone further, pushing for federal protection for all citizens instead of leaving the controversial issue of gay marriage up to the states to decide.


If other hard-won civil rights battles had been left up to the states, Jackson said, African Americans would have been on the losing end of those battles.


"If the states had to vote on slavery, we would have lost the vote," Jackson said. "If we had to vote on the right [for blacks] to vote, we would have lost that vote."

 

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(Photo: REUTERS/Lance Murphey)

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