I was unhappily surprised to learn that one of the leaders of the fight against gay marriage in Washington, D.C. is Williams alum Harry R. Jackson, Jr., Senior Pastor at the (apparently irony-impaired) Hope Christian Church, among other honorifics.  It is hard to pick just one from the many stupid things attributed to Jackson in this article, but I’ll start with: “Mr. Jackson’s opposition to same-sex marriage stems from a firmly held belief that same-sex marriage will hurt the institution of marriage, which he said is already suffering in the black community.”

Yeah, the REAL cause of the enormous proliferation of single moms and totally uninvolved dads in D.C., in particular in the D.C. black community, is the fact that gays in the District have aspirations towards getting married.  Riiigghhhhtttt …. I guess “Logic” must not have been offered as a course during Jackson’ s tenure at Williams (or HBS).  Were only Jackson to devote some of his obvious energy and talent to addressing the ACTUAL causes of the large volume of births to young, unwed mothers in D.C., rather than trying to distract attention from the problem by attacking something wholly unrelated, he might do his Williams degree proud.  I live in a D.C. neighborhood that has suffered from a recent surge in gun violence, resulting in numerous deaths, and in every case both the intended victims (a few random bystanders have also been hurt) and the perpetrators have been young black males.  I guarantee none of them were the product of gay marriages.  I would bet, on the other hand, that almost none of them, victims and perpetrators alike, had two actively engaged parents with no involvement in the criminal justice system.  I just wish someone with such an influential voice would try to use it to help steer some of these kids who are crying out for support in the right direction, rather than demonizing people he undoubtedly has little-to-no contact with, and who in all events are in no way, shape, or form responsible for the massive problems in D.C.  You can read more of Jackson’s thoughts, the vast majority of which seem to focus on his antipathy towards gay marriage, here (if you want to spend your time more wisely, I can provide the Cliff’s Notes version right now: “gay people suck, but really, I have nothing against gay people.”)  Many of his almost entirely specious arguments sound disturbingly similar to the racist whites who opposed civil rights for blacks on the grounds that they were just trying to protect against the spread of values they found problematic, but who were in fact using the centuries-old tactic of scapegoating the “other” to distract from wholly unrelated social ills.  You could certainly go back to 1960 and replace “interracial marriage” with “gay marriage” in virtually any argument Jackson puts forth, and it would carry just as much water.

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