Jesse Jackson Urges Maryland Voters to Support Gay Marriage

Jesse Jackson On Gay Marriage: 'If You Don't Believe In It, Don't Engage In It'

The Rev. Jackson Jackson is urging Maryland voters to vote in favor of a ballot measure this fall that would give marriage equality to gays and lesbians in the state. Governor Martin O'Malley signed a marriage equality bill, passed by the legislature, but the voters will decide in November. (Listen to the interview below)

“The culture has had to expand,” Jackson said at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte last week in an interview for my SiriusXM OutQ radio program, discussing marriage for gays and lesbians. “For so long we thought it was a sin for blacks to have freedom. We thought it was a sin for black and white men and women to interrelate. We’ve grown in our appreciation of the fact that we live in our faith, and our faith may live under the law. All citizens deserve constitutional protections. You know, you have a right not to agree with interracial marriage but no one should be denied rights under the law.”

Regarding the vote in Maryland, where a large African-American community could have an major influence, Jackson reached out to voters.

“They should not vote [against people’s civil rights],” he said. “I remember in 1964, the dealbreaker then was, 'Should we have the right of public accommodation [for blacks]?' They tried to make blacks having public accommodations a single issue. At that time race was the dealbreaker. But we’ve overcome that. I would hope that people would respect people’s basic fundamental rights. If you don’t believe in it, don’t engage in it. But don’t deny other people their basic civil rights.”

Jackson also said, in a separate interview with Human Events at the DNC last week, that he would perform a same-sex wedding ceremony if a gay or lesbian couple asked him to do so.

Listen to the full interview:

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