E.W. Jackson, a pastor at The Called — Exodus Faith Ministries in Chesapeake, Virginia, is running on the Republican ticket for the Senate seat currently held by former V.P, nominee Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine.
Jackson in the past has referred to gay people as “perverted,” “degenerate,” “spiritually darkened,” and “frankly very sick people, psychologically, mentally and emotionally.” He also said homosexuality “poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies; it brings the judgment of God unlike very few things that we can think of.”
Jackson has also said that gay people want to “sexualize [children] at the earliest possible age” and falsely claimed that there is a “direct connection” between homosexuality and pedophilia. When discussing the HIV rate among black men, Jackson said that homosexuality is “killing black men by the thousands.” and has described same-sex marriage as “spitting in the face of every Bible-believing Christian in America.”
But now that he wants a seat in the Senate, Jackson is insists that his past anti-gay statements don’t count.
Speaking to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Jackson tried to back peddle and use the excuse that some of his statements were made “not in the context of a campaign but on Christian radio where I’m speaking as a pastor and minister to Christians.”
Jackson now says he has “regret” for using “words that hurt people.” and that his comments about homosexuals have been taken out of context, and that they were directed not towards the general LGBT community, just its more politically active, fringe members. Of past comments that homosexuality “poisons culture”, he clarified, “What I really said was that the gay rights movement, so called, the homosexual activists, engage in some behavior that is absolutely horrendous, and that’s true, everybody knows that;
Jackson now says he has “regret” for using “words that hurt people.” He still opposes same-sex marriage and other efforts toward LGBTQ equality, like nondiscrimination laws in housing and employment. But he “says he hopes to communicate his conservative values in a less offensive manner.”
Jackson is the founder and current president of S.T.A.N.D. (Staying True To America’s National Destiny), a conservative non-profit (of course) organization that describes itself as “a national organization dedicated to preserving life, the traditional family and our Judeo-Christian history and values as the Foundation of our Constitution and culture.