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Va. GOP nominates trio of anti-LGBT candidates for state leadership

Va. GOP nominates trio of anti-LGBT candidates for state leadership

RICHMOND, Va. — Delegates at Virginia’s GOP Convention on Saturday nominated a trio of candidates with a long history of marginalizing and demonizing LGBT people in hopes they will become their state’s next leaders.

Among them as candidate for Lt. Governor is E.W. Jackson, a Chesapeake, Va., minister with a track record of vehemently anti-gay remarks, who has called LGBT people “perverse,” pedophiles, and sick, and who has equated Planned Parenthood with the Ku Klux Klan.

E.W. Jackson
Ken Cuccinelli (left) and Mark Obenshain.

Gays are “frankly very sick people,” Jackson has said.

“Their minds are perverted, they’re frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally and they see everything through the lens of homosexuality,” he told Americans for Truth Radio last October.

Jackson has called same-sex attraction “a farce,” and that gay people seek acceptance because they feel deep hatred within themselves.

“When they talk about love, they aren’t talking about love, they are talking about homosexual sex… it’s not ultimately about civil rights, its ultimately about legitimacy They need it, because, inside they don’t have it, and they are hoping, if they can get everybody to approve, they will finally feel satisfied and its ok… it is wrong, it is moral, it is perverse.”

Jackson describes his ideology as “a particular worldview that every Christian for the most part who goes to church across this commonwealth shares: that marriage should be between one man and one woman.”

Gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, the state’s current Attorney General, has echoed those statements.

“Homosexual acts are wrong. They’re intrinsically wrong,” he wrote in an op-ed in the Virginian Pilot in 2009.

“When you look at the homosexual agenda, I cannot support something that I believe brings nothing but self-destruction, not only physically but of their soul,” he said in 2008.

Mark Obenshain, a Virginia state Senator and candidate for Attorney General, has previously asserted that legal protections against LGBT discrimination would give “an avenue for filing lawsuits and grievances for perceived slights or for no perceived slight at all.”

Obenshain repeatedly voted against a ban on discrimination in state government based on sexual orientation, and authored Virginia’s law to allow student clubs at public colleges and universities to discriminate in their policies and membership.

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James Parrish, Executive Director of Equality Virginia, questioned the ticket’s ability to represent all Virginia families.

“Ken Cuccinelli, E.W. Jackson, and Mark Obenshain are openly hostile to LGBT families in communities across the Commonwealth. We deserve leaders who will represent and work for all Virginia families, regardless of whom they love. These attacks and outrageous statements demonstrate just how far these candidates are outside the mainstream,” said Parrish, in a statement.

The Virginia GOP used a convention to elect their candidates for the first time this year, as opposed to an open primary.

Current Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling decried the practice as limiting the party’s growth.

“If we want to grow the Republican Party over time, we have to involve more people in the process of nominating our candidates, not fewer,” said a spokesperson for Bolling, in a statement earlier this month. “Conventions empower the most strident voices within a political party, and they effectively disenfranchise more mainstream voters.”

Former GOP Del. Katherine Waddell said the ticket makes Virginia “a playground for a divisive social agenda.”

The Virginia Democratic Primary is June 11th.

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