And now he’s for civil unions. Friday’s appearance of professional “Christian” and anti-gay activist Bishop Harry Jackson of the High Impact Leadership Coalition on The Michelangelo Signorile Show turned out to be more newsworthy than expected.

Mike had planned to discuss the revelations about the GOP nominee’s socially out, professionally closeted Senate chief of staff, Mark Buse, winner of BlogActive’s Roy Cohn Award, and Sarah Palin’s answer to the gay marriage question during last week’s debate with Joe Biden. While those topics came up, it was Jackson’s response to the question of the religious right’s schism over what to do about LGBT rights generally, since they see the handwriting on the wall – they are losing on the issue of denying civil rights to us. There has been a curious silence on the Palin’s performance from Dobson, Bauer and Perkins. Jackson, no wallflower when it comes to getting on the MSM, explained why.


What’s even more interesting is that Jackson, possibly reflecting other leaders and possibly showing the beginning of a split on gay rights among evangelicals, now says he’s in favor of a national civil unions or domestic partnership scheme — because he’s being “realistic” — even as he still is opposed to gay marriage:

“My concern about John McCain stepping up and being articulate about the marriage amendments is more about protecting the definition of marriage as one man and one woman as cultural guardrails…The reason I say I will work with civil unions, etc. — that may not have been my original position, but I think it’s a reality. We have had laws in New Jersey, all over the country. The reality is gay civil unions are going to be the law of the land all over the country…You may call it movement [on my part.] I call myself a realist…I think this would be a split issue [on the Christian right], a lot of people would disagree with me. But I think we’re embroiled in a battle that’s unfolding.”

Here is the first part of Mike’s interview with Jackson:

Part two is at Mike’s pad.

Obviously, there a couple of obvious questions I’d have for Bishop Jackson:

* If he is for civil unions, does that mean he will come out against marriage amendments that ban CUs or domestic partnerships?

* Who are the fellow evangelicals who are not in favor of Jackson’s moderated position? Tony Perkins, who wrote a book with Jackson, may hold a similar view. Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition, who’s barely tethered to reality, is probably a hardcase. Who knows where Daddy D. is.

And The Peter? I hardly think he’s ready to accept any sort of reality-based thinking on these issues.

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding