Harry R. Jackson, Jr.
This past Sunday, an excited and focused group of people gathered together for a singular purpose – to let our government leaders know that we stand for traditional marriage and for the right to vote on issues that affect the moral compass of our society. Deitrick and Damita Haddon, Rev. Walter Fauntroy, and Dr. Alveda King (niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) were among the notables who spoke. Here is the speech I delivered at that event.

Today we are gathering in front of the greatest symbol of American power - the Capitol. We come here today to express our confidence in the institution of marriage. More specifically, we have also come to say to the residents of Washington, DC; our two houses of Congress, the Supreme Court, and the President of these great United States that marriage (in its traditional form) is one of the nation’s richest treasures.

At the same time, we have come to voice extreme displeasure with the fact that there is a concerted effort by same-sex marriage advocates to steal the people’s right to vote on this issue. From Sacramento, California to Boston, Massachusetts and many points in between, we see a pattern emerging. The pattern is of runaway legislatures and overreaching judges imposing their vision for American’s future without the express permission of the people.

Time and Time again these groups search the dusty pages of our state, national, or city charters or constitutions and somehow “discover” a right to re-define marriage. The better word would be that they “manufacture” new rights and benefits for our historic documents. If what we have at stake culturally were not so serious, it could almost become the substance of a stand-up comedy routine entitled - Justice: American style?

What we have here is injustice in which a privileged minority is imposing its will upon the concerned majority of the American people. Preventing the people from voting on marriage, is essentially denying all Americans our most fundamental right under the Constitution.

In 1954, a young black man was threatened at gunpoint by a state trooper. The trooper discharged his weapon right over the head of this zealous African American, who had participated in voter registration and right-to-vote activism. This US Navy veteran was so incensed that his Constitutional right to vote had been stolen by an abuse of power by elected officials, that he left the southern state where this incident occurred and threw himself into grassroots volunteer work in every election until his death. The young man I describe was my father.


Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.