Eddie Jackson's principled stand

May 22, 2013 

How many times have you seen politicians vote blindly along party lines, Democrats and Republicans?

State Rep. Eddie Jackson, D-East St. Louis, provides a welcome example of a politician representing his constituents instead.

Jackson and other Democrats are getting pressured to come to the aid of their party and pass a pending same-sex marriage bill. Former President Bill Clinton, one of the iconic figures in the Democratic Party, joined the push this week and called for the bill's passage. Clearly, the stakes for the party are high.

But Jackson said he has to answer to the voters of his district first and foremost: "My area is saying to me that they're not ready for marriage equality at this juncture."

Whether you support or oppose the bill, you have to respect such a principled stance.

Jackson left the door open to changing his mind. The pressure to get him to do so is likely to intensify between now and the vote; if it hasn't happened already, Jackson probably will be offered some backroom deal to vote "yes."

He needs to continue to stand firm. His position reflects the views of the people he represents -- exactly what they elected him to do. More lawmakers should try it, on this and every issue.

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