Martin Luther King Jr. of course didn’t live to see a day when his friend and trusted ally Bayard Rustin could fight for his own political rights as a gay man. But the person who knew MLK best, his late wife Coretta, certainly felt that King’s dream included LGBT:
“I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice… But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King, Jr., said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’ … I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream to make room at the table of brotherhood and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people.”
“Like Martin, I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others”, she would tell black civil rights leaders angered by gays and lesbians comparing their struggle to their own. She would quote her husband and say, “I have worked too long and hard against segregated public accommodations to end up segregating my moral concern. Justice is indivisible.”
“Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages.”
“We have a lot more work to do in our common struggle against bigotry and discrimination. I say “common struggle” because I believe very strongly that all forms of bigotry and discrimination are equally wrong and should be opposed by right-thinking Americans everywhere. Freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation is surely a fundamental human right in any great democracy, as much as freedom from racial, religious, gender, or ethnic discrimination.”
“Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood. This sets the stage for further repression and violence that spread all too easily to victimize the next minority group.”
Though why should we glean our insight from she who was enshrined in the bonds of marriage with the late civil rights leader, when we can instead let the self-appointed “protect marriage” crowd tell us what MLK wanted? This from the Illinois Family Institute:
King’s Legacy and Civil Rights Cause Misrepresented
“Civil Unions” Bill Not Analogous to Civil Rights Movement
Contact: David E. Smith, 773-858-6602; Pastor Al Cleveland, 708-275-1633; Laurie Higgins, 815-519-3808
HILLSIDE, Ill., Jan. 16, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ — More than 40 African-American religious and political leaders will gather on Martin Luther King Day to decry the misrepresentation of King’s legacy and the noble civil rights cause. The recent passage of the “civil unions” bill has been trumpeted by some lawmakers as an achievement to civil rights. It is not.
Some lawmakers have suggested that King’s interest would have included homosexuality. David Smith, Executive Director of the Illinois Family Institute, says, “Skin color is not analogous to behavior. To equate homosexuality to race is offensive and perverts the noble cause of a great man and an important movement in our history.”
Press Conference Details—
When: January 17, 2011; 10:30 A.M.
Where: Freedom Baptist Church, 4541 Harrison Street, Hillside, IL 60162; 708-449-3733
Pastor Al Cleveland
Bishop Michael Love
Dr. Hiram Crawford
Apostle Stephen Garner
Dr. Eric Wallace
Rev. Isaac Hayes
Pastor Larry Rogers
During House Floor debate on the issue of “civil unions,” both State Representative Careen Gordon (D-Morris) and openly homosexual State Representative Greg Harris (D-Chicago) exploited a flawed analogy by comparing same sex marriage to interracial marriage. In essence they are claiming that opposition to discrimination based on an immutable, non-behavioral, morally neutral condition like race is equivalent to homosexuals’ fight to normalize and institutionalize deviant sexual relations. Rep. Gordon expressed a radical and heretical notion in her plea for civil unions, which is merely a more publicly palatable term for same sex marriages. She described the passage of the civil union bill as doing “God’s work.”
Homosexual activists and their allies are advancing their subversive moral and political goals by hijacking the rhetoric of the Civil Rights Movement and Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. They seek to intimidate philosophical conservatives into silence by associating them with racism and bigotry. Volitional homosexual acts are not equivalent to race. And morals beliefs regarding volitional homosexual conduct are not equivalent to racism.
We shouldn’t allow the exploitation of the legacy of Dr. King to be exploited for the destructive purposes of the movement to normalize homosexuality and demonize traditional moral beliefs.
Pretty rich to hear the word “exploit” tossed around by people who are HOLDING A POLITICAL PRESS CONFERENCE ON MLK DAY! If you want to get mileage out of this day, then fair enough. But at least have the fortitude to admit your own capitalization and derived benefit!
Though who has the time for self-awareness when there are just so many good and decent gay couples to purposelessly decry?