Martin Luther King, Jr. | News

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: VIDEO

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This year, a look at the worthy memorial we now have in Dr. King's honor on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Would King have championed gay rights?, CNN asks:

Ravi Perry, a political science professor at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, said King’s widow once said in a public speech that everyone who believed in her husband’s dream should “make room at the table of brother and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people.”

There is no private or public record of King condemning gay people, Perry says. Even the FBI’s surveillance of King’s private phone conversations didn’t turn up any moment where King disparaged gay people, she says.

“If Dr. King were anti-gay, there would likely be a sermon, a speech, a recording of some kind indicating such,” she says. “And knowing how closely his phones were tapped; surely there would be a record of such statements.”

Those who say King did not condemn gays and would have supported gay rights today point to King’s theology.

Though King was a Christian minister, he didn’t embrace a literal reading of the Bible that condemns homosexuality, some historians say. King’s vision of the Beloved Community – his biblical-rooted vision of humanity transcending its racial and religious differences – expanded people’s rights, not restricted them, they say.

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  1. Yes, I believe Dr King supported gay rights.

    Rev. Peter Johnson, one of Kings "lieutenants" once told me that the topic of gay rights came up between King and his father MLK Sr, who was a baptist preacher himself. MLK Sr. strongly disagreed with Dr. King. In fact, they did not speak for months.

    Dr. King finally convinced MLK SR., stating that "we cannot be fighting for our civil rights over here, but it's okay to discriminate, over there"

    Posted by: mymy | Jan 16, 2012 10:10:41 AM


  2. @MYMY Well said. I wish we could convince the GOP Evangelicals of same.

    "We cannot be fighting for our civil rights over here, but it's okay to discriminate, over there."

    Posted by: Dale | Jan 16, 2012 10:35:10 AM


  3. Considering Coretta Scott King's statements in support of gay rights, at times quoting her husband's own words and attitudes on the matter (and who would know better?) I think it's safe to say MLK would support gay rights.

    From a speech CSK made in 1994: "For too long, our nation has tolerated the insidious form of discrimination against this group of Americans, who have worked as hard as any other group, paid their taxes like everyone else, and yet have been denied equal protection under the law...I believe that freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. My husband, Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." On another occasion he said, "I have worked too long and hard against segregated public accommodations to end up segregating my moral concern. Justice is indivisible." Like Martin, I don't believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others."

    Posted by: Caliban | Jan 16, 2012 11:14:31 AM


  4. Here's an interesting factoid from that article. Guess who was standing with MLK's daughter Bernice King when she made her homophobic statements? "Bishop" Eddie Long, best know now for the accusations by several young men from his congregation that Long seduced them into sexual relationships. Long settled those claims out of court by paying off his accusers.

    Internalized homophobia strikes again!

    Posted by: Caliban | Jan 16, 2012 12:04:04 PM


  5. um, hello, Bayard Rustin was his mentor, colleague and close friend, and Bayard would NOT have aligned himself or worked so hard with someone who was bigoted towards gay people as Bayard was OUT, even then. C'mon guys. Read your history.

    Posted by: wtf | Jan 16, 2012 2:19:15 PM


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