NAACP Leader Leaves Over Gay Marriage Support

KRatliffRev. Keith Ratliff, the President of the Iowa/Nebraska NAACP, last month said he was considering leaving the organization over the group's support of marriage equality. Now it's official: he's out.

Ratliff, a pastor at the Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church in Des Moines, officially cut ties with the NAACP this week.

Here's some more background on Ratliff:

During a March 2011 Iowa Statehouse rally by supporters of a state constitutional amendment to ban same-gender marriage, Ratliff complained that gay rights activists had “hijacked” the civil rights debate.

"There is no parallel” between gay rights activism and the civil rights movement of the 1960s, said Ratliff, whose church has a predominately black membership. “That is an insult to the civil rights movement.”

He added, “Deviant behavior is not the same thing as being denied your right to vote.”

It's unclear who will take over for Ratliff, but surely it will be somebody who supports the NAACP's inclusive politics.

Comments

  1. Bart says

    Nice having you. Don’t let the door hit you in the bigotted ass on the way on Reverend.

    Oh, and by the way, Jesus isn’t a homophobe, why are you?

  2. gaylib says

    I’m so sick of these triple chinned sloths talking about OUR “deviant” behavior. This slug of a man who obviously over indulges at every opportunity has some nerve judging other people.

  3. Pete N SFO says

    Drama Queen.

    No one has hijacked anything. It’s not a discrimination-Olympics…

    Equality means equal, fool. You would think a leader within the NAACP would understand that. So, that only leaves bigotry.

    Oh, now I get it.

  4. Drew2 says

    “Deviant behavior” ????

    80% of African American children are born out of wedlock. How about you work on that “deviant” behavior first.

  5. John Seaton says

    Dear Rev,
    this issue is not going away. Just because you exited does not mean gay rights will disapear. Stop preaching hate. Eventually folks w/ your opinion will fade away in time, and you & your family will be embarrased from your current actions. You are in a position to promote equality instead of hate.
    Thank you for exiting the NAACP.

  6. Derrick from Philly says

    “80% of African American children are born out of wedlock. How about you work on that “deviant” behavior first”{

    And some White Gays are idiots. Work on that, b.tch.

    As usual, some will use the ignorant members of a race, ethnic group, SEXUAL MINORITY to insult the entire group in general.

    I used to think that Gay people were in general brighter than other folks. Shouldn’t ever generalize, I guess.

  7. Michaelandfred says

    I suppose the silver lining in this is that many of these older people are starting to see the writing on the wall. If they are too old and set in their ways to grow, step aside. Stay at home and grumble about the “old days” like so many elderly white people probably did during the civl rights movement. If you’re too old or inflexible to change, then at least don’t impede progress. Retire, play some golf, garden and comlain about how things used to be so much better….

  8. Jonathan says

    I say just give it right back to him. Why is his deviant and obviously inferior skin color of any concern to me? Not to mention his flat wide nose and nappy hair. We’re supposed to treat him like he’s special because of those?

    Note: I don’t really believe that but it’s the same as Obama claiming he was “evolving” on our civil rights. Can you imagine claiming to be “evolving” on civil rights for blacks in this country? It’s ridiculous.

  9. Truth says

    No “reverend”, it’s people like you who hijacked the Civil Rights movement. Just because blacks had A civil rights movement doesn’t mean that other oppressed groups can’t have their own movement. Idiot! Basic civil rights aren’t only for black people! You can’t own a blanket term. What blacks had was not the “civil rights movement”, it was A civil rights movement!

  10. Caliban says

    Adios!

    You know, I’ve thought a lot about this and while race and sexual orientation aren’t identical there ARE a lot of parallels. And where there are differences they’re just as often to the disadvantage to gay people as they are to the advantage.

    Just like various races have always existed, so have gay people. (Or at least homosexuals since it’s difficult to apply the modern concept of gay identity on people of a different time, but I’ll use “gay” for shorthand.) In every known human civilization there have been gay people. You might not be able to predict EXACTLY who will make up the membership of that group in the future the same way you can with race, you do know (or should know) that group will exist because they always have before. Like race, it’s not going away.

    One of the differences people like Mr Ratliff delight in pointing out is that, unlike race, gay people aren’t immediately identifiable, that we can “hide” if we choose to. But is that really true? It’s true in many cases but in just as many it’s not. It would come as news to the many gay people who were singled for their sexual orientation when they were very young, before they even HAD a sexual orientation! No matter if gays are a “suspect class” legally, many people are classed as gay (or at least “different”) very early and treated as suspect.

    A *major* advantage given to those born of any particular race is that, unlike gays, they have a built-in support system to warn, advise, give comfort and solace, because their parents are like them. Nobody ever got kicked out of the house when their parents discovered they were black, Asian, or whatever! Gay people don’t have that.

    And when faced with bias and prejudice, people of any particular “minority” race could at least *potentially* move to a location where they are in fact the majority. Note that I’m not saying anyone SHOULD move, but a black, Hispanic, or Asian person faced with prejudice COULD move to a city, state, or nation where their race is numerically superior. That’s not true of gay people because we come from ALL groups and these is no “homeland” or rather each individual gay person HAS a homeland but that by no means we’re welcome there.

    And those are HUGE advantages given to race that gay people don’t have!

    Suffering is not a competitive sport, but no doubt Mr Ratliff (I don’t revere him so forget me calling him Reverend) would say that gay people can’t point to some capital letter event like SLAVERY or the HOLOCAUST to dignify our suffering, so we haven’t had it that bad. Uh, bulls**t! Looked at objectively, the history of sexual difference has been, and continues to be in many parts of the world, one long bloodbath. Imprisonment, institutionalization, beatings, hangings, beheadings, and every torture known to mankind have been used against gay people and if it hasn’t been given a fancy name because it ISN’T OVER, not limited to a particular time and place! You can only name an event after it’s over and homophobic violence is still very much with us in every part of the world including the US and Europe.

    Sorry to go on, but for all these reasons I have absolutely NO patience for the self-referential pity-parties thrown by people like Keith Ratliff!

  11. One of the CA 36,000 says

    @Caliban: Er, LGBTQ folk CAN point to the Holocaust as an example of official governmental policy of elimination/extermination of LGBTQ German citizens. Tens of thousands of LGBTQ Germans were rounded up and sent to prison camps (sounds awfully familiar– something a Baptist minister in the South recently proposed….), where many died.

    And LGBTQ US citizens are constantly– like on a 24/7 cycle– being condemned as “deviants” and “perverts” and “pedophiles” and “the worst type of sinner” from the pulpits of churches and on the Faux Noise channel (O’Reilly and Hannity are homophobic pigs, to name two of the most egregious a$$holes on that channel). We’re discriminated against in employment, housing, adoption, marriage, EVERYTHING. There are people walking out there plotting to physically attack and/or kill any “homos” they run into. LGBTQ citizens have people breaking into their houses and vandalizing their property all out of anti-LGBTQ hatred. They’re trying to deny us full citizenship in our own country, but we’re expected to pay more than our fair share in taxes and get LESS in return.

    And all because we’re doing something that doesn’t harm them or cost them any money– but some dimwit d!ckwad wearing a minister’s collar says teh bbuttsecks gives Jeebus a sad.

    I want my civil rights. Right. F#cking. NOW.

  12. Caliban says

    One of the CA 36,000, I had intended to write “putting aside for the moment that gay people WERE also victims of the Holocaust,” but let’s face it, in the public consciousness the Holocaust is primarily associated with the Jews. And that’s probably as it should be since, though there were other victims, they were the primary target.

    However, it’s worth noting that after the Nazi concentration camps were liberated many gay people weren’t set free. They were taken from the camps straight to prison because Germany’s Article 175, the law that made being gay criminal, was still in effect and the “liberators” had little more sympathy for gay people than the Nazis did.

  13. Chitown Kev says

    Drew2

    It’s not what you said, it’s why you said and what it reveals about you.

    (Let me let you in on a little “behind the Veil” conversation…black gays point this out all the damn time to black straight homophobes)

    Now I’m thinking all sorts of things about Ratliff (a long known homophobe who only came into the spotlight after Iowa attained marriage equality)…and some of them I would only say to Derrick and my other black brothers here.

    But I’ll be damned if I say it to you. Your simply looking for an excuse to be an ignorant racisdt white gay (Ratliff was 1 of 2 votes against marriage while 67 were for it)

  14. Derrick from Philly says

    DREW2,

    where did you get that statistic? From some White supremacist website or blog? These statistics showing how awful we Blacks are are usually featured on those kind of Internet sites. Sometimes I think that certain regular commentators here (both of whom have names beginning with “R”) regularly visit those Nazi sites to bring the good news about the n-words to this Towleroad.

    Whenever the issue of race gets ugly on this blog I’m always reminded of an incident that occured in 2009 just after the election. It was reported here on Towleroad. A Greek-American baker in Manhattan created what he called “Obama cookies” or “N.gger cookies”.

    Neither I nor any Black visitor to Towleroad felt the need to make racial slurs in our comments (atleast during that first day Andy posted the story). Not one of us took the chance on insulting ALL Greek-Americans or Greeks because of one Greek-American jerk.

    Why are Black Gay people who visit Towleroad able to show that kind of restraint. Restraint, until you push us to the point where we have to respond.

    So, keep on. Nobody can stop you from making racial insults. Go on and push me out of my restraint. I’ve got an arsenal of racial/ethnic slurs to throw back at you. I don’t want to use them but…. (sigh)

  15. Leonard says

    LOVE when racists pull the “It’s just a statistic” card. Makes them easily identifiable.

    There are definite parallels between the Civil Rights Movement of African-Am. and the Civil Rights Movement of LGBT Americans. There are LGBT persons who can “pass” for straight or the “right” gender. Just as there were black men and women who passed for white. And then there are those for whom hiding was never an option.

    There is also the societal and institutional discrimination against both groups that actively goes on to this day. So, Mr. Ratliff is being very disingenuous. I don’t think he’s an ignorant man, he knows these obvious truths. He just wants to hold on to his bigotry. The same bigotry that has given him an audience for so long, I guess.

    I hope more and more dinosaurs and relics of the past either leave or are dropped. Minorities can only end their plight if they band together. The future won’t be won by tearing each other down or playing Oppression Olympics.

  16. David says

    I hope Ratliff remembers that the right to vote was granted to non-whites in 1870, see 15th amendment. The civil rights marches of the 1960s were to end segregation, ie “coloreds” could not be required to attend schools separate from “whites.” Ignorant lambaster better do his research before he whines like that.

  17. FunMe says

    NAACP is cleaning house for the new century to be in one for equality for ALL.

    Thank goodness that guy is gone. Good riddance! Adios. Goodbye!

  18. NullNaught says

    @Derrick from philly
    Racists and bigots don’t matter. Your honour does. You are too respectable a person to use slurrs. Please remain conscious of your dignity. There are people out here who respect you a lot who can’t help but get hurt by your friendly fire. You have the moral high ground right now. Don’t surrender it for some short term satisfaction. You are better than that.
    I understand how tempting it is, really.
    I can’t imagine how terrible it is to hear biggoted comments comming from either of your own communities when they both have so much reason to reject that biggotry. You must be very disapointed with individuals from both groups.
    But that is the point, isn’t it? Gay white racists don’t represent me or our community any more than homophobic blacks (they are becoming rarer than ever)represent you or your family or any black person other than themselves.
    Hang in there.
    I am white and gay and I fell for the NOM bit at first. I am probably saying this in an ignorant blindly biggoted way myself. I hope if I have offended you here in any way, you will call me on it because I wish to speak as unreservedly in support of the black members of my community (brothers all)as I feel.
    Bigots in both communities are on the wrong side of history. They are an embarassment one has to live with if we are to accept free speach.

  19. renekeen says

    How is it the homosexuals that believe in the bible can say that it is ok? in the book of Genesis God destroyed a whole city (Sodom and Gamorrah) due to homosexual activity. And further more same sex sexual dealings r like to left shoes, it does’t fit. it maybe pleasurable but it is not natural. just saying. I think all people r to be loved just dont love the sin they partake in this includes my sin as well. strive to live a godly/morally correct life.

  20. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says

    Andy Towle,

    I AM PROUD OF, Keith Ratliff – Former President, Iowa/Nebraska NAACP. AS A NEGRO MALE IT IS VERY DISTURBING TO KNOW MY RACE’S OLDEST CIVIL-RIGHTS ORGANIZATION IS SUPPORTING “gay” MARRIAGE. ALTHOUGH I AM NOW, ATHEIST, I WAS RAISED IN A RURAL NEGRO-MISSIONARY-BAPTIST CHURCH IN WHICH THE PREACHER CONSTANTLY DISCUSSED HOMOSEXUALS’ TRIP TO HELL. THEREFORE, NAACP’s POSITION ON HOMOSEXUALITY IS CONFUSING TO ME. Mr. Ratliff PROVES STANDING BY VALUES IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN POLITICAL PROGRESS.

    Mr. Towle, I DO NOT KNOW HOW MANY NEGRO READERS YOU HAVE; I MUST CONGRATULATE YOU, SIR. I HAVE BEEN READING A LOT OF POSITIVE-NEGRO ARTICLES ON YOUR SITE. IT MEANS A LOT TO ME TO KNOW YOU ARE FAIR. I RECENTLY FOUND-OUT YOU ARE FROM MONTANA – A STATE WHICH DOES NOT HAVE A LARGE-NEGRO POPULATION. THEREFORE, YOUR CONGRATULATIONS FROM ME IS INTENSIFIED BECAUSE OF YOUR BACKGROUND. KUDOS, Mr. Towle!

    WITH GREAT SINCERITY,
    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

  21. David says

    I guess Ratliff has never heard of Bayard Rustin, MLK Jr.’s right hand man was gay, proud, and just happened to plan the march on Washington where King gave his “I have a Dream” speech. No connections?

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