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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.

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Comments

  1. Stanley from The Office? Why you hatin'?

    Posted by: Michael | Jun 7, 2012 11:42:14 AM


  2. @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.

    Posted by: One of the CA 36,000 | Jun 7, 2012 11:49:16 AM


  3. 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.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jun 7, 2012 11:59:28 AM


  4. @ Derrick - it's a statistic. I didn't make it up.

    And if you think that statistic isn't a problem, then you're the idiot.

    Posted by: Drew2 | Jun 7, 2012 12:05:35 PM


  5. 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)

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Jun 7, 2012 12:34:26 PM


  6. Great! Get the F out!

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Jun 7, 2012 12:51:13 PM


  7. 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)

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 7, 2012 1:14:31 PM


  8. 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.

    Posted by: Leonard | Jun 7, 2012 1:14:35 PM


  9. 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.

    Posted by: David | Jun 7, 2012 3:33:55 PM


  10. 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!

    Posted by: FunMe | Jun 7, 2012 4:07:04 PM


  11. @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.

    Posted by: NullNaught | Jun 7, 2012 4:15:56 PM


  12. Thanks, NULLNAUGHT. Incredibly thoughtful comment. I appreciate it.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 7, 2012 4:36:17 PM


  13. Bye! Don't let the door hit your ignorant azz on the way out!

    Posted by: Bye Bytch! | Jun 8, 2012 1:15:57 AM


  14. 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.

    Posted by: renekeen | Jun 8, 2012 9:32:59 PM


  15. 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

    Posted by: CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON | Jun 20, 2012 2:09:23 PM


  16. 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?

    Posted by: David | Nov 9, 2012 3:57:57 PM


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