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Bernice King, Daughter Of Martin Luther King, Jr., Discusses Homosexuality, Says 'I'm Not The Enemy'

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In a new interview with Atlanta Magazine, Bernice King opens up to Rebecca Burns about her life, her fraught relationships with her brothers, and her evolving views on homosexuality.

GA Voice reports:

"For many years, those in the LGBT community have felt betrayed by Bernice King's public aversion toward gay and lesbian people even though her mother was an outspoken advocate and fierce ally for LGBT equality.

"In 2004, Bernice King famously led a march alongside Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church of thousands through the streets of Atlanta to protest same-sex marriage. 

"But in January 2012, Bernice King shocked LGBT people by including them in a speech at the annual MLK rally at the King Center as part of the city's annual celebration of her father's birthday. King, though, still seems to carry some kind of grudge against gay people."

In her new interview, King gives mixed messages, revealing her love-for-all, rights-for-some attitude about the gay community.

"People have labeled me homophobic. If I was homophobic, I wouldn't have friends who are gay and lesbian, so that can't be true. But because I have a certain belief system, I am now the enemy. And I'm not the enemy. I have love for everybody, period. I don't think it's my role and responsibility to take on a platform unless God calls me to do it. That's not something I feel called to do.

"When my mother was living they tried to pit us against each other. I love my mother and she loved me. They couldn't divide true love. We had good conversations concerning this whole issue. But I think we have to be careful in our nation that we don't demonize everyone who doesn't agree with us. …  I value marriage between a man and woman. Spiritually I value that. Psychologically I value that. I know that the absence of my father in my life had its cost."

While King is certainly voicing her support for a community with which she associates now more than ever, that support is limited when it comes to the law. Asked whether she would want to see her gay and lesbian friends marry, King replied: "I wouldn't marry them. But I don't dictate that. That's society's call." 

We can only hope that as society continues to make calls in favor of equality among all people, the vital voice of Bernice King will follow.  

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Comments

  1. Disgusted American,

    now you've been reading this blog long enough to know that I have about as much love for Bernice King as I do for Eddie Long, Herman Caine or that insane Allen West.

    LOL. It's Rick the ridiculous writing that shyt...chile, please.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jul 29, 2013 4:45:20 PM


  2. Yes you are, bigot.

    Posted by: RMc | Jul 29, 2013 4:47:30 PM


  3. Furthermore, there are many Black Gays who believe that Bernice is "family"--she just stays in the closet.

    She may have more in common with her dear friend Eddie Long than we realize.

    ...and I said I wasn't going to comment on this topic, dammit.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jul 29, 2013 4:55:58 PM


  4. Derrick, I wasn't posting under your name. I wouldn't need to. I'm proud of disliking gay people as much as I proud of being a racist. And women. And don't even get me started on gay, black women. Bleh!

    Posted by: Rick | Jul 29, 2013 4:58:58 PM


  5. Oh the bitter irony.

    Posted by: David C. | Jul 29, 2013 5:23:22 PM


  6. Yolanda King, MLK's other daughter was passed a few years ago, was also a big advocate for LGBT equality. Sad she is no longer her to help convince her siblings.

    Posted by: reality | Jul 29, 2013 6:34:13 PM


  7. Yeh Bernice. And some of my best friends are Negroes.

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Jul 29, 2013 6:59:49 PM


  8. Derrick, this isn't the first time your postings have shown how dim you are. If you've got any friends, listen to them: resist the temptation to expose your ignorance when you read this blog.

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Jul 29, 2013 7:03:44 PM


  9. You're absolutely the enemy. And don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

    Posted by: Venice Dude | Jul 29, 2013 7:06:36 PM


  10. Oh please. Many black children endured harassment, to suicide because of your anti gay marches throughout our neighborhoods. If you're not the enemy, you're certainly not a friend either.

    Posted by: Moe | Jul 29, 2013 7:07:27 PM


  11. Psychologically she values heterosexual marriage and not same sex marriage? WTF? Seriously WTF is wrong with this woman.

    Posted by: J.J | Jul 29, 2013 7:08:01 PM


  12. When people choose their religion over human rights, they lose the right to be deemed or associated with humanity. Regardless of the great achievements of their parents. Her actions should be judged on their own, not praised for the amazing things her parents have done. This woman is indeed harmful to all social justice, human rights and humanity.

    Posted by: Duration & Convexity | Jul 29, 2013 7:09:32 PM


  13. It's so creepy to me how some of the same sentiments and tone she has in saying "sorry, these rights should not be granted to said group" was used against her own father. And she doesn't get it. Wow. Just....wow.

    Posted by: Klien | Jul 29, 2013 7:11:54 PM


  14. Derrick from Philly, hey buddy, I have some rope, would you like to use it so you can pull your head out of your ass

    Posted by: Soulone | Jul 29, 2013 7:14:50 PM


  15. And how do her friends feeling knowing she just said she would not have anything to do with marrying them? I mean really, how do you call someone like that, who flat out rejects the one you love and your being, a friend? I always feel these gay friends are more enablers to pedaling homophobia, for self serving reasons, than much of anything else.

    Posted by: Alejandro | Jul 29, 2013 7:18:30 PM


  16. Whoever wrote this article, Joseph Ehrman?, needs to chill out with the pandering and worshipping of Bernice. I don't see support in her comments. I see rebranding of her image for personal gain. She still believes millions of gays, lesbias, trans and bisexuals should be treated as second class citizens. A slap in the face to the work of her parents and civil rights.

    Posted by: USC Trojans Fan | Jul 29, 2013 7:22:00 PM


  17. Only Bernice I've trusted was on Designing Women.

    Posted by: greenfuzz | Jul 29, 2013 7:22:53 PM


  18. "vital voice"? No. Her mother and father were equality pioneers, and we do not have a caste system in this country. She does not become an equality pioneer just because they were. Her voice is nothing until she does something useful with it. She may never have a "vital voice" just as the Mahatma Gandhi's kids did not go off and become activists, and no one sees Mandela's kids in the same way as him. She is no one in her own right.

    Posted by: mododavid | Jul 29, 2013 8:22:11 PM


  19. The words "I am not your enemy" are usually spoken by people who are not our friends either.

    Posted by: Mmike1969 | Jul 29, 2013 9:40:51 PM


  20. She marched with homophobic Bishop Eddie "I have a yen for young men" Long. His homophobia turned into homophilia in the presence of lean muscular young men. Ain't that often the case.

    Posted by: andrew | Jul 29, 2013 9:46:21 PM


  21. You know, folks in the South that supported segregation occasionally would say they weren't racists because they loved their black servants like family. The more things change...

    Posted by: John | Jul 29, 2013 10:10:57 PM


  22. Interesting how these folks are suddenly coming out of the woodwork looking for tolerance and understanding. First there was Orson Scott Card, and now Bernice King. I realize that the golden rule suggests that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us (rather than as they HAVE done unto us), but I'm finding it difficult to forgive those who have spent years vilifying us just when they realize that they're losing the battle for the hearts and minds of average Americans. Unless you're in this for absolution, which will require a good deal more contrition than I'm hearing, best to just STFU.

    Posted by: Keppler | Jul 29, 2013 10:38:24 PM


  23. Wow, what a slap in the face to her late father, one of the greatest men in history. How sad that all that history is wasted on this piece of work. So tell us, sweetie, what have you done for humanity, outside of leading a parade of hate in the name of Jesus Christ? I know you have big shoes to fill, but best to not piss in those shoes, which is exactly what you are doing. What a disgrace to the memory of your father, a man who stood for what is right and what is just. Lady, you need help with your hate issues.

    Posted by: millerbeach | Jul 30, 2013 2:34:36 AM


  24. "..the vital voice of Bernice King...." is this from The Onion?

    Posted by: StillmarriedinCA | Jul 30, 2013 3:11:03 AM


  25. And this topic didn't interest me enough to comment. I don't expect Southern Baptist to accept marriage equality. When they do it surprises the shyt outta' me.

    POSTED BY: DERRICK FROM PHILLY | JUL 29, 2013

    Pretty much.

    Posted by: Zeta | Jul 30, 2013 8:54:26 AM


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