February 07, 2006

Quotes from Coretta Scott King

Her personal leadership was nowhere more evident than in her consistent support for the rights of gay men and lesbians. Speaking to Lambda Legal Defense in 1998, she said, "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."

In 1998 she said of gay people who had worked in the civil rights movement, "Many of these courageous men and women were fighting for my freedom at a time when they could find few voices for their own, and I salute their contributions." In 2004, after President Bush endorsed the Federal Marriage Amendment, she said, "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."

From this article.

Also, some interesting perspective from Al Sharpton (I'm not sure why this is there in an article about Coretta Scott King):

Fortunately, as Mrs. King struggled with her final illness, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) picked up the torch for her. At last month's Black Church Summit in Atlanta, organized by NBJC to challenge homophobia within the black faith community, keynote speaker Rev. Al Sharpton rebuked the Republican right's courtship of conservative black ministers: "They couldn't come to black churches to talk about the war, about health care, about poverty. So they did what they always do and reached for the bigotry against gay and lesbian people."

Quoting Dr. King, Sharpton said, "There are those that are thermometers that read the temperature in the room. And then there are those that are thermostats that change the temperature in the room. I come to tell you to be thermostats. Turn the heat up in the black church. Make these people sweat until we open the doors of dialogue for everybody."

1 comment:

maudite entendante said...

Yikes. I hate it when people I find eminently disagreeable (Rev. Sharpton) say things I agree with.

On the other hand, I'm glad to see someone who is as influential as he is in certain circles where queer people may not have much say speaking out on behalf of us. That's a step, anyway.