January 15, 2007

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

There is debate going on in the GLBT community and also among its allies on how closely the push for equality should mirror the civil rights movement of the 1960's, which advanced the cause of African-American equal rights. You've seen that debate featured on this blog periodically, but today is a good time to remember why both efforts unquestionably share some commonality. On this day as we honor Dr. Martin Luther King and his leadership in the fight for civil rights, I borrow this quote from David W. Shelton's piece, "Justice: A Message Fit For a King" from Dr. King's widow, the recently deceased Corretta Scott King:

According to Reuters, She said in 1998, “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 she didn’t stop there. “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 brother- and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people.”

This was not a popular stand she took, but like her late husband, she did so not to win friends but because she thought it was right.

GLBT activists aren't going to lose more friends than they make fighting for the cause of equality, but we need to keep our eyes on the prize because in our hearts we know it's the right thing to do.

I encourage you to read David Shelton's piece for more thoughts on the legacy of Dr. and Mrs. King and their application to the GLBT community.

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