Lowery, 87, a founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, was the first to mention Coretta Scott King’s support for gay civil rights at her funeral in February 2006 at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, reminding the audience that she "frowned on homophobia."
Lowery supports rights for gay couples, but stops short of calling for same-sex marriage.
"I support civil rights for all citizens and this includes gay and lesbians citizens. I support civil unions and full benefits (visitation, insurance, etc) for partners in same sex relationships," he said in a written statement to Southern Voice. "Because of the deep seeded roots concerning marriage — in our hearts and minds — for a man and woman, many people, including me, have concerns about the concept/term 'marriage' and experience a degree of cultural shock when faced with same-sex partners. Nevertheless, I am strongly opposed to propositions or amendments that put into law any discrimination against citizens because of sexual orientation."This is the same kind of forthright response that would have saved Rick Warren some trouble. Instead of trying to nuance his way through, Rev. Lowery was clear that he still had a problem with same-sex couples using the term "marriage." Unfortunate but understandable. More importantly, he is strongly opposed to placing any additional barriers in front of same-sex couples and wants all GLBT people to have a wide, if not entirely complete, range of civil rights.
Perhaps it is worth focusing on the positive presence and participation of someone like Rev. Lowery and releasing some of the frustration regarding Rick Warren's.
Click here to read the rest of the Washington Blade article.
Here is more on Rev. Lowery in the Washington Post "On Faith" section article "Rev. Joseph Lowery, the Anti-Warren."