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I Don’t Know What Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Thought About The Gays And I Don’t Care!
It was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day and all was well. Well at least I thought everything was okay. That was until I opened up my Internet browser to CNN to read an article on their front page asking “What did MLK think about gay people?” While I understand that many feel (myself included) that gay rights are human rights, civil rights if you will and I can completely see where people would begin to wonder what the leader of the civil rights movement might think, I don’t know what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. thought about the gays and I don’t care! – Don’t Get Me Started!
The article went on to discuss King’s daughter Bernice’s objection to gay marriage (she was accompanied on a march to her father’s grave in 2005 by Bishop Eddie Long who you may remember recently settled out of court with four young men who said he had inappropriate relations with them while plying them with gifts and alcohol) and in contrast it also states that his wife, Coretta Scott King was a vocal supporter of gay rights. But perhaps my favorite thing about this article was about one of Dr. King’s contemporaries, a civil rights leader in his own right, Bayard Rustin. In the article they state, “Rustin was an openly gay civil rights leader who is widely credited with organizing the 1963 March on Washington. He was an organizational genius, the man who insisted that King speak last on the program, giving his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech the resonance it would not have had otherwise, says Jerald Podair, author of ‘Bayard Rustin: American Dreamer.’ He was the kind of guy who could tell you how many portable toilets you needed for 250,000 people in a demonstration Podair says. He was a details guy King needed him for that march.” Does this come as a surprise to anyone that behind Dr. King was a gay rights activist /event planner?
But here’s the deal. As much fun as it may be to try and go back to the past to try and find relevant points for any argument you’re having today, the point of the matter is that King didn’t live to see a day when those in the medical profession no longer considered homosexuality a deviant illness, he didn’t live to see the consciousness of the rational and sane in the world rise to understand that gays are just like everyone else (except a little more fabulous around the edges). So while you can conjecture and put it on your front page CNN, the fact of the matter is that we don’t know what anyone from another time would think because they didn’t live what we’ve lived through to get to this point. They can’t see the history that came before, the history that’s happening now nor the history we hope to make in the future.
Yes, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream and while we morn the loss of a man who was taken too soon by ignorant people, it’s impossible to know what he would have thought had he lived to see today about anything. What I do know is that for anyone who doesn’t think gays being treated equally in society isn’t a civil rights issue, read or see the news. The gay bashings that continue, bullying of kids in schools, laws on the books that discriminate against gays, the list goes on and on and seems more than a little familiar to that of the civil rights movement was fighting for in the 1960’s.
I applaud those who made history to get us where we are today, I work every day to educate and inform to elevate the history that will be today and I look forward to equal, not separate rights as the future of our history. And while I take more than a moment to remember and quietly thank Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for what he gave to all of us, I won’t waste a second conjecturing as to what he thought about gays and gay rights. For me, that’s not what today is about, no political agendas carried out in the media but gratitude for a man who elevated our collective consciousness. I don’t know what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. thought about the gays and I don’t care! – Don’t Get Me Started!
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The CNN Article...
- What did MLK think about gay people? – CNN Belief Blog - CNN.com Blogs
By John Blake, CNN (CNN)-- Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was writing an advice column in 1958 for Ebony magazine when he received an unusual letter. “I am a boy,” an anonymous writer told King. “But I feel about boys the way I ought to feel about girls