A day late, but still worth revisiting since so few of our leaders ever care to mention the rather salient point that Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King’s wife, was on our side.
Make Room At The Table for Lesbian and Gay People
Coretta Scott King, speaking four days before the 30th anniversary of her husband’s assassination, said Tuesday the civil rights leader’s memory demanded a strong stand for gay and lesbian rights. “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,” she said. “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,” she said. – Reuters, March 31, 1998.
Homophobia is Like Racism and Anti-Semitism
Speaking before nearly 600 people at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel, Coretta Scott King, the wife of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Tuesday called on the civil rights community to join in the struggle against homophobia and anti-gay bias. “Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood,” King stated. “This sets the stage for further repression and violence that spread all too easily to victimize the next minority group.” – Chicago Defender, April 1, 1998, front page.
MLK’s Struggle Parallels The Gay Rights Movement
Quoting a passage from her late husband’s writing, Coretta Scott King reaffirmed her stance on gay and lesbian rights Tuesday at a luncheon celebrating the 25 anniversary of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, a national gay rights organization. “We are all tied together in a single garment of destiny . . . I can never be what I ought to be until you are allowed to be what you ought to be,” she said, quoting her husband. “I’ve always felt that homophobic attitudes and policies were unjust and unworthy of a free society and must be opposed by all Americans who believe in democracy,” King told 600 people at the Palmer House Hilton, days before the 30th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination on April 4, 1968. She said the civil rights movement “thrives on unity and inclusion, not division and exclusion.” Her husband’s struggle parallels that of the gay rights movement, she said. – Chicago Sun Times, April 1, 1998, p.18.
Mrs. King is Outspoken Supporter of Gay and Lesbian People
“For many years now, I have been an outspoken supporter of civil and human rights for gay and lesbian people,” King said at the 25th Anniversary Luncheon for the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund…. “Gays and lesbians stood up for civil rights in Montgomery, Selma, in Albany, Ga. and St. Augustine, Fla., and many other campaigns of the Civil Rights Movement,” she said. “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.” – Chicago Tribune, April 1, 1998, sec.2, p.4.
Sexual Orientation is a Fundamental Human Rights
We have a lot more work to do in our common struggle against bigotry and discrimination. I say “common struggle” because I believe very strongly that all forms of bigotry and discrimination are equally wrong and should be opposed by right-thinking Americans everywhere. Freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation is surely a fundamental human right in any great democracy, as much as freedom from racial, religious, gender, or ethnic discrimination. – Coretta Scott King, remarks, Opening Plenary Session, 13th annual Creating Change conference of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Atlanta, Georgia, November 9, 2000.
We Need a National Campaign Against Homophobia
“We have to launch a national campaign against homophobia in the black community,” said Coretta Scott King, widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the slain civil rights leader. – Reuters, June 8, 2001.
Justice is Indivisible
For too long, our nation has tolerated the insidious form of discrimination against this group of Americans, who have worked as hard as any other group, paid their taxes like everyone else, and yet have been denied equal protection under the law…. I believe that freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. My husband, Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” On another occasion he said, “I have worked too long and hard against segregated public accommodations to end up segregating my moral concern. Justice is indivisible.” Like Martin, I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others. So I see this bill as a step forward for freedom and human rights in our country and a logical extension of the Bill of Rights and the civil rights reforms of the 1950’s and ‘60’s. The great promise of American democracy is that no group of people will be forced to suffer discrimination and injustice. – Coretta Scott King, remarks, press conference on the introduction of ENDA, Washington, DC, June 23, 1994