D.C. Pastor Says MLK Jr. Would Champion LGBT Rights
Washington D.C. pastor Dr. Dennis W. Riley has made quite a few headlines this past week with an impassioned series of essays entitled “Gays R Us,” in which he argues for an inextricable link between the the LGBT and Black Civil Rights movements, and asserts emphatically that if Dr. King were alive today, he would be an unequivocal supporter of the Gay Rights struggle.
If Martin Luther King Jr. were alive today at the ripe old age of 82, I believe his consistently evolving consciousness would have removed his blind spots of 43 years ago. Just as he was a trailblazer in protesting the Vietnam War, I contend that he also would have been a pioneer in the struggle for women’s rights and LGBT equality. This is why so many of his former associates who are still alive—including Congressman John Lewis and the NAACP’s own Julian Bond—are unequivocal in their support of gay rights, including marriage equality. The same was true of his late widow, Coretta Scott King. They have understood that LGBT oppression is not some alien or superfluous concern that has little or nothing to do with other justice issues critical to the black community and that, in fact, it is a critical issue of civil rights.
Reactions to the “Gays R Us” series has been unsurprisingly mixed (just check out some of the reader comments posted at NewsOne.com’s write-up regarding the pastor’s statements). And that’s incredibly sad. Especially since young black gay men are overrepresented in regards to a plethora of bad things…like hate crimes, homelessness and HIV, just to name a few.
They could probably use the support of their own community.