Sunday, August 08, 2010

MLK's anti-gay niece smears Coretta Scott King for 'not having his DNA'

The National Organization for Marriage has continued its sad, poorly attended "Summer for Marriage" Tour across the nation, this time stopping in Atlanta. And speaking for the organization at this juncture was Alveda King, the niece of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Her speech was ridiculous, especially the implication that gay marriage is "genocide." But what caught my eye were negative comments she made in an interview after the speech.

The crude comments come in at about 7:21 when she is asked about Coretta Scott King's support of gay marriage.

Alveda says that her (Alveda's views) supposedly come from the "Lord" and "Natural Law."

But then she adds a nasty little caveat:
She (Coretta) was married to him (Martin Luther King, Jr.). I've got his DNA. She doesn't. She didn't. She's passed away."
Views about gay marriage aside, Alveda's comments were nasty and totally inappropriate. And I would say that they reveal her mindset more than her ramblings.

Let's be clear. Coretta Scott King was very instrumental in the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. She was more than his wife. She was an integral part in the African-American civil rights movement. And after his assassination, she carved a niche for herself as a human rights activist. Alveda was merely a teenager during the civil rights movement and as far as we know, she never had any discussions with King about civil rights matters.

In all honesty, Alveda has made a career off of exploiting the King name. If she didn't have this name, no one would really care about what she thought in regards to gay rights, African-American rights, etc.

But since it is her name, it is also her right to reap the benefits from having it.

But what she doesn't have a right to do is disrespect the legacy of a woman whose shoes she's not worthy enough to even latch.

Coretta Scott King was a hero.

You, Alveda, are an exploiter.

Please don't ever mistake Mrs. King as anything less or yourself as anything more.

Hat tip to

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Harry Jackson doesn't like same-sex families

It has been fun to watch members of the religious right spin themselves into oblivion as they try to deal with the Prop 8 decision handed down last week.

But once in a while, one of them says something which makes you angry. For me, it is this piece by Rev. Harry Jackson which appeared on CNN's webpage.

Jackson, probably the most prominent African-American in religious right circles (probably because he is one of a scant few African-Americans in those circles) is claiming that gay marriage will damage families and society.

Jackson repeats the same anti-gay nonsense channeled by the religious right - and dismissed in the Prop 8 decision. But then he says this:

. . .if same-sex marriage becomes legally recognized across the country, our kids will be told that gay marriage is a civil rights issue and that those who oppose it are akin to the racists of history who opposed interracial marriage and supported slavery.

We can teach our children at home that marriage is between a man and a woman, but our children's public schools will teach them that marriage includes same-sex couples. Both would be "equal marriages" under the law.

What might this look like? In Massachusetts, where a ruling legalized same-sex marriage in 2004, kids in public schools are reading books depicting same-sex families. At a California charter school in 2008, kindergartners' parents objected when a school newsletter alerted them to "National Coming Out Day;" a parent told a local ABC-TV affiliate that a teacher at the school screened a film to kindergartners the previous year showing gay families.

While I disagree with Jackson's assessment that those who oppose gay marriage will be thought of as bigots, he makes a good case of why this could happen.

Usually when religious right figures list anecdotes about incidents which happen when lgbts gain marriage rights, non-discrimination rights, etc, the incidents end (albeit not truthfully) with the implication being that if we gave lgbts rights, someone would be deprived of their rights, put in jail,  having to unfairly pay a fine, etc.

But not so in this case.

Jackson is saying that allowing gay marriage would make school acknowledge the presence of lgbt families.

What's wrong with that? Schools should be doing this all along because lgbt families exist and children who are in these households attend our nation's schools. Why should they have to be ashamed of their families just to suit the ignorance of others?

According to a report by Gary Gates, Lee M.V. Badgett, Jennifer Ehrle Macomber, Kate Chambers of the Urban Institute:

* More than one in three lesbians have given birth and one in six gay men have fathered or adopted a child.

* An estimated 65,500 adopted children are living with a lesbian or gay parent.

* More than 16,000 adopted children are living with lesbian and gay parents in California, the highest number among the states.

* Gay and lesbian parents are raising four percent of all adopted children in the United States.
* An estimated 14,100 foster children are living with lesbian or gay parents.

* Gay and lesbian parents are raising three percent of foster children in the United States.

But in Harry Jackson's world, simple acknowledgment of these families is akin to the war, famine, or plague; scourges that have wiped out past societies.

Sounds like bigotry to me.

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