Monday, December 20, 2010

Civil Rights Movement legend John Lewis stands up for the equality of gays and lesbians

Sometimes I wish the African-American community should not only recognize the similarities between the black civil rights movement and the lgbt fight for equality but also the fact that those claiming to defend the legacy of black people against "radical homosexuals," i.e. the religious right, don't really care about them. After all, where are religious right voices when it comes to issues like education, poverty, and socioeconomic inequality.

Sorry, I am rambling. Blame the following speech for getting me on that path. It's from last week when the House of Representatives was discussing the issue of DADT. This is John Lewis (D -GA), a legend in the African-American civil rights struggle. He served as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), helped organize the first lunch-counter sit-in in 1959 at the age of 19, and was the youngest speaker at the 1963 March on Washington. In May 1961, he participated in the initial Freedom Ride, during which he endured violent attacks in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and Montgomery, Alabama. In 1964, he helped to coordinate the Mississippi Freedom Project, and, in 1965, he led the Selma-to-Montgomery march to petition for voting rights where marchers were brutally confronted in an incident that became known as "Bloody Sunday."

Recently, he has been named as one of the recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. If anyone can rightfully talk about the legacy of the African-American civil rights movement, it is him. And THIS is what he said about the repeal of DADT:

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