I have a friend in Dayton, OH who just pulled off an act of delightfully bold LGBT activism.
A long-time, anti-LGBT City Commissioner, now up for re-election, let his website domain name lapse. My friend – with an eye (and a plan) for stupid mistakes – took it over and is now reminding visitors to the site of the Commissioner’s discriminatory position on LGBT equality.
What compels me about this story – other than its brilliant audacity – is the argument the Commissioner uses to justify his anti-LGBT position: an African-American, he thinks it is “crap” to equate the gay movement to the civil rights movement.
Well, we have news for him. The LGBT movement IS as much a civil rights movement as the nation’s continuing struggle for racial and gender equality. Indeed, the NAACP recently held an LGBT Town Hall wherein the venerated civil rights leader, Julian Bond, explicitly called LGBT rights “civil rights”.
As if on cue, over the last two weeks, the Rev. Dr. Dennis W. Wiley, pastor of Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ in Washington D.C., has been writing brilliantly on just this very topic for the Center for American Progress.
- Gays Are Us, Part I: Why LGBT Equality is Not a “White” Issue” reflects on the work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and reminds us that “the quest for human justice, freedom, and equality cannot be fragmented.”
- Gays Are Us, Part II: Refuting the Arguments that Label LGBT Equality a “White” Issue systematically addresses common assertions used to dismiss the ways in which justice for the LGBT community is integrally connected to justice for the Black community.
Rev. Wiley’s call to action is needed now more than ever: a recent study by Public Religion Research Institute found that while majorities of non-Christian religiously affiliated Americans (67%), Catholics (52%), and white mainline Protestants (51%) favor marriage equality, a majority (60%) of African American Protestants continue to oppose marriage equality.
It is time for all of us who feel and witness the sting of discrimination – whether it be based on gender, religion, race or orientation – to recognize that we will never lift one from oppression, until we lift all.
Break the Silence. Join the Movement. Believe Out Loud.
Image flickr lewishamdreamer