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Civil rights leaders speak out on equality — for all

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“The civil rights struggle was a human rights fight to end segregation under Jim Crow and end racism against African-American people and other minorities. Just like the struggle for GLBT equality, we must end discrimination and recognize gay and lesbian rights as basic human rights…It’s time for leaders of the entire community to take a stand. Leaders cannot represent their constituents if they do not represent and educate all of their community on GLBT equality.”
— labor leader Dolores Huerta, on how to reframe equality to different audiences

“I wonder what the state of her marriage is and why she feels threatened by two other people in love who want to do what she has done. If it was good for her — or maybe it’s not good for her — but if it was good for her, why isn’t it good for other people?”
— Julian Bond, on homo-obsessed Colorado Rep. Marilyn Musgrave

What a welcome relief to have people of color like NAACP chairman Julian Bond and Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farmworkers of America, step up to say that “civil rights” belong to everyone — every person deserves to live their lives free from discrimination. Both sat down for interviews for HRC’s Equality magazine to show what allies they are to the LGBT community.

It’s an “exact parallel,” said Bond. “When the black civil rights movement wins an advance, it isn’t a black advance. It is an advance for all people. Everyone moves forward. … That’s true with gays and lesbians; it’s true with Hispanics; it’s true with women. It’s true with all of us.”

In their sit-down interviews on the subject, both Bond and Huerta talk about how, early in their lives, they first came to understand the importance of GLBT equality. For Huerta, it came when she worked alongside gay and lesbian farm workers in California. Bond talks about working with gay colleagues in Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s.

Marriage equality for GLBT Americans, too, is critical, the two said.

Huerta also urged leaders across the Latino/a community to speak out. “It’s time for leaders of the entire community to take a stand,” she said. “Leaders cannot represent their constituents if they do not represent and educate all of their community on GLBT equality.”

Check out the rest. Someone needs to send copies off to homobigots like these pastors…

* Bishop Paul Morton of the Full Gospel Baptist Church in New Orleans. Memorable quote: “You don’t try to put 2 plugs or 2 sockets together. I want some folk to get deliverance. You ain’t got no socket rubbing up against another socket talkin’ ’bout ‘come on light my fire!’ It ain’t gon light!  We need to break the curse ’cause even some of these older women are attacking some of these younger women and placing them in this lifestyle. That’s why you can’t even walk right when you doin’ that stuff.  You hurtin’ ’cause it ain’t natural.”

* Willie Wilson of Union Temple Baptist Church in D.C.: Blenders know this man all too well for his homo-baiting from the pulpit. It’s hard to pick just one quote. Memorable quotes: “When you get down to this thing, women falling down on another woman, strapping yourself up with something, it ain’t real. That thing ain’t got no feeling in it. It ain’t natural.”

* Gregory Daniels of Greater Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago. Fun fact: A self-identified Republican and supporter of President George W. Bush, Daniels made headlines in February 2004 when he told the New York Times, “If the KKK opposes gay marriage, I would ride with them.”

* Creflo Dollar of World Changers Church International in College Park, Georgia. Memorable quote: “When you begin to legislate policies and you take it past its designed intent and boundaries, you’re going to end up in perversion.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding