Archive for January, 2006

Mrs. King on GLBT Rights

This came to me from one of my email lists and I thought it was important to share it.

Soulforce Honors the Life of Coretta Scott King and Acknowledges Her Founding Influence

The staff and volunteers of Soulforce, a national social justice movement, express deep sadness at the news that Coretta Scott King has passed away at the age of 78. Her legacy will live on in the work of all of the advocacy groups founded on the principles of nonviolence taught by her husband, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The vision of Soulforce began in 1995 when our President and Founder, the Rev. Dr. Mel White, received a phone call from Mrs. King’s assistant, Lynn Cothren, introducing him to the principles of nonviolence taught and practiced by her husband, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. At our first major direct action at a United Methodist Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, Yolanda King represented Coretta Scott King and the King family.

We honor the life of Coretta Scott King and her strong voice in reminding America that Dr. King would surely be fighting for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people if he were alive today. Some of her public statements include:

Coretta Scott King:
“I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice… But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King, Jr., said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’…. I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream to make room at the table of brotherhood and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people.”1

“Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing, and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages.”2

“We are all tied together in a single garment of destiny… I can never be what I ought to be until you are allowed to be what you ought to be,” she said, quoting from her husband. “I’ve always felt that homophobic attitudes and policies were unjust and unworthy of a free society and must be opposed by all Americans who believe in democracy.”3

“Gays and lesbians stood up for civil rights in Montgomery, Selma, in Albany, Georgia, and St. Augustine, Florida, and many other campaigns of the Civil Rights Movement. Many of these courageous men and women were fighting for my freedom at a time when they could find few voices for their own, and I salute their contributions.”4

“We have a lot of work to do in our common struggle against bigotry and discrimination. I say ‘common struggle,’ because I believe very strongly that all forms of bigotry & discrimination are equally wrong and should be opposed by right-thinking Americans everywhere. Freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation is surely a fundamental human right in any great democracy, as much as freedom from racial, religious, gender, or ethnic discrimination.”5

“We have to launch a campaign against homophobia in the black community.”6

“Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood. This sets the stage for further repression and violence that spread all too easily to victimize the next minority group.”7


1 Coretta Scott King, 25th anniversary luncheon for Lambda Defense and Education Fund, March 31, 1998

2 Coretta Scott King, speech at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, USA Today, March 24, 2004

3 Coretta Scott King, 25th anniversary luncheon for Lambda Defense and Education Fund, quoted in the Chicago Sun Times, April 1, 1998

4 Coretta Scott King, 25th anniversary luncheon for\ Lambda Defense and Education Fund, quoted in the Chicago Tribune, April 1, 1998

5 Coretta Scott King, Opening Plenary Session, 13th annual Creating Change conference of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Atlanta, Georgia, November 9, 2000

6 Coretta Scott King, Reuters, June 8, 2001

7 Coretta Scott King, a speech at the Palmer Hilton Hotel, quoted in the Chicago Defender, April 1, 1998

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006 politics, queer No Comments

Foreign Aid, Redefined and Diminished

I agree with most of the tone of this editorial on the way the Rice State Department is changing the way we determine how to distribute foreign aid; Ms. Sanchez essentially calls the switch a bad idea for American diplomacy. The one critique I have of it is that she does not ever explicitly state the premise that alleviating poverty and promoting economic development overseas ultimately serves the US national security interest, and that the removal of that aid from developing areas which are not currently areas of security concern may serve to make them a security concern later down the road. The focusing of aid only on immediate hotspots is short sighted, and does not do enough to promote the US’ long-term security.

Friday, January 27th, 2006 politics No Comments

Rear Guard Action

President Bush continues to defend the indefensible

My favorite quote from Mr. Bush: “I’m mindful of your civil liberties, and so I had all kinds of lawyers review the process.

  • Mindful of them in what way? I’m not thinking it’s a positive one, given his track record.
  • Yeah. all kinds of lawyers. Because we know lawyers never argue both sides, nor do the ever interpret the law in ways specifically designed to please their clients.
  • And what kind of lawyers? Property law? Administrative law? (Moral) Bankruptcy attorneys?

Somehow I’m neither persuaded nor comforted by his words.

Monday, January 23rd, 2006 politics No Comments

Amen, Sister

Molly Ivins kicks some Democratic ass.

Friday, January 20th, 2006 politics No Comments

Greater than What?

All Hail Greater Georgelandia!

Friday, January 20th, 2006 politics No Comments

Taxi, please

In case you live in DC and missed it, taxi fares went up today.

Monday, January 9th, 2006 news No Comments

Allergy Aware

Good news from the FDA, via the Washington Post. Companies who make products which contain common allergens (i.e., dairy, nuts, shellfish, etc.) will now have to declare those products on the food labels. While many companies do that now, it should help those with food allergies avoid those foods in the future.

It should also make it easier for vegans to identify many more of those products with “hidden” animal ingredients in them, thus making it easier to avoid those that do. Good news indeed.

Wednesday, January 4th, 2006 food, politics, vegan No Comments