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01/19/2009

Happy MLK Day

by Jeremy Hooper
"Well, I do not buy [the argument that being gay and being black are completely different things]. I do not buy that argument. And today I think more than ever before, we have to speak up and speak out to end discrimination based on sexual orientation. Dr. King used to say when people talked about blacks and whites falling in love and getting married — you know one time in the state of Virginia, in my native 200901192031state of Alabama, in Georgia and other parts of the South, blacks and whites could not fall in love and get married. And Dr. King took a simple argument and said races don’t fall in love and get married. Individuals fall in love and get married. It’s not the business of the federal government, it’s not the business of the state government to tell two individuals that they cannot fall in love and get married. And so I go back to what I said and wrote those lines a few years ago, that I fought too long and too hard against discrimination based on race and color not to stand up and fight and speak out against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

And you hear people “defending marriage.” Gay marriage is not a threat to heterosexual marriage. It is time for us to put that argument behind us.

You cannot separate the issue of civil rights. It is one of those absolute, immutable principles. You’ve got to have not just civil rights for some, but civil rights for all of us.
"
-Civil rights hero and congressman, John Lewis (D-GA), speaking to NPR's Terry Gross

Rep. John Lewis: “You Cannot Separate The Issue Of Civil Rights” [BTB]

**ALSO: For a look at how the far-right will surely try to discredit the words of this actual civil rights pioneer, check out this 2007 piece: What could a civil rights pioneer possibly know about civil rights? [G-A-Y]

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Your thoughts

It's great to read that Representative Lewis said that. Many times I have heard that the difference between the two types of discrimination is that we can hide being gay, but African Americans cannot hide being black. I really don't buy that at all. For one thing I don't want to hide who I am. Also a "friend" once told me that people on the space station can see that I'm gay.

Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Jan 20, 2009 3:28:10 AM

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