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Modern 'traditional marriage' movement continues to devalue King marriage

by Jeremy Hooper

Coretta Scott King presumably knew her late husband's heart better than anybody else:

"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."
-March 31, 1998

Like Martin, I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others", she would tell black civil rights leaders angered by gays and lesbians comparing their struggle to their own. She would quote her husband and say, “I have worked too long and hard against segregated public accommodations to end up segregating my moral concern. Justice is indivisible."
-June 23, 1994

"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."
March 24, 2004

"We have a lot more 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 and 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."
November 9, 2000

"We have to launch a campaign against homophobia in the black community."
June 8, 2001

"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."
April 1, 1998

But since Coretta's passing, it's been niece Alveda King, a mere teenager when MLK was tragically assassinated, who's become the most vocal person with that royal surname to profess mental ownership of the family's civil rights legacy. She did this notably during the summer of 2010, as part of the National Organization For Marriage's summer tour, where she compared same-sex marriage to "genocide."
Screen Shot 2012-05-23 At 3.23.39 Pm
She is doing it again now, trying with all of her power to make President Obama and the NAACP seem disconnected for African American life and public opinion. Her basic message: That she knew her uncle's heart better than anyone else, and she is the one capable of applying his beliefs to modern life.

So I have to ask, yet again: Where does the "traditional marriage" movement get off putting Ms. Alveda King out there while completely overlooking what Coretta felt so deeply in her bones?! We are talking about a movement that puts man/woman marriage on a pedestal like no other. So why are they so willing to act as if the Kings' marriage was one where husband and wife carried two separate agendas?! Why wouldn't they, the pro "marriage protectors," place the highest of premiums on the late Ms. King's pointed takeaways from her fifteen year marriage to Martin?! She surely learned a thing or two about the man with whom she shared life's most intimate moments. Where is the respect for the sanctity of the Kings' bond?!

The answer is of course obvious: the late Coretta Scott King's message of inclusivity runs 100% contrary to that for which the modern inequality movement stands and fights, so acknowledging it would be at this discriminatory movement's own organized peril. But while it's politically understandably, it's personally galling! In shutting out Coretta, this movement completely discredits the supposed value it places in the marital bed. In acting like MLK's beloved bride was but one more opinion blowing in the wind aside (or behind) others, they show how readily they exalt public perception above logical considerations.


*Or sometimes it's even more insulting. Check out around the 7:30 mark in this video, where Alveda discredits Coretta by saying that [paraphrase] "she didn't have Martin Luther King's DNA in her."

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