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Anti-gay Manhattan Declaration hijacks The Civil Rights Movement; snips LBJ's anti-discrimination speech, makes it pro-

by Jeremy Hooper

This is what President Lyndon B. Johnson (D) really said:

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 At 6.11.07 Pm Perhaps most important--its influence radiating to every part of life--is the breakdown of the Negro family structure. For this, most of all, white America must accept responsibility. It flows from centuries of oppression and persecution of the Negro man. It flows from the long years of degradation and discrimination, which have attacked his dignity and assaulted his ability to produce for his family.

This, too, is not pleasant to look upon. But it must be faced by those whose serious intent is to improve the life of all Americans.

Only a minority--less than half--of all Negro children reach the age of 18 having lived all their lives with both of their parents. At this moment, tonight, little less than two-thirds are at home with both of their parents. Probably a majority of all Negro children receive federally-aided public assistance sometime during their childhood.

The family is the cornerstone of our society. More than any other force it shapes the attitude, the hopes, the ambitions, and the values of the child. And when the family collapses it is the children that are usually damaged. When it happens on a massive scale the community itself is crippled.

So, unless we work to strengthen the family, to create conditions under which most parents will stay together--all the rest: schools, and playgrounds, and public assistance, and private concern, will never be enough to cut completely the circle of despair and deprivation.

LBJ, speaking to Howard University on 6/4/65

The Democratic president's point, there during those heady civil rights days, was that a majority's subjugation ("oppression and persecution"; "degradation and discrimination") of this minority population led to an environment where families were struggling to thrive. LBJ was speaking directly to the majority ("white America must accept responsibility") telling them to STOP the nonsense and start coming together to build up families of good will.

But now get this little egregious turn. The rabidly anti-gay Manhattan Declaration—a divisive project of NOM co-founder Robby George, the late Chuck Colson, and a number of other prominent voices of anti-LGBT discrimination—is using a snippet from the above LBJ speech to support their own modern day push for degradation and discrimination of certain kinds of families:

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 At 6.02.30 Pm
[Manhattan Declaration]

Here we have a president (and Democrat, to boot) who was standing up against the discrimination of his day, calling out those who have kept a certain population of people down and back. Yet here we have a team of conservatives (and largely Republican, of course) who have pretty much defined the past decade of their movement with hyperbolic phrases about what another minority population is supposedly going to do to marriage acting as if they are the ones carrying LBJ's torch? As if they are the ones who are fighting oppression?

Disgusting. And wrong. And desperate.

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