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martin luther king jr
same sex marriage
civil rights movement
What Did Martin Luther King Jr Think About Gay Rights: Two Books May Shed Light On The Topic
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What Did Martin Luther King Jr Think About Gay Rights: Two Books May Shed Light on the Topic

There is but one instance in which the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. made mention of homosexuality at all, and in that instance, he was not clearly for or against it. The topic of how the Reverend would have felt about same sex marriage and gay rights has come up not only because of the holiday that bears his name but also because of two new books that are about to be released. The books, both written by the same author will touch on the subject of how civil rights may have impacted the gay rights movement.

According to the author of the books " I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin's Life in Letters" and "Keeping it Straight? Martin Luther King Jr, Homosexuality and Gay Rights" there are no definitive examples of how King felt about homosexuality or the rights of gay people to marry. Author Michael Long drew information from letters that were exchanged with Bayard Rustin and a number of other people. Rustin, an openly gay civil rights leader worked as a special assistant for King and was credited with the organization of the 1963 March on Washington. Others within the civil rights movement called on Rustin to either step down or be removed from his high profile role, but King refused to do so. For his own part, Rustin never made an issue of his sexuality, focusing instead on civil rights.

King's own daughter, Reverend Bernice King has made her own views very public. In 2005, she as well as a number of others, called for a constitutional ban on same sex marriage during a march to her father's graveside. She would later add that she did not believe that her father took a bullet or gay rights or same sex marriage. But, King's widow, Coretta Scott King has a completely different stance on the topic. Not only is Mrs. King a vocal supporter for all gay rights, one of her closest aides was also gay.

There has been no record, either private or publicly of Martin Luther King, Jr. condemning gay people in any way. There is no mention of homosexuality in speeches or in sermons of any kind nor are there any instances where he made mention of gays and gay rights in private conversations which were bugged and monitored closely. There remains only the one instance when he gave advice to a young man. The year was 1958 and Martin Luther King Jr. was writing an advice column for Ebony Magazine when he was asked about feelings. His answer was vague but gently worded, careful to keep the boy from feeling bad about himself.


Street Talk

Wrong. said it was probably culturally aquired (developed as a result of suroundings), not an innate tendency (born with it). He also said "deal with this problem", suggested seeing a psychiatrist, and that the writer was "on the right road toward a solution" of his "problem". Looks like a pretty clear direction to me. At no time did I suggest he condemned or condoned.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I disagree, he didn't give an opinion in either direction, merely telling the boy that his feelings were not uncommon and probably culturally acquired. He didn't condemn nor condone the boy and offered no hint of his own personal feelings.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

The end of this article is extremely misleading. MLK Jr was not asked about mere "feelings" and his answer was not vague. It was from his January 1958 column in Ebony Magazine. We are not allowed to post links here, so Google "Advice for Living (1957-1958)" It's the Stanford link. He was pretty clear.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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