Julian Bond on Gay Rights and the Black Community

Julian Bond, the long time civil rights crusader and current chairman of the NAACP, is been an ardent supporter of gay rights. As noted in wikipedia,

Bond has been an outspoken supporter of the rights of gays and lesbians. He has publicly stated his support for same-sex marriage. Most notably he boycotted the funeral services for Coretta Scott King on the grounds that the King children had chosen an anti-gay megachurch. This was in contradiction to their mother’s longstanding support for the rights of gay and lesbian people.

In a 2005 speech in Richmond, VA, Bond stated: “African Americans … were the only Americans who were enslaved for two centuries, but we were far from the only Americans suffering discrimination then and now. … Sexual disposition parallels race. I was born this way. I have no choice. I wouldn’t change it if I could. Sexuality is unchangeable.”

In a 2007 speech on the Martin Luther King Day Celebration at Clayton State University in Morrow, GA, Bond said, “If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t get gay married.” His positions have pitted elements of the NAACP against religious groups in the Black Civil Rights movement who oppose gay marriage…

Bond was recently interviewed by the student newspaper of Macalester College, and had this to say on the subject of gay rights and the black community:

Q: You’ve taken a very progressive stance on gay rights. Does gay rights fit under the larger umbrella of civil rights?

Bond: Sure.

Q: How would you gauge your organization’s success so far in conveying that message to its supporters?

Bond: It’s been mixed because most of our members and supporters are African American. They tend to be very conservative on these kinds of social issues. Many are tremendously religious, and their religion instructs some of them that homosexuality is wrong. I think we’ve tried to approach it by saying, “I’m not asking you to give up your religion, I’m asking you not to impose your religion on other people.” We have mixed success with this because you know some religious people think they can impose their religion on everybody. And they can’t.

And check out this related story from Jasmyne Cannick of the urbanthoughtcollective.com blog: The SCLC Fight Against Gay Marriage: a No Win Situation.

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