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Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Choke on it, Rev. Hutcherson

Posted by on February 1 at 15:27 PM

Andrew Sullivan put this quote up on his website today…

“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 brother- and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people.

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 spreads all too easily to victimize the next minority group.

Gays and lesbians stood up for civil rights in Montgomery, Selma, in Albany, Georgia, and St. Augustine, Florida, and many other campaigns of the civil rights movement. Many of these courageous men and women were fighting for my freedom at a time when they could find few voices for their own, and I salute their contributions.” - Coretta Scott King, in 1999 at the 25th Anniversary luncheon for the Lambda Legal Defense Fund.

The Northwest’s own Rev. Hutcherson likes to scream that gays and lesbians have no right to refer to our movement for justice as a “civil rights movement,” or to compare our experience of oppression to the African American experience of oppression. I believe—and I’ve said, again and again, most recently on John Carlson’s talk show—that the gay experience and the African American experience are very, very different. (Some African Americans are gay, of course, and get to experience both forms of oppression.) Gays and lesbians have not been economically marginalized the way that African Americans have been; African Americans are not rejected by their families in the way that gays and lesbians have been.

But whether someone burns your house down or fires because they hate you for being gay or for being black, you’re still homeless and unemployed. The animus may have a different justification—racial bigotry, religious bigotry—but the suffering can be very similar. In both instances, the law should side with the oppressed, whether he’s gay or black or both.

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