Celebrating MLK's legacy: Is gay the new black?

by Brandon Richards bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - As the nation pauses to pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, the gay community is also reflecting on the late civil rights leader's legacy.

In fact, many gay rights groups believe if King were alive today, he'd be supporting their movement. However, others disagree with that notion.

King never spoke publicly about gay rights, so he may have taken his views on the matter to his grave. However, King's late wife, Coretta Scott King, often said her husband would have been a gay rights proponent.

Adam Manuel and B. Kari Moore, both with Lake Charles Pride,  say it's ridiculous for anyone to view King's speeches about Civil Rights and not think his words apply to the modern gay rights movement.

"I personally believe that his message isn't just for one minority or the other," said Manuel. "It is an inspiration for all minorities."

"It's childish to take Dr. King's vision and his words and segregate it to one type of minority," said Moore. "I believe that he would not only be a huge support of gay rights, or equal rights, but he would be frustrated and upset that people would take the message of equality and segregate it off."

It should not come as a complete surprise that the gay and black communities are largely divided over King's legacy in regards to whether he would support the modern gay rights movement. Black Americans have historically held conservative views on social issues, particularly regarding gay marriage, a fact that was exposed following the approval of Proposition 8, which overturned gay marriage, in California in 2008.

Lake Charles Pride is the largest gay rights group in Southwest Louisiana. The organization held Lake Charles' first gay pride festival in 2009.

For more information, you can email the group at lcpride@gmail.com.

You can also find additional information about the group on their Facebook page.

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