Over the weekend, thousands of gay and lesbian activists were in Detroit for "Creating Change" the National Conference on LGBT Equality from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Legendary civil rights activist and NAACP Chairman Julian Bond opened the conference with an emotional and moving speech on the intersection between the struggle for racial equality and the movement for full LGBT equality.
The speech is on You Tube. Partial transcript:
Sometimes it is the simplest of acts, sitting at a lunch counter, going to a new school, applying for a marriage license, casting a vote, that can challenge the way we can act or think. That's why when I am asked if gay rights are civil rights, I say, 'Of course they are.' [Applause]
Civil rights are positive legal prerogatives. The right for equal treatment before the law. These are rights for everyone. There is no one in the United States who should not share these these rights. Rights for gays and lesbians are not "special rights" in any way. It is not special to be free from discrimination.That is an ordinary, universal entitlement. [Applause]
That man had to struggle to gain these rights are precious. It does not make them special in any way.... The more civil rights that are earned by others, the stronger the arm defending my civil rights. If my neighbor gains civil rights in any way, it does not dilute my rights. [Applause]
Bond forcefully argues against some black leaders who see no similarities in the struggle, reminding them that discrimination against anyone is unfair, and, "our skin colors and sexual orientations are immutable."
Rod 2.0 readers should be familiar with Julian Bond's excellent record on LGBT rights. He has forcefully argued for LGBT rights, advocated increased HIV testing throughout the black community, and, stood against marrriage amendments in Virginia and in Florida. The NAACP also took a proactive lead in the fight for a trans-inclusive ENDA, and, is on the right side of the legislative and court challenges for marriage equality in Maryland and California. Julian Bond has argued Martin Luther King Jr "would stand as his widow stood—in favor of" gay rights and did not attend the funeral of Coretta Scott King that was officiated by the anti-gay Bishop Eddie L. Long: "I knew her attitude toward gay and lesbian rights. And I just couldn't imagine that she'd want to be in that church with a minister who was a raving homophobe."
More JULIAN BOND
You May Have Missed ...
"MLK Would Favor" Gay Rights [R20]
Live Blog: Coretta Scott King Funeral [Rod 2.0]
News: Racist Ads Target Ford, Bill and Julian [R20]
News: Dirty Laundry, NAACP, Julian Bond, Hillary, Janet [R20]
Julian Bond Denounces Amendement [Rod 2.0]
Platinum Bond [Keith Boykin]
Is Bishop Eddie Long Gay? [Jasmyne Cannick]