The tide may be shifting in favor of full equality for gay and lesbian Americans but that still hasn't stopped the opposition from standing in the way of progress. One such organization is the New Jersey based National Organization for Marriage (NOM) currently on a nationwide tour to promote "traditional marriage" between "one man and one woman".
The previous stops have been plagued with low attendance and cries of (false) attacks by gay marriage proponents. Dr. Alveda King, niece of civil rights icon Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has agreed to speak during the Atlanta stop on the tour scheduled for August 7, 2010 at the state capitol.
But it looks as if NOM is saving the coup de grace for the last stop on their hate tour with a special performance by Grammy winning gospel star Karen Clark Sheard. Yep, you read right.
Sheard is known for her amazing vocal ability and multi-octave range. A former member of the gospel group The Clark Sisters, Sheard and her siblings are often credited for blending the sound of popular music with gospel, most notably on the 80's hit "You Brought The Sunshine". Sheard's brand of gospel music along with her daughter's, gospel sensation Kiera Sheard is no stranger to gays and lesbians and can be frequently heard inside gay clubs.
If there was any doubt regarding where Sheard stood on LGBT rights, despite being apart of an industry and a religious denomination overflowing with gay and lesbian people, her upcoming performance in support of stripping a segment of the American population of their civil rights will deliver a strong answer.
It never fails that large (mostly white) anti-gay organizations will always find a person of color to help promote their agenda, and because so many of us think we've already overcome and our rights as African-Americans won't be up for popular vote next we take the bait. Karen Clark Sheard's participation in NOM's hate rally...and that's exactly what it is no matter how they try to disguise it... is a disgrace!
Karen you don't have to agree with gay marriage simply don't have one. You can cite your religious beliefs as reason why you disagree with marriage equality, but your religious beliefs should in no way dictate the laws in a secular society that will create two classes of people, those who have full equality and protections under the law and those who do not.
It's a sad day when a voice that has the power to heal and unite people is being used as a weapon of mass destruction, but of course in the most loving hypocritically Christian way possible. Love the sinner but hate the sin, right?
Sheard is scheduled to perform on August 15, 2010 at 2PM on the Capitol Steps in Washington, DC.
Update: NOM is no longer advertising Karen Clark Sheard's appearance. NOM's website now only lists Deitrick Haddon for August 15.