"This discrimination is wrong. We cannot keep turning our backs on gay and lesbian Americans. I have fought too hard and too long against discrimination based on race and color not to stand up against discrimination based on sexual orientation. I've heard the reasons for opposing civil marriage for same-sex couples. Cut through the distractions, and they stink of the same fear, hatred, and intolerance I have known in racism and in bigotry."- GA Rep. John Lewis
Over forty pastors united in Chicago this past MLK holiday in conjuction with the Illinois Family Institute to denounce the recent passage of the state's civil unions bill providing marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples.
Rev. Al Cleveland of Rohoboth Empowerment Christian Church in Bensenville, Illinois spoke out fervently against marriage equality and seized the opportunity and the backdrop of MLK's legacy to denounce gay rights as civil rights.
"I'm a black man made by God. Race is race and gender will always be gender. Choice will always mean to choose. Civil unions is not a civil right," said Cleveland to thunderous applause by his constituents.
'Gay marriage is a conundrum. To sanction either of the two would be insanity," he added.
We've heard this argument before and while comparing the gay rights movement to the black civil rights movement is problematic for some the similarities cannot be denied. What frustrates me more than the outright oppression of LGBT people by those who were once oppressed (and continue to be in some aspects) is the blatant disregard for black LGBT people that fought and died during the civil rights movement and who are still catching hell today.
Black LGBT's have got to step up and counter these insane arguments from our own who are discrediting our contributions to both movements and the black community today.
Watch Rev. Cleveland's vomit worthy diatribe below: