Saddened by the news that Martin Luther King’s daughter Bernice King led a march to her father’s grave which, among other things, promoted a constitutional amendment stating that marriage be defined as man/woman. Bernice King is leveraging her father’s legacy not to promote civil rights, but to work against them.
King’s widow Corretta Scott King has stated that “King would be a champion of gay rights if he were alive.” In fact, she has specifically called gay marriage a civil rights issue, and has denounced proposed amendments to ban it. SF Chronicle:
The Rev. Bernice King and march organizers deliberately chose King’s resting place in Atlanta to imply that he would have stood with them. But Martin Luther King’s uncompromising battle against discrimination during his life — and his persistent refusal to distance himself from a well-known gay civil rights leader — show that King never would have endorsed an anti-gay campaign.
To me, this looks like a triple slap in the face: A black woman fighting against civil rights, indirectly speaking for her father when he can’t speak for himself, and waging her war of hatred at her father’s grave site.
A friend recently made the point that the fight for black/civil rights is not a good analogy to the fight for gay rights because race is truly a fact of birth, while the question of whether homosexuality is a fact of birth or choice is open for debate. I’d counter by saying that only non-gays believe this question is up for debate — I’ve certainly never met a gay person who felt they chose the path without feeling an inner/natural draw. If there are gays who don’t think they were more or less “born gay,” they’re very rare.
But whether protestors of Bernice King’s march are right or wrong in drawing the comparison between civil and gay rights does not change the fact that she is almost certainly misrepresenting her father, and has acted disingenuously by hanging a personal agenda on her father’s grave.