Long, Michael G. “Martin Luther King Jr., Homosexuality, and the Early Gay Rights Movement”, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.
King and Our Community
Martin Luther King Jr. never spoke for or against gay rights but his dedication to the civil rights movement is legendary and his words have been used in our struggle. His wife, Coretta, spoke his words when she campaigned for gay right and his daughter Bernice spoke them when she publicly rejected to same-sex marriage. It makes for an interesting situation when mother and child do not agree and there has been controversy over King’s legacy as it relates to gay rights.
Martin Luther King Jr. gave us a dream and we dared to dream it—a dream of a world that is better than the one we live in. He wanted a world of peace, justice and love. This book looks at the relationship between race, religion and the LGBT community. Michael G. Long has done extensive research and we do read some of King’s own words about homosexuality as well he treated Bayard Rustin, his openly gay colleague. However King has also propelled by his religion which really has no place for gay rights yet his own personal philosophy transcended that.
For decades, King’s words and legacy have been used on and by both sides of the gay rights debate. Now we can learn what King thought about homosexuality and gay rights. This book can change the entire nature of the debate. This is a very valuable book and while it is quite expensive, it gives us the information that we have not had for a very long time. The table of contents shows how important this book is:
Introduction: Keeping the Dream Straight?
PART ONE: KINGS IN CONFLICT
‘It’s Consistent with His Philosophy’:
Coretta Scott King’s Advocacy for Gay Rights.
‘He Did Not Take a Bullet for Same-Sex Unions’:
Bernice King’s March Against Same-Sex Marriage.
PART TWO: KING IN CONTEXT
Your Problem Is Not At All an Uncommon One’
King, Psychiatrists, and the Problem of Homosexuality’.
I Am Fundamentally a Clergyman’: King, Theologians, and the Sin of Homosexuality’.
He Praised Him for His Ability and Contacts’: King’s Relationship with Bayard Rustin.
PART THREE: CIVIL RIGHTS AND GAY RIGHTS
From Black to Gay: King’s Concern about Discrimination Against Gays
From King to Kameny—and Coretta
A Final Conclusion Afterword: Archbishop Desmond Tutu