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NAACP Hosts LGBT Town Hall At Nat’l Convention – NAACP President Ben Jealous Gets Defensive

 

The NAACP held its first ever LGBT Town Hall panel yesterday at its national convention in California. 

Panel hosts included Julian Bond chairman of the NAACP,  Benjamin Jealous the current president and chief executive of the NAACP, openly lesbian comedian Wanda Sykes, CNN’s Don Lemon and LGBT advocates of color.

No More Down Low TV covered the event and has a partial description:

The debate gets heated when the current NAACP president is asked how can the LGBT community take the NAACP seriously when its current board members are out saying that gay rights are not civil rights, referring to current NAACP board member Rev. Keith Ratliff recent statement: “Gay community, stop hijacking the civil rights movement.”

Julian Bond has always been a staunch straight forward supporter and a great friend  of gay marriage and LGBT Equality Rights movement.  Benjamin Jealous on the other hand where he does support LGBT Equality through the NAACP under his leadership has takes a combative stance  when he makes statements defending the NAACP when its pointed out that the NAACP has  board members across the country who preach anti-LGBT hate speech by saying that those board members “aren’t speaking for the NAACP” which is a well known copout separation that many try to use to cover homophobic hate within their organizations as to not deal with it or to offend anyone.

Jealous also accuses the LGBT community of coming to the black community late in the game with an expectation and not treating the community with the same respect as others. Saying the LGBT community needs to show up early, organize and build relationships in the community.  Ben Jealous would do well to remember that there are LGBT people of color and thus it should be the NAACP’s fight also for equality for those members of our community and “invitations” should not have to be sent. And that during the 1960’s a large percentage of those who supported and fought for black civil rights were indeed lesbian and gay individuals but at that time in history were in the closet and go unrecognized.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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