The Right Reverend Dennis W. Wiley: “The Gay Rights Movement Is the Black Movement”
The Reverend Dr. Dennis W. Wiley, an African-American minister who has served for over twenty-five years as pastor of the Covenant Baptist Church in Washington, DC is using his deep understanding of the civil rights to help bridge the divide between some african americans and the LGBT community when it comes to issue of “civil rights”
Working with the The Center for American Progress, Wiley’s is writing a new series called “Gays Are Us” and it makes the case that LGBT rights are not a white issue and that, in fact, the LGBT movement is inextricably linked to the Black community’s struggle for civil rights.
Wiley says it’s time for all African-Americans to accept that we do have dominion over the quest for civil rights, and that it’s time to embrace those who face our same struggles: “It would seem to me that those of us who have been the victims of oppression and discrimination would be the last ones to facilitate the oppression and discrimination of others. As civil rights advocate Julian Bond once stated, ‘people of color ought to be flattered that our movement has provided so much inspiration for others.’”
Wiley states that the fact that there are still people out there trying to pervert the concept of civil rights and gay rights being championed by the church, saying that African-Americans shouldn’t embrace the LGBT movement and condemning those who do as sinners, is a shame. Black leaders who really did march with Dr. King is that gays and lesbians are deserving of Black support. Even Dr. King’s widow, Corretta, said as much. “There were gays and lesbians marching for Black rights from the very beginnings of the civil rights movement. Decades ago they stood by African-Americans. Now it’s time for African-Americans to stand by them”. As Wiley says, “LGBT equality is not a ‘white’ issue but an issue that affects each and every one of us. Or, to put it another way, ‘Gays are us.’”