Recently Rev. Jesse Jackson, a pioneer in the civil rights movements for decades, gave his support for marriage equality. In a recent radio interview with SiriusXM OutQ, Rev. Jackson spoke of the evolution of what freedom meant for the past, present, and future:
“The culture has had to expand. For so long we thought it was a sin for blacks to have freedom. We thought it was a sin for black and white men and women to interrelate. We’ve grown in our appreciation of the fact that we live in our faith, and our faith may live under the law. All citizens deserve constitutional protections. You know, you have a right not to agree with interracial marriage but no one should be denied rights under the law.”
Rev. Jackson further elaborates high stance implying that marriage equality is a fundamental civil rights and relays his past experience in fighting for equal rights for African Americans in the 60s:
“They should not vote [against people’s civil rights. I remember in 1964, the dealbreaker then was, ‘Should we have the right of public accommodation [for blacks]?’ They tried to make blacks having public accommodations a single issue. At that time, race was the dealbreaker. But we’ve overcome that. I would hope that people would respect people’s basic fundamental rights. If you don’t believe in it, don’t engage in it. But don’t deny other people their basic civil rights.”
I love the fact the he discussed marriage equality as a civil right, not just a right being fought for by LGBT. I hope that more leaders, not only in the African American community but in general, adapt this mode of thought when expressing equality.