People have labeled me homophobic. If I was homophobic, I wouldn’t have friends who are gay and lesbian, so that can’t be true. But because I have a certain belief system, I am now the enemy. And I’m not the enemy. I have love for everybody, period. I don’t think it’s my role and responsibility to take on a platform unless God calls me to do it. That’s not something I feel called to do.
For many years, those in the LGBT community have felt betrayed by Bernice King’s public aversion toward gay and lesbian people even though her mother was an outspoken advocate and fierce ally for LGBT equality.
In 2004, Bernice King famously led a march alongside Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church of thousands through the streets of Atlanta to protest same-sex marriage.
Long, known for his anti-gay sermons and beliefs, later settled with four young men for a great deal of money after they sued him for sexually exploiting them. That scandal led Bernice King to leave New Birth — the same church where her mother’s funeral was held.
But in January 2012, Bernice King shocked LGBT people by including them in a speech at the annual MLK rally at the King Center as part of the city’s annual celebration of her father’s birthday. King, though, still seems to carry some kind of grudge against gay people. She also still opposes marriage equality but, apparently, will not work for policies and laws prohibiting same-sex marriages.
She tells Burns:
When my mother was living they tried to pit us against each other. I love my mother and she loved me. They couldn’t divide true love. We had good conversations concerning this whole issue. But I think we have to be careful in our nation that we don’t demonize everyone who doesn’t agree with us. … I value marriage between a man and woman. Spiritually I value that. Psychologically I value that. I know that the absence of my father in my life had its cost.
“So, your gay and lesbian friends, you wouldn’t want them to be able to marry?” Burns asks.
“I wouldn’t marry them. But I don’t dictate that. That’s society’s call,” King answers.
And society is leaning forward more and more each and every day for marriage equality.
What do you think of King’s thoughts on LGBT people?