What did MLK think about gay people?
We know what Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. thought about race, but what about gay rights? His life and his sermons offers clues, some say.
January 16th, 2012
07:00 AM ET

What did MLK think about gay people?

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN)– Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was writing an advice column in 1958 for Ebony magazine when he received an unusual letter.

“I am a boy,” an anonymous writer told King. “But I feel about boys the way I ought to feel about girls. I don't want my parents to know about me. What can I do?”

In calm, pastoral tones, King told the boy that his problem wasn’t uncommon, but required “careful attention.”

“The type of feeling that you have toward boys is probably not an innate tendency, but something that has been culturally acquired,” King wrote. “You are already on the right road toward a solution, since you honestly recognize the problem and have a desire to solve it.”

We know what King thought about race, poverty and war. But what was his attitude toward gay people, and if he was alive today would he see the gay rights movement as another stage of the civil rights movement?

That’s not the type of question most people will consider on this Monday as the nation celebrates King’s national holiday. Yet the debate over King’s stance toward gay rights has long divided his family and followers. That debate is poised to go public again because of the upcoming release of two potentially explosive books, one of which examines King’s close relationship with an openly gay civil rights leader, Bayard Rustin.

The author of both books says King’s stance on gay rights is unclear because the Ebony advice column may be the only public exchange on record where he touches on the morality of homosexuality.

Yet King would have been a champion of gay rights today because of his view of Christianity, says Michael Long, author of, “I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin’s Life in Letters,” who shared the story of King’s Ebony letter.

“Dr. King never publicly welcomed gays at the front gate of his beloved community. But he did leave behind a key for them - his belief that each person is sacred, free and equal to all to others,” says Long, also author of the upcoming “Keeping it straight? Martin Luther King, Jr., Homosexuality, and Gay Rights.”

Did King’s dream include gay people?

One person close to King, though, would disagree.

Rev. Bernice King led a march to her father’s graveside in 2005 while calling for a constitutional ban on gay marriage. She was joined by Bishop Eddie Long, senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Church in Georgia, where she served as an elder at the time. Long, who recently settled out of court with four young men who filed lawsuits claiming he coerced them into sexual relationships, publicly condemned homosexuality.

King did not answer an interview request, but she has spoken publicly about her views.

During a speech at a church meeting in New Zealand, she said her father “did not take a bullet for same-sex marriage.”

Yet her mother, Coretta Scott King, was a vocal supporter of gay rights. One of her closest aides was gay. She also invoked her husband’s dream.

Ravi Perry, a political science professor at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, said King’s widow once said in a public speech that everyone who believed in her husband’s dream should “make room at the table of brother and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people.”

There is no private or public record of King condemning gay people, Perry says. Even the FBI’s surveillance of King’s private phone conversations didn’t turn up any moment where King disparaged gay people, she says.

“If Dr. King were anti-gay, there would likely be a sermon, a speech, a recording of some kind indicating such,” she says. “And knowing how closely his phones were tapped; surely there would be a record of such statements.”

Those who say King did not condemn gays and would have supported gay rights today point to King’s theology.

Though King was a Christian minister, he didn’t embrace a literal reading of the Bible that condemns homosexuality, some historians say. King’s vision of the Beloved Community – his biblical-rooted vision of humanity transcending its racial and religious differences – expanded people’s rights, not restricted them, they say.

Rev. C.T. Vivian, who worked with King at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, says King would have championed gay rights today.

“Martin was a theologian,” Vivian says. “Martin starts with the fact that God loves everybody, and all men and all women were created by God. He based his whole philosophy on God’s love for all people.”

King’s relationship with ‘Brother Bayard’

Those who say King would have championed gay rights also point to King’s treatment of one of the movement’s most important leaders, Bayard Rustin.

Rustin was an openly gay civil rights leader who is widely credited with organizing the 1963 March on Washington. He was an organizational genius, the man who insisted that King speak last on the program, giving his “I Have a Dream” speech the resonance it would not have had otherwise, says Jerald Podair, author of “Bayard Rustin: American Dreamer.”

“He was the kind of guy who could tell you how many portable toilets you needed for 250,000 people in a demonstration," Podair says. “He was a details guy. King needed him for that march.”

But Rustin could do more than arrange a demonstration. He was also a formidable thinker and debater. He was born to a 15-year-old single mother and never graduated from college.

The movement was led by intellectual heavyweights like King, but even among them, Rustin stood out, Podair says. He read everything and was a visionary. One aide to President Lyndon Johnson described him as one of the five smartest men in America, says Podair, a history professor at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.

“People who heard him speak were transfixed,” Podair says.

Rustin became one of the movement’s most eloquent defenders of its nonviolent philosophy, says Saladin Ambar, a political scientist at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.

“He was one of the few individuals not afraid to debate with Malcolm X in public,” Ambar says. “Rustin more than held his own and really challenged Malcolm to push his thinking.”

Rustin was a special assistant to King and once headed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. During the planning of the March on Washington, King resisted calls to jettison Rustin because he was gay, Podair says.

King, though, didn’t speak out on behalf of gay rights because he was doing all he could to hold the movement together, historians say.

He had to constantly fend off rumors that the movement was infiltrated by communists. He was also criticized for expanding the movement to take on poverty and oppose the Vietnam War.

“The movement superseded any discussion of gay rights,” Ambar says. “King was dedicated to the cause at hand.”

With all that was going on, King couldn’t afford to wage a public campaign defending Rustin’s homosexuality, says Vivian, a SCLC colleague of King’s.

“Any employee that would employ a gay person at the time who was outwardly gay would have problems,” Vivian says. “I don’t care if you were the president of the Untied Sates, you would have trouble doing that.”

After the 1963 March on Washington, Rustin remained as King’s adviser. The two, however, drifted apart when King became more radical during the last three years of his life, says Adair, Rustin’s biographer.

When Rustin died in 1987, he was starting to receive attention from gay and lesbian activists who linked civil rights with gay rights, Podair says.

Rustin was a late convert to their cause.

“He never put it [homosexuality] front and center,” Podair says. “He never politicized it until the end of his life. He didn’t want to make a big deal out of it.”

It’s no longer unusual today for gay and lesbian activists to draw parallels between their struggles and King’s legacy. Vivian, King’s SCLC colleague, says the comparison is apt.

“There was a time when black people were afraid to be themselves among white people,” he says. “You had to fit a stereotype in order to be accepted. They’re going through the same thing but now they feel better about themselves.”

Vivian says the movement shouldn’t be limited to race.

“As we were freeing up black people, we’re freeing up the whole society.”

Long, author of the upcoming books on King and Rustin, says King’s vision transcended his personal limitations. Maybe he could have said more to that anonymous boy who wrote him at Ebony. But he did leave him a key to the Beloved Community– even if he didn’t realize it at the time, Long says.

Now, Long says, it’s up to those who claim King today to use that key.

“A turn of that key and a gentle push on the gate, swinging it wide open so everyone can enter into the Beloved Community,” he says. “That’s the best way to advance the legacy of Martin Luther King.”

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Black issues • Christianity • Church • Culture wars • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Leaders • Uncategorized

soundoff (1,986 Responses)
  1. Willie The Pimp

    Hi Yellow babys are ugly and smell like burnt collared greens.

    January 17, 2012 at 7:07 am |
  2. Your local Darkie

    Good Morning!! Im taking a Shyt for Martin.

    January 17, 2012 at 7:05 am |
  3. Katie

    What a stupid question... It was a different era and there was a different belief system.. CNN, can you publish articles any more ignorant than this??????

    January 17, 2012 at 5:58 am |
  4. Robyn Harris

    We can just as easily attack Jefferson's position on slavery.
    We are all products of our times and none of us are perfect.
    But it is the striving to better ourselves and to free ourselves
    From the harmful and hurtful ideas and limitations that we
    grew up with that demonstrates our capacity for growth
    and humanity. Helping the better angels of our natures to
    triumph over a past of hate and intolerance is never an
    easy fight. But I am pretty sure no one ever promised
    following the path of the right and the just would be easy.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:38 am |
    • MikeM

      Are you saying that believing that gays are OK is growth? Next thing we know pedophilia is OK.

      January 17, 2012 at 7:11 am |
    • David Smith


      There is a significant difference between what two consenting adult humans do and what one adult human does to one minor human. There are people who are not hetero – get over it. Those people have just as much right to the pursuit of happiness as we heteros do, as long as they are adults. I do believe marriage should be restricted to just two people, but other than that, as long as they are human people (not corporation people) and adult, I really don't care what their gender is.

      January 17, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • TR6

      MikeM:” Next thing we know pedophilia is OK.”

      Well the catholic church certainly seems to have gone in that direction

      January 17, 2012 at 11:41 am |
  5. Stacey

    MLK's ideas were relevant for that particular era. I think it's unfair to pick apart what he said that many years ago and try to make him out to be a bad guy. He was progressive in many ways and was obviously groundbreaking in civil rights movements, which now, includes gays. By the way, he has a right to not agree with whatever he feels he doesn't agree with.

    January 17, 2012 at 4:16 am |
    • roger

      What a spin. The only comment MLK is known to have written on the subject and he states that the lust for same gender is socially acquired (not an inclination of nature) and is a problem that can be resolved. No MLK wasn't one to champion perverts as if they were a biological genre same as ethnicity.

      January 17, 2012 at 5:42 am |
    • Gizzy

      Yes Roger, the only thing he ever wrote on the subject – in 1958.

      Fifty four years ago.

      How many other misconceptions did we hold 54 years ago?

      I mean, gosh – 1958 – 10 years before Loving v. Virginia was settled, A time when people insisted that God did not want the races to mix. A time when we threw people in jail for miscegenation. A time when we still thought it was ok to test harmful medical experiments on mentally disabled individuals.

      The list of errors in commonly held ideas that we have since learned more about is lengthy and detailed...

      People once thought the earth was flat, that the moon was made of cheese and that the sun revolved around the earth.

      That didn't make them correct, no matter how intelligent and worldly and well-respected those who espoused those ideas at the time may have been.

      January 17, 2012 at 6:12 am |
    • Truamerikan

      Morality doesn't change though the ages. What's wrong is wrong and what's right is right. Granted that there have been many scientific breakthroughs that have changed over the years. But being morally straight. NO. That has not changed.

      January 17, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • TR6

      Truamerikan::”Morality doesn't change though the ages. What's wrong is wrong and what's right is right.”

      A few hundred years ago It was not only morally correct to burn people alive for practicing witchcraft. It was your moral responsibility fully sanctioned, approved and indulged in by the Christian churchs

      January 17, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  6. JS

    “The type of feeling that you have toward boys is probably not an innate tendency, but something that has been culturally acquired,” King wrote. “You are already on the right road toward a solution, since you honestly recognize the problem and have a desire to solve it.”
    Dr. King was CLEARLY saying that being gay is not an inborn trait but a learned behavior, ie. an aberration. He even went on to say that it requires solving and is thus a DEVIATION. Anyone who interprets this any other way obviously does not utilize basic reasoning skills and/or WANTS it to mean something else. Do not warp this man's speech to suit your need to justify your perversions. It's bad enough to life this lifestyle, but don't go and attempt to legitimize it. That's like a smoker trying to justify his habit saying that's it's natural for him to inhale smoke.

    January 17, 2012 at 2:21 am |
    • Merde

      He said "PROBABLY" you nitwit! And who cares what he said anyway? Shall we bring up a conversation he had in grade school? Complaints to his friends and family about how stupid some of his followers were?
      The man did a good job of getting things going for a lot of people with the help of his friends, many of whom were gay.
      I really don't care what he said about gay people because it just isn't relevant now. You should have asked him when he was alive, but even that wouldn't mean much. He's famous for fighting crazy people. He was a little crazy about a few things himself. But none of that is relevant now at all. This digging up of old personal crap that's no one else's business is just a bunch of crap and gossip. What a bunch of old ladies. clucking over a non-relevant player and an obsolete mindset is just a waste of time.

      January 17, 2012 at 2:50 am |
    • RusTnuts

      A little testy merd?...lol

      January 17, 2012 at 2:57 am |
    • Merde

      Just a little. That caps button is the only thing to accent words with. Talking to crazy people on the internet. What a waste of time. I'm outa here. Don't forget to check your testicles for lumps. Your brain cancer may have spread down into your crotch.
      Sayonoara, chump.

      January 17, 2012 at 3:05 am |
    • sam

      It's so great that you can interpret exactly what he was saying better than anyone else! I should subscribe to your newsletter. You seem so brilliant and insightful.

      January 17, 2012 at 3:18 am |
    • RusTnuts

      Leaving so soon cupcake? what a shame....buh bye.

      January 17, 2012 at 3:20 am |
    • sam

      RusT, are you still waiting for your mom to unlock the netnanny?

      January 17, 2012 at 3:21 am |
    • RusTnuts

      Sam...your girlfriend had enough. Must have been your mommy fixation.

      January 17, 2012 at 3:27 am |
    • sam

      RusT, that's junior league BS. Come on, you puss. You kiss your inflatable doll with that mouth?

      January 17, 2012 at 3:43 am |
    • RusTnuts

      Calm down cupcake...maybe MLK will show you the approval you seek one day. Oh wait, he's dead. C'est la vie.

      January 17, 2012 at 3:58 am |
    • sam

      That makes zero sense. Plus, what kind of guy says 'cupcake'?

      January 17, 2012 at 4:03 am |
    • RusTnuts

      You still here cupcake? Still imagining yourself a 40 year old woman are you?

      January 17, 2012 at 4:18 am |
    • JohnR

      Learned behaviors are by definition aberrations?

      Anyway, King had no expertise on the subject whatsoever. What he thought doesn't really matter. It's as silly as wondering who Vince Lombardi would think will win this year's Super Bowl. Neither King nor Lombardi have the info we have today.

      January 17, 2012 at 7:05 am |
  7. jimmer

    Why in the world would anybody write something like this .....was the writer being punished for something by the editor?

    January 17, 2012 at 2:03 am |
  8. pogojo

    gay rights? I dont understand what rights i have as a strait person, that someone who is gay does not? Nither of us can marry someone of our own gender, so its not equal rights, its more rights.

    January 17, 2012 at 1:42 am |
    • HellBent

      Similar arguments were made against interracial marriage. Doesn't make it any less bigoted. You'll soon be on the losing side of history.

      January 17, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • sam

      Well, as a strait person, I would recommend the Strait of Juan de Fuca as a fantastic vacation spot. However, there are many straits to choose from.

      January 17, 2012 at 1:44 am |
    • pogojo

      blocking interracial marriage was wrong, a man has the right to marry a woman, everyone has that right, but the gay thing has never been a right. noone has this right, its not equal rights its more rights you are after.

      January 17, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • HellBent

      Wow, are you really that dumb. Here, let me spell it out for you:

      "Whose rights are being denied? I don't understand what rights I have as a white person are being denied to a black person. Neither of us can marry outside of our race."

      Your hatred is blinding you to your bigotry. How sad that it's all just ignorance based upon some ancient text that says its equally as evil to wear poly-cotton blends. But I guess you feel better about yourself telling others who they have to live their lives, when their lives have no affect on yours.

      January 17, 2012 at 1:51 am |
    • pogojo

      lol calling me names, does not do anything lol

      January 17, 2012 at 1:53 am |
    • HellBent

      And pointing out your flawed, hateful, ignorant logic goes right over your head. Sad.

      January 17, 2012 at 1:54 am |
    • pogojo

      I agree the whole color thing was wrong, but there is no right that i have that a gay does not, thats all im trying to say.

      January 17, 2012 at 1:55 am |
    • sam

      Where is the cognitive dissonance happening for you? Everyone has a slot A and tab B. You can get any parts to interlock. Is that what you're having trouble with? The physical? Or the emotional? Anyone can love anyone and want anyone. Close your eyes and click your heels together and think real, real hard.

      January 17, 2012 at 1:55 am |
    • pogojo

      im talking rights, not tabs and slots lol

      January 17, 2012 at 1:57 am |
    • fundie xtian translator

      "blocking interracial marriage was wrong"

      translates to:

      I know I'm essentially advocating the same thing, but I'll look bad if I admit it. So I'll wave my hands and wish really hard and then maybe it will be different.

      January 17, 2012 at 1:57 am |
    • pogojo

      what people do behind closed doors is noones problem, its just when you bring it out on the street and shout it, that people question the choice.

      January 17, 2012 at 1:58 am |
    • sam

      ::facepalm:: You can get married if you want. Ga.ys can't. Do you understand? People who love each other only get to marry if they're opposite se.xes. That's dumb. Bread good, fire bad. How can we break this down further?

      January 17, 2012 at 1:58 am |
    • HellBent

      "I agree the whole color thing was wrong, but there is no right that i have that a gay does not, thats all im trying to say."

      You have the right to marry the person that you love. A gay person does not. Why do you care – how would it affect you? My marriage wouldn't be affected in the least if a gay person were granted the same rights that I already enjoy, so why would I prevent two loving people from getting married? I don't need to put others down to prop myself up.

      January 17, 2012 at 2:00 am |
    • pogojo

      you have the right to marry someone also, just needs to be the other gender.

      January 17, 2012 at 2:02 am |
    • HellBent

      "what people do behind closed doors is noones problem, its just when you bring it out on the street and shout it, that people question the choice."

      The same argument was made against interracial marriage. This att.itude sickens me. If you met any of my gay friends on the street, you wouldn't have the slightest clue they were gay. Your hatred and bigotry is sickening. But you're on the wrong side of history. People will soon view you the way they view people that opposed interracial marriage – because your views and arguments are identical. It's just fear and ignorance used to hold on to some pathetic view of superiority.

      January 17, 2012 at 2:04 am |
    • HellBent

      "You have the right to marry someone, just needs to be of the same race"

      Substi.tute race for gender in all of your arguments and hopefully you can see how closed-minded they are.

      I am married to someone of the opposite gender. I don't seek to deny the rights that I enjoy to my friends who are attracted to those of the same s.ex. But I don't have the same hangups that you do.

      January 17, 2012 at 2:07 am |
    • sam

      Um....'needs to be the other gender' based on what reasoning, exactly? Where is your logic base coming from? Why do you think it needs to be an opposite gender for marriage to be viable? What convinces you of this? I'm asking. I'm really asking.

      January 17, 2012 at 2:09 am |
    • Eor

      I'm a bit of a prude and do not care to see other people, regardless of orientation, kissing or otherwise making out in public.
      That's just common courtesy. It's rude to flaunt your physical relationship in public. Not everyone has a partner or friend with them at all times. If we need to see heavy breathing stuff we can always surf for pron. Keep it in your pants and bedrooms people. I don't care who you are. I want gays to have the same rights as everyone else. That means the common restrictions on social displays of physical affection. Remember the majority of people do not have any hope of happiness.

      January 17, 2012 at 2:29 am |
    • Merde

      Some people are psychotic about anything to do with S3X. Totally insane because they are so s3xually repressed. How sad.

      January 17, 2012 at 2:52 am |
    • Dakota2000

      I guess my innocent question is: How does it hurt anyone if two gay people get married to each other?

      And then the followup question, if it doesn't hurt anyone, why should it be illegal?

      January 17, 2012 at 3:06 am |
    • sam

      Dakota, you're employing basic sense and mercy. That's apparently not allowed, here.

      January 17, 2012 at 3:23 am |
    • Gizzy

      Let me see if I can put this in a context you can relate to, pogojo...

      In the United States, our Bill of Rights states, in part, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"

      Read literally, you have the right to free exercise of religion, and Congress can make no law which either establishes a religion or prohibits you from freely exercising a religion.

      Now, we have interpreted this to mean you are free to exercise the religion ___of...your...choice___. But the First Amendment doesn't actually SAY that, and it does not actually guarantee that, not if read literally.

      So let's say that you are a Christian (I have no idea what faith you are, if any). Congress passes a law which says that only three types of religions may exist in our nation – Muslim, Judaism and Wiccan – and only three type of places of worship... Mosque, Synagogue & Sacred Grove. You, as a citizen, are told that you are free to practice religion... as long as it is one of the three (already established, NOT by our government) approved religions.

      Now – are you going to feel that you have the same RIGHTS as your Muslim, Jewish and Wiccan neighbors? I mean, after all, you have the same rights they do – to practice one of three pre-established religions. The fact that none of them happen to be your PREFERRED religion doesn't matter, does it? You have the same rights your neighbors do...correct?

      Certainly a gay or lesbian has the right to marry someone of the opposite gender, same as I did. But how does that reconcile with what our Declaration of Independence states is an inalienable, human right? Life...Liberty...the Pursuit of Happiness? Would you feel you were being permitted to pursue YOUR happiness if your only "freedom" in practicing religion was to practice a religion that goes against everything you believe? Would you accept the argument that you were seeking SPECIAL rights or MORE rights if you fought for the ability to practice the religion that calls to your heart? When your neighbors insisted you had the same rights as them, the right to be Muslim or Jewish or Wiccan, would you silently accept that and spend the rest of your life trying to practice a religion that wasn't your own?

      You know you would not. We ALL know we would not.

      And this is where the "special/more rights" argument falls flat on its face.

      January 17, 2012 at 5:00 am |
    • JohnR

      (1) The right to marry, which includes the right of your life's partner to be with you in the hospital in times of crisis.

      January 17, 2012 at 7:07 am |
    • JohnR

      In Puritan England, both Catholics and Protestants had the right to be Protestant. Both were subject to severe penalties, up to and including death, for practicing Catholicism. According to pogojo, everyone therefore had equal rights!

      January 17, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • Patricia

      "gay rights? I dont understand what rights i have as a strait person, that someone who is gay does not? Nither of us can marry someone of our own gender, so its not equal rights, its more rights."

      Rights straights get when married that gays don't.

      Tax Benefits
      Filing joint income tax returns with the IRS and state taxing authorities.
      Creating a "family partnership" under federal tax laws, which allows you to divide business income among family members.

      Estate Planning Benefits
      Inheriting a share of your spouse's estate.
      Receiving an exemption from both estate taxes and gift taxes for all property you give or leave to your spouse.
      Creating life estate trusts that are restricted to married couples, including QTIP trusts, QDOT trusts, and marital deduction trusts.
      Obtaining priority if a conservator needs to be appointed for your spouse – that is, someone to make financial and/or medical decisions on your spouse's behalf.

      Government Benefits
      Receiving Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for spouses.
      Receiving veterans' and military benefits for spouses, such as those for education, medical care, or special loans.
      Receiving public assistance benefits.

      Employment Benefits
      Obtaining insurance benefits through a spouse's employer.
      Taking family leave to care for your spouse during an illness.
      Receiving wages, workers' compensation, and retirement plan benefits for a deceased spouse.
      Taking bereavement leave if your spouse or one of your spouse's close relatives dies.
      Medical Benefits
      Visiting your spouse in a hospital intensive care unit or during restricted visiting hours in other parts of a medical facility.
      Making medical decisions for your spouse if he or she becomes incapacitated and unable to express wishes for treatment.

      Death Benefits
      Consenting to after-death examinations and procedures.
      Making burial or other final arrangements.

      Family Benefits
      Filing for stepparent or joint adoption.
      Applying for joint foster care rights.
      Receiving equitable division of property if you divorce.
      Receiving spousal or child support, child custody, and visitation if you divorce.

      Housing Benefits
      Living in neighborhoods zoned for "families only."
      Automatically renewing leases signed by your spouse.

      Consumer Benefits
      Receiving family rates for health, homeowners', auto, and other types of insurance.
      Receiving tuition discounts and permission to use school facilities.
      Other consumer discounts and incentives offered only to married couples or families.

      Other Legal Benefits and Protections
      Suing a third person for wrongful death of your spouse and loss of consortium (loss of intimacy).
      Suing a third person for offenses that interfere with the success of your marriage, such as alienation of affection and criminal conversation (these laws are available in only a few states).
      Claiming the marital communications privilege, which means a court can't force you to disclose the contents of confidential communications between you and your spouse during your marriage.
      Receiving crime victims' recovery benefits if your spouse is the victim of a crime.
      Obtaining immigration and residency benefits for noncitizen spouse.
      Visiting rights in jails and other places where visitors are restricted to immediate family.

      January 17, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Oh Patricia – don't you realize that facts have not place in this discussion?
      Two men together makes pogojo feel all squidgy inside so he'd rather play ostrich.

      January 17, 2012 at 9:47 am |
  9. yahmez the mad

    What were MLK's thoughts on marijuana legalization? Would he use Windows, Mac, or Linux? Airtran or Jetblue? There are all kinds of questions we could speculate on, but there are not enough facts here to write a news article about a historical figure who is no longer with us. Come on guys, I know it's his birthday. But lets write about the man, his deeds, his speeches, his legacy, something real.

    January 17, 2012 at 1:41 am |
    • sam

      I just know he would have been a Mac user. I JUST KNOW.

      January 17, 2012 at 1:43 am |
    • Merde

      Maybe he secretly yearned to go snorkling off the Bahamas and drink tequila and never told anybody. What a scandal!

      January 17, 2012 at 1:50 am |
    • yahmez the mad

      @sam Youv'e settled it then. If MLK would have been a Mac user, he would have been for gay marriage.

      January 17, 2012 at 1:52 am |
    • sam

      @yahmez holy crap I think I've discovered the key to ALL UNDERSTANDING.

      January 17, 2012 at 2:00 am |
    • yahmez the mad

      @Merde I would love to go snorkeling while drinking tequila in the Bahamas with MLK if he were still alive. I'd have to watch my butt though, I hear he's a Mac user!

      January 17, 2012 at 2:19 am |
    • Merde

      Did I say Bahamas? I meant Mars. Sand-snorkling on Mars. He was a very progressive thinker. And instead of tequila I meant martian guava juice mixed with lime, espresso, jalapenos, and ecstasy. He might have thought of something like that. You just never know whats going on in someones head. Guess away and win a prize!

      January 17, 2012 at 3:01 am |
    • sam

      @Merde I need the recipe for this drink immediately.

      January 17, 2012 at 3:20 am |
    • Truamerikan

      yahmez the mad.

      You are right. Whenever I go to the Apple store all I see in there are Women and Fruits. (And of course the occasional bored husband who is with his wife).

      January 17, 2012 at 8:30 am |
  10. Shua

    I feel like gay rights has been popping up everywhere since i made this video


    maybe google is watching me? lol.

    January 17, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • Dakota2000

      Ok, so I watched the first part of this... long video... I guess what you have to understand is that people can have a visceral reaction to these issues... a feeling in the pit of their stomach. They are extremely uncomfortable. But, does that mean there is something wrong with them? That is just how they feel, and I am not sure they should made to suppress this feeling or pretend that they don't have it. I think LGBT people need to accept that people will not feel comfortable around them.

      I do not even know if it is a learned behavior. It might be something innate.

      The problem comes when people want to make laws to codify these feeling to "make them go away."

      I think that this is a more general problem. We cannot limit other people rights (i.e. the right to marry whoever they love) because we would not do it ourselves.

      I will not eat escargot (snails). No way, but I would not vote to make it illegal to put on a menu.

      I think that is the problem here. Escargot needs to always be on the menu, even if only a few people want to eat it.

      January 17, 2012 at 3:15 am |
    • sam

      O_O Dakota how can you be here in this nutty place and be so awesome?

      January 17, 2012 at 3:24 am |
  11. Lagos

    Not being pro-gay doesn't take anything away from what MLK Jr. was or did. Being so would be the equivalent of MLK trying to do what he did back in the 1880s.

    January 17, 2012 at 1:25 am |
  12. Jimmy-James

    How would Rev. Bernice King even know what her father took a bullet for? How does she even deign to think she knew what he wanted. She was FIVE when he died. That's only one-to-two years past when memories start being long-term; let alone an age where complex thoughts of morality don't happen.

    Her assumption is a disgrace to her father's name.

    January 17, 2012 at 1:21 am |
    • Merde

      And you don't think the trauma affected her in any way? Why not ignore her words? Children don't handle trauma very well.

      January 17, 2012 at 1:51 am |
    • sam

      Hell, plenty of adults don't handle trauma well!

      January 17, 2012 at 2:06 am |
    • David Myers

      She recently changed her mind 180 degrees on this very subject and now supports gay/lesbian rights including marriage (about a week ago).

      January 30, 2012 at 6:53 am |
  13. Merde

    I don't know how good of a reverend he was, but he was a damm fine civil rights dude.
    And I love that picture. It's like hes saying W-T-F to all the crazy racists. Great pic.

    January 17, 2012 at 1:04 am |
  14. Geoff Swenson

    It must have hurt Martin Luther King's daughter to have lost her father in such a terrible way, but at the same time I can't respect her using the goodwill she inherited from him in such a negative way. Somehow, I don't think her father, who gave such stirring speeches with strong moral appeals to fairness, love, peace, and humanity, would support such hateful rhetoric as hers.

    If there is a God, he loves everyone including Gay people like me. My own parent are estranged from me because I'm gay, because of mistaken ignorant religious belief.

    January 17, 2012 at 12:46 am |
    • Mayme74

      It is not a rhetoric of hate, it is a rhetoric of love.

      Dr King was a Southern Baptist Minister.
      This link will take you to the Southern Baptist Statement of Faith:

      January 17, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • sam

      It's not fair that it's that way. I know life often isn't fair, but, your parents should love you no matter what.

      January 17, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • pogojo

      He was a very religious person, of course he treated gay's with respect, but being a preacher it would of been against his beliefs to approve of the gay choice.

      January 17, 2012 at 12:53 am |
    • Mayme74

      Your parents must view themselves as perfect. we are all sinners. So sorry you have to go through their rejection, Mr Swenson!

      January 17, 2012 at 12:54 am |
    • PassingBy

      Mr. Swenson, I truly hope your parents realize one day how ignorant they have been. It must be hard on you but don't ever give up hope! The LGBT community is on the fast track to gaining all the equal rights they deserve.

      January 17, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • HellBent

      "It is not a rhetoric of hate, it is a rhetoric of love."

      That's basically the same line an abusive parent would say to their children.

      January 17, 2012 at 1:53 am |
    • Mayme74

      basically what an abusive parent says?
      Wow. sounds like a wounded person saying that.
      Sorry for your pain.
      Sorry you can't comprehend unconditional love.
      Love that loves regardless of choices or behaviors, good or bad. That is a rhetoric of love.
      Being LGBT may not be a choice, acting on it is, for better or worse. I am not making a judgment on that.
      Judgment is what God will do one day. Not my place. My place is to love God, and love my neighbor as myself.

      This article is questioning what Dr King thought about LGBT. He states it quite clearly in the article. But since the LGBT community is seeking to twist anything and re-write history to support it's agenda I'm sure it's up for interpretation.

      January 17, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • HellBent

      "basically what an abusive parent says?
      Wow. sounds like a wounded person saying that"

      Not at all. My parents were quite loving. And I'm straight, so I don't have to deal with the hatred directed at the gay community. However, calling hatred love doesn't make it so.

      And yes, we know what MLK's position was several decades ago. Guessing what he would have thought had he been given the knowledge we possess today is a pointless exercise.

      January 17, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
  15. RusTnuts

    It sounds like he was replused by gaggots like a lot of people are. Certainly not a high priority for him if he was sympathic to any degree.

    January 17, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • sam

      Sounds like you'd be lucky to get anyone or thing to let you stick your d!ck in. Too bad you're too much of a b!tch.

      January 17, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • RusTnuts

      Oh my...hit a nerve sam? Don't ask don't tell?

      January 17, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • Merde

      Don't feed a troll ,sam, just hit the report abuse btton.

      January 17, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • sam

      I do love to mess with the trolls though. Keeps me in shape.

      January 17, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • RusTnuts

      Sounds like you two would be good at feeding each other neal and bob.

      January 17, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • sam

      RusT....are your nuts rusty because your mom set the netnanny again and cut you off from the only action you get?

      January 17, 2012 at 1:36 am |
    • Alpa Chino

      What a pedantic little fvcknut you are. C'mon, come up with something more original, man. And I use the word 'man' kinda loosely.

      January 17, 2012 at 1:42 am |
    • RusTnuts

      Guess it's true....gays really are that easy. Thanks for...coming out..."boys".

      January 17, 2012 at 1:46 am |
    • Merde

      Is someone getting testy? lol

      January 17, 2012 at 1:55 am |
    • sam

      Someone's rusty testes are testy. LOL Don't worry big guy – you'll find the right boy who will find your prostate and show you the way.

      January 17, 2012 at 2:02 am |
    • sam

      Hmmm....nothing further from Tough Guy. The funniest part is that I'm a 40 yr old chick. Total fail, micro d!ck!

      January 17, 2012 at 2:12 am |
    • RusTnuts

      Omg... when you gaggots get into a tizzy, it's like watching the Oprah Winfrey show.

      January 17, 2012 at 2:52 am |
    • sam

      You watch Oprah? That's so cute. You're a gaggot already.

      January 17, 2012 at 3:25 am |
    • RusTnuts

      Yep...too easy. 40 year old woman...in your dreams.

      January 17, 2012 at 3:30 am |
    • sam

      You're such a great specimen. Of something. I wish I knew what.

      January 17, 2012 at 3:39 am |
    • RusTnuts

      Speaking of specimen's...you should really get your's checked for std's if you're going to continue your obsession as a brownie hound.

      January 17, 2012 at 3:51 am |
    • sam

      Again, makes no sense, tries for the lowest common hit....you're just out of your league, b!tch,

      January 17, 2012 at 4:06 am |
    • Steve Perry

      No one cares what you think, c.unt. Grow up.

      January 17, 2012 at 4:19 am |
    • RusTnuts

      You've already used those an hour ago...a little more imagination req'd if you're going to try and keep up.

      January 17, 2012 at 4:22 am |
  16. pogojo

    he put it in his own words, read the article

    "The type of feeling that you have toward boys is probably not an innate tendency, but something that has been culturally acquired,” King wrote. “You are already on the right road toward a solution, since you honestly recognize the problem and have a desire to solve it.”

    January 17, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • Mayme74

      read it again... Dr King's response referenced a cure... no doubt if he had a chance to sit down with this child... The cure would have been made clear. Turn from sin and embrace forgiveness.
      p.s. southern baptist ministers must ascribe to something called a "statement of faith" in order to be ordained as Dr King was:

      January 17, 2012 at 12:47 am |
    • HotAirAce

      The American Pyschiatric Association says that ho.mo.se.xuality is not a disease, not a choice and that there is no "cure." I'll take the opinion of medical professionals over ho.mo.phobic religious shamans.

      January 17, 2012 at 12:56 am |
    • HellBent

      @pogojo – that's like saying that a dark-ages doctor would still advocate bleeding to treat cancer, not chemo. Logic fail.

      January 17, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • sam

      Break out the leeches.

      January 17, 2012 at 2:03 am |
  17. pogojo

    He put it in words himself, its in the article

    "The type of feeling that you have toward boys is probably not an innate tendency, but something that has been culturally acquired,” King wrote. “You are already on the right road toward a solution, since you honestly recognize the problem and have a desire to solve it.”

    January 17, 2012 at 12:35 am |
    • Merde

      He was showing his uncertainty by saying "probably". He was allowing for the possibility that it was "innate" because he knew he didn't know and was being honest about it.
      And when he says "problem" he might have meant how being openly gay in those days was inherently dangerous and a problem all by itself and to keep it discreet like all those republicans do by marrying females to hide it.

      January 17, 2012 at 12:54 am |
    • pogojo

      He was an ordained minister, lol

      January 17, 2012 at 1:03 am |
    • Merde

      And that means what? I don't get what you mean at all. What does being a minister have to do with it?
      He didn't mention anything religious in that quote. No religious meaning there that i can see.

      January 17, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • pogojo

      sure, all you got to do is google, Southern Baptist Statement of Faith

      January 17, 2012 at 1:17 am |
    • sam

      I just wish you were smart enough not to post the same thing more than once. Maybe I'll pray on it.

      January 17, 2012 at 1:47 am |
    • Merde

      Ah, the old "I don't know and I was just bluffing so google it because I can't explain how stupid I was to talk about sht I don't know anything about" song and dance.
      Why don't you admit you don't know what the hell your talking about or spell it out. I don't have time to google.

      January 17, 2012 at 1:58 am |
    • bigot

      "I don't have time to google."

      Yet you have time to spend hours on this blog....

      January 17, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • David Myers

      Merde, your analysis is precisely correct. He said "probably" because he wasn't sure and he knew that the problem would be the boy's basic safety and sanity (because of the hatred of bigots) just like it was for so many black persons of that time, only they (for the most part) couldn't "pass" for white, while gays could at least try to pass for straight for their own safety.

      January 30, 2012 at 6:59 am |
  18. #2

    In my opinion, I doesn't really matter what he thought of gays.

    Even a civil rights leader can be flawed in some of his views. He did a great thing for African Americans, that doesn't mean he wasn't wrong on other stuff.

    January 17, 2012 at 12:32 am |
    • Merde

      Whaat? You say he's not perfect?
      HANG #2 FROM THE NEAREST...oh wait a minute...

      January 17, 2012 at 12:58 am |
  19. Just me

    what would moses think about gays, what would jesus think about gays, what would budah think about gays, what would mohamad think about gays what would vishnu think about gays? what would lucifer think about gays. what would the great spirits think about gays, what would YAH think about gays, what would zesus think about gays, what would isis think about gays, what would alien species think about gays????

    January 17, 2012 at 12:26 am |
    • Merde

      So what do you think about gays?

      January 17, 2012 at 12:59 am |
    • sam

      But what are your thoughts on yaoi?

      January 17, 2012 at 1:17 am |
  20. Just me

    we all were born into sin, but some of us were born into abomination.

    January 17, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Merde

      Talk to yourself much?

      January 17, 2012 at 12:16 am |
    • Just me

      are you me?

      January 17, 2012 at 12:20 am |
    • Billy Joe Bob

      And some were born just stupid all day.

      January 17, 2012 at 12:39 am |
    • michael

      Which abomination? Eating pork? Shrimp? Wearing polyester? Tattoos? Women who wear slacks? Men who shave? With 613 holiness codes you'll not only have to be more specific but also explain to me, a Christian, why you're quoting the holiness code to me since it is meant only for the Jews.

      January 17, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • Merde

      The city I was born in was and remains an abomination. So your right about that part of it.

      January 17, 2012 at 1:10 am |
    • tallulah13

      Your statement had one truth in it: "we all were born".

      The rest of it is your opinion.

      January 17, 2012 at 1:37 am |
    • TrannyGirl

      The greatest abomination I have ever seen is a bigoted narrow mind like yours.

      January 17, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.