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Soulforce Honors the Life of Coretta Scott King

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    Soulforce Honors the Life of Coretta Scott King and Acknowledges Her Founding Influence January 31, 2006 The staff and volunteers of Soulforce, a national
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 31, 2006
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      Soulforce Honors the Life of Coretta Scott King and Acknowledges Her
      Founding Influence
      January 31, 2006

      The staff and volunteers of Soulforce, a national social justice
      movement, express deep sadness at the news that Coretta Scott King has
      passed away at the age of 78. Her legacy will live on in the work of
      all of the advocacy groups founded on the principles of nonviolence
      taught by her husband, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

      The vision of Soulforce began in 1995 when our President and Founder,
      the Rev. Dr. Mel White, received a phone call from Mrs. King's
      assistant, Lynn Cothren, introducing him to the principles of
      nonviolence taught and practiced by her husband, the Rev. Dr. Martin
      Luther King, Jr. At our first major direct action at a United
      Methodist Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, Yolanda King represented
      Coretta Scott King and the King family.

      We honor the life of Coretta Scott King and her strong voice in
      reminding America that Dr. King would surely be fighting for the
      rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people if he were
      alive today. Some of her public statements include:
      Coretta Scott King:

      "I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the
      rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of
      racial justice... But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King,
      Jr., said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere'....
      I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream
      to make room at the table of brotherhood and sisterhood for lesbian
      and gay people."1

      "Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should
      have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. A
      constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay
      bashing, and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional
      marriages."2

      "We are all tied together in a single garment of destiny... I can
      never be what I ought to be until you are allowed to be what you ought
      to be," she said, quoting from her husband. "I've always felt that
      homophobic attitudes and policies were unjust and unworthy of a free
      society and must be opposed by all Americans who believe in democracy."3

      "Gays and lesbians stood up for civil rights in Montgomery, Selma,
      in Albany, Georgia, and St. Augustine, Florida, and many other
      campaigns of the Civil Rights Movement. Many of these courageous men
      and women were fighting for my freedom at a time when they could find
      few voices for their own, and I salute their contributions."4

      "We have a lot of work to do in our common struggle against
      bigotry and discrimination. I say 'common struggle,' because I believe
      very strongly that all forms of bigotry & discrimination are equally
      wrong and should be opposed by right-thinking Americans everywhere.
      Freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation is surely a
      fundamental human right in any great democracy, as much as freedom
      from racial, religious, gender, or ethnic discrimination."5

      "We have to launch a campaign against homophobia in the black
      community."6

      "Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of
      bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to
      deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood. This sets the stage
      for further repression and violence that spread all too easily to
      victimize the next minority group."7

      Soulforce encourages all Americans to both recommit themselves to the
      ongoing work of the King family and to send their condolences to:

      The King Center
      449 Auburn Avenue, NE
      Atlanta, GA 30312

      Sources:

      1 Coretta Scott King, 25th anniversary luncheon for Lambda Defense and
      Education Fund, March 31, 1998

      2 Coretta Scott King, speech at The Richard Stockton College of New
      Jersey, USA Today, March 24, 2004

      3 Coretta Scott King, 25th anniversary luncheon for Lambda Defense and
      Education Fund, quoted in the Chicago Sun Times, April 1, 1998

      4 Coretta Scott King, 25th anniversary luncheon for Lambda Defense and
      Education Fund, quoted in the Chicago Tribune, April 1, 1998

      5 Coretta Scott King, Opening Plenary Session, 13th annual Creating
      Change conference of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Atlanta,
      Georgia, November 9, 2000

      6 Coretta Scott King, Reuters, June 8, 2001

      7 Coretta Scott King, a speech at the Palmer Hilton Hotel, quoted in
      the Chicago Defender, April 1, 1998
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