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In 1963, at a rally following a civil rights march on Washington DC, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. The organizer of that 1963 rally was Bayard Rustin, a gay man and friend of MLK.

Yesterday, in Jena Louisiana, LGBTQ leaders again joined with the Black Community to stand against racial inequality, hatred and oppression. We wholeheartedly support that action and oppose race-based discrimination of any kind.

Although many Black leaders refuse to stand up for our rights for what they claim are religious and moral reasons, we know that those who oppress Blacks use the same reasoning to justify oppressing and discriminating against the LGBTQ Community.

All discrimination is based on fear of the unknown. That fear is easily manipulated by those who stand to gain power and money from exploiting "difference" and encouraging hatred.

Even though some Blacks, some Hispanics, some Muslims and some Jews feel obligated to climb on to the homophobic bandwagon and join the gay-bashing bunch, we understand that they do so out of ignorance.

Nevertheless, we will continue to oppose inequality and injustice wherever we see it because, as a very wise man once said, "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Thus, like King, we long for a world where all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion or sexual orientation, are treated as whole and equal human beings. That day will come only when people realize we are not all that different from one another.

Next month, on October 11, we will celebrate National Coming Out Day.

This day is our opportunity to introduce our true selves to our friends, co-workers and family. By coming out and being proud of who we are and who we love, our lives become irrefutable evidence that hate-mongers are lying about our community and our agenda.

Out in the open -- in the light of day -- they will be outed as bigots as more and more people see that we pose no threat, no harm to anyone.

And remember, even though it may feel as though we are not supported by Civil Rights leaders, that too, is a lie since many prominent Blacks have had the courage to speak out for our rights.

Just as we speak out for theirs.



Rainbow Law is Elisia and Carrie Ross-Stone, lesbian civil rights activists, life partners and grandmothers. We own and operate Rainbow Law, an online service offering legal information and free and affordable legal documents for gay and lesbian (more...)

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