Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
This article can be found at:
Latest Posts

Alveda King Denounces NAACP’s Endorsement of Marriage Equality

Jim Burroway

May 24th, 2012

Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. (and she will tell you that she’s “uncle M.L.’s” niece at every opportunity), lashed out at the NAACP’s resolution supporting marriage equality for LGBT citizens. King not only dragged her uncle into her outrage, but decided to go after the memories of Coretta Scott King and Bayard Rustin as well:

The 21st century homosexual lobby likes to point to the professional relationship between my uncle Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bayard Rustin, his openly homosexual staffer who left the movement at the height of the campaign. Rustin attempted to convince Uncle M. L. that homosexual rights were equal with civil rights. Uncle M. L. did not agree, and would not attach the homosexual agenda to the 20th century civil rights struggles. So Mr. Rustin resigned. He was a brilliant strategist and was hired by Uncle M. L. not because he was gay, but because he was a capable strategist. He also was not fired, he chose to resign. My uncle was not a bigot, and he didn’t judge people for the color of their skin nor their sexual orientation. Neither do I. As compassionate Christians who won’t be forced to sit on the back of the bus as far as our spiritual commitments are concerned, we can be compassionate without endorsing sin.

As to the relationship between Mrs. Coretta Scott King and the homosexual lobby, Mrs. King was a very compassionate woman. She and I shared conversations regarding misplaced compassion. When her daughter, my cousin Elder Bernice King marched in favor of traditional marriage a few years ago, the homosexual lobby demanded that Mrs. King publicly rebuke her daughter for her stance. Mrs. King did not rebuke her daughter. The issue here is compassion, and how to show compassion in the face of controversy.

Mrs. Coretta Scott King may not have publicly rebuked her own daughter, but she did support LGBT equality, including marriage equality. As early as 1998, Mrs. King drew a direct line between the homophobia experienced by the gay community and racism (as well as anti-Semitism):

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”, she stated. “This sets the stage for further repression and violence that spread all too easily to victimize the next minority group.”

In 2000, at a National Gay and Lesbian Task Force conference, Mrs. King linked the struggle for LGBT rights to the civil rights movement:

I say “common struggle” because I believe very strongly that all forms of bigotry and 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.

My husband, Martin Luther King Jr., once said, “We are all tied together in a single garment of destiny… an inescapable network of mutuality,… I can never be what I ought to be until you are allowed to be what you ought to be.” Therefore, 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.

And in 2004, she added her voice to those supporting marriage equality:

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

As for Bayard Rustin’s leaving the civil rights movement, Alvin McEwen corrects the record:

According to several sources, most specifically the excellent book Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin by John D’Emilio, Rustin resigned because prominent black leaders, specifically the late Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, had gotten jealous of King’s influence and were going to accuse him and the openly gay Rustin of being lovers.

It was some of these same leaders who did not want Rustin to have anything to do with the 1963 March on Washington, but labor leader A. Philip Randolph insisted that Rustin be involved. And as you SHOULD know, this was a good move because Rustin was the architect of that successful march.

Furthermore Rustin began speaking about gay issues in the 1980s at the behest of his partner, Walter Naegle. This was over two decades after MLK’s death.

Ms. King, you like to talk about the so-called sin of homosexuality, but let me remind you that the Bible also says something against bearing false witness.



May 24th, 2012 | LINK

Alveda King has traded on her uncle’s name and her aunt’s prominence at every opportunity solely to promote herself.

May 24th, 2012 | LINK

And, oh, Miss Alveda, exactly how do your three marriages and three divorces uphold traditional marriage?

If you supported marriage equality, would you be fired from the Roman Catholic anti-abortion advocacy group you work for?

I don’t think you’re a bigot, Miss Alveda, but you sure seem like a self-promoting hypocrite to me.

May 24th, 2012 | LINK

Every family has at least one child that is a dissapointment. This one is the King family’s

May 24th, 2012 | LINK

Her historiography is on a par with David Barton’s. That is to say, pure fantastical nonsense.

She rewrites the mostly arm’s-length King/Rustin collaboration, creates cause/effect juxtapositions that never happened, and conflates events that were, in fact, separated by time.

This is a statement that serves not the truth, but rather the same immovable bigotry MLK tried to dislodge.

Patricia Kayden
May 24th, 2012 | LINK

Do we only care about Alveda because she is related to Dr. King? Otherwise, she would just be another homophobe.

I’ll ignore her since she’s not important and rides her uncle’s name to put herself in the spotlight.

May 24th, 2012 | LINK

Fame Whore

Neon Genesis
May 24th, 2012 | LINK

Who goes around calling their uncle by their initials anyway? You realize he has a first name, don’t you, Alveda?

Timothy Kincaid
May 24th, 2012 | LINK

Uncle M. L. did not agree, and would not attach the homosexual agenda to the 20th century civil rights struggles.

That would be the homosexual agenda in the 1960’s? And this woman, who was 16 when King was murdered, wants us to believe that she had some inside perspective on King that his wife didn’t have?

I have to wonder if she’s a blatant liar or completely delusional.

May 24th, 2012 | LINK

Notice how she refers to compassion toward gay people as “misplaced compassion”.

May 24th, 2012 | LINK

Alveda is tired, powerless, homophobic bitch, and always has been. Because of her accidental and secondary blood relationship to MLK she is able to draw attention whenever she attacks the GLBT community. Otherwise no one would ever listen to her. Nor should we.

May 24th, 2012 | LINK

It just dawned on me that when she talks about showing compassion in the face of controversy, she is not talking about her being compassionate to gay people. She’s talking about gay people being “compassionate” to her.

@Timothy. Good point. I’m guessing, at age 11, when the March on Washington was held, and Dr. King was working so closely with Mr. Rustin, I’m guessing Alveda was not one of Uncle M. L.’s closest confidantes and advisors.

Jim Burroway
May 24th, 2012 | LINK

Otherwise no one would ever listen to her. Nor should we.

I think there is a tension in that statement. It’s true that “>Otherwise no one would ever listen to her.” But because of those accidental and secondary bloodlines, many people do. And because many people do, so should we — and be there to counter her when she’s not being truthful.

Timothy Kincaid
May 24th, 2012 | LINK

“her daughter, my cousin Elder Bernice King” is even less of an authority. She was five when her father was murdered.

Bruce Garner
May 25th, 2012 | LINK

Ms. King also conveniently does not mention the fact that Corretta Scott King’s personal assistant for some two decades was an openly gay man by the name of Lyn Cotherin. I’ve heard him speak. Alveda is just a tad short of the facts. And I remember when she was Alveda King Beall!

May 25th, 2012 | LINK

“… we can be compassionate without endorsing sin(?).”
I would tell Ms King that the claim that “homosexuality is sin” was deemed unworthy of repetition by the editor of when he corrected Pat Robertson (see Christian Pastors Preach Untruths) who no longer claims that canard on television. It was forever destroyed by John Boswell’s expose of the original Hebrew text of Leviticus 18:22 (Christianity, Homosexuality and Social Tolerance).

May 25th, 2012 | LINK

She’s a horror and a cow.

And Alvin McEwen is just magnificent.

Jason J.
August 8th, 2012 | LINK

Dear Ms. King; read me

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.