January 17, 2012 at 3:12 pm EDT | by Phil Reese
Has Bernice King come around on LGBT rights?

The GA Voice reports that Bernice King — daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — surprised attendees at an Atlanta rally honoring her slain father by calling for straight people and LGBT people to come together to fulfill her father’s legacy.

The Voice reports that during King’s sermon calling for unity, she said she didn’t care if people “were black or white,” she asked for “Hindu, Buddhist, Islamist” people to come together, people from the “North side or the South side,” and most surprisingly “heterosexual or homosexual, or gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender.”

“We need all of us,” Rev. Maressa Pendermon, a minister with LGBT-inclusive Unity Fellowship Church, quoted King as saying.

The comments were a departure for the famous daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who in 2004 rallied with now disgraced Bishop Eddie Long of Atlanta leading thousands to protest same-sex marriage. She has also been quoted as saying her father “did not take a bullet for same-sex marriage.”

“It reminded me that people can and do shift attitudes. They do evolve,” said Craig Washington, a founder of the Bayard Rustin/Audre Lorde breakfast in Atlanta. “What Bernice’s turnabout …spoke to is potential to change. We still have to remember they too are human.”

According to the Voice, King was named CEO of the King Center after leaving Bishop Eddie Long’s New Birth Missionary Baptist church following the highly publicized sex scandal.


  • If she has had that epiphany, amen.

  • Unlikely that her personal views have changed, but if she can credibly put on the public face and talk the talk required of the CEO of the King Center, then do we really care what she truly believes? She’ll be no different that the majority of corporate leaders whose companies have non-discrimination policies that protect their LGBT employees and offer domestic partnerships but “personally” donate to and support politicians who work to undermine those same protections and benefits. They like their jobs and apparently Bernice likes her new job as well.

  • I have to say that everyone is entitled to change, especially if it is for the better. Unfortunately my own humanity has made me a bit skeptical of her motives. My first thought is that she realized that she was closely tied to a man who is more than likely a closeted, hypocritical bigot…Eddie Long. Oh well, I hope for the best and hope she is sincere, at the very least, she is showing public support.

© Copyright Brown, Naff, Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. 2018. All rights reserved.