HRC Blog

HRC Religion Council Member Speaks at Commemoration of Dr. King’s Memorial

Rev. Dr. Dennis WileyPost submitted by Sharon Groves, former HRC Director, Religion and Faith Program

On Friday afternoon a star-studded panel took part in the Table of the Brotherhood Forum which included such luminaries as Rev. Jesse Jackson, Ray Baker, Debra Lee, Rev. Otis Moss, Jr., Lisa Nichols, Arianna Huffington and HRC’s Religion Council member, Rev. Dr. Dennis Wiley.  The event was part of the festivities orchestrated to commemorate the unveiling of Dr. Martin Luther King’s memorial. 

Dr. Wiley represented HRC and the whole LGBT community faithfully and prophetically.  As one of the co-chairs along with his wife, Rev. Dr. Christine Wiley, and Rev. Dr. Robert Hardies of DC Clergy United for Marriage Equality, our community has known something of Dr. Wiley’s courage and steadfast commitment to do what is right.  That dedication to what is right was on display this Friday.  Here is a partial transcript of the powerful and generous words he spoke on behalf of our community at the Table of the Brotherhood Forum.   You will see from this why Washington, DC and indeed our nation is lucky to have such an ally and advocate in our midst.   

“Cowardice asks the question is it safe; expedience asks the question is it politic; vanity comes along and asks the question is it popular; conscience says do what is right.  Today in the prophetic tradition of Dr. King, I unashamedly, unequivocally, and unapologetically come to this table as a straight, male African American Christian minister of the Gospel on behalf of my lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters not because I believe it is safe, politic or popular for me to do so but because I believe it is right. 

“The table of brotherhood as it was called by Dr. King is a rich metaphor packed with symbolic meaning.  Politically being at the table represents power, equality, freedom and justice.  Theologically it is the inclusive and non-discriminatory symbol of spiritual fellowship, kinship and relationship.  .  . .  When we think about it that was the primary goal of the civil rights movement, making a place at the table for the last, the lost, the left out, and the locked out.”

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