Joe Solmonese: “Dr. King’s dream…ever closer to becoming reality”
January 19, 2009
One day before Barack Obama becomes the nation’s first African American president, HRC president Joe Solmonese released this statement in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Day:
Dr. Martin Luther King believed in the dignity of all human beings and their inherent right to equal treatment under the law. He also believed in the capacity of society to evolve into a place where all have basic freedoms and receive respect based on their characters without fear of arbitrary prejudices. Dr. King’s dream has not yet been fully actualized, but with the inauguration of Barack Obama, it is ever closer to becoming reality. It is fitting that Dr. King’s co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Coalition, Rev. Joseph Lowery, is set to give the benediction at tomorrow’s swearing-in. Together, they helped build a movement that continues to inspire all who dedicate their lives to justice and fairness—whether for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community or for anyone across the world who faces oppression.
Bishop John Selders, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and a prominent member of HRC’s Religion Council, also released a statement today. HRC’s Religion Council, a coalition of thirteen national religious spokespeople committed to equal rights for all Americans, provides a voice on the critical issues affecting the LGBT community from marriage, to adoption, to reclaiming the inclusive foundations of religion.
Today, we observe the birthday and the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a visionary, prophet and pastor who believed that justice for the least of us was worth the commitment of our whole lives. Every modern social justice movement, including the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement, owes a debt of gratitude to Dr. King and his cohorts. Their courage and commitment for justice is the model all of us now reference, a glimpse of the beloved community that Dr. King articulated. As we celebrate King's birthday on the eve of the inauguration of Barack Obama, the first African American to become president of the United States, we see manifested before our eyes the lines King made famous that ‘the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.’ As LGBT and allied communities of many colors, backgrounds, and means, we pledge today to do our part to bend the arc further until the beloved community is a reality for all of us.
In Obama's Weekly Address -- his last one before he is sworn-in as 44th president of the United States -- President-elect Obama again called on our nation to commemorate MLK's birth by dedicating today as a national day of service to bring us all together. Watch the video here: