HRC Blog

MLK Day Reflections: Justice

This post comes from the Rev. Irene Monroe:

I am proud to count myself among the many people working for social justice today who stand on the shoulders of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Too many people think King's statements regarding justice are only about race and the African-American community - thus excluding the LGBTQ community. 

But King said that, “The revolution for human rights is opening up unhealthy areas in American life and permitting a new and wholesome healing to take place. Eventually the civil rights movement will have contributed infinitely more to the nation than the eradication of racial justice.” 

Kings teachings taught me how religion plays a profound role in the work of justice.

A religion that looks at reality from an involved committed stance in light of a faith that does justice sees the face of the damned, the disinherited, the disrespected, and the dispossessed - and that also includes its LGBTQ people.

As a religion columnist I try to inform the public of the role religion plays in discrimination against LGBTQ people. Because homophobia is both a hatred of the ‘other’ and it’s usually acted upon ‘in the name of religion;’ by reporting religion in the news I aim to highlight how religious intolerance and fundamentalism not only shatters the goal of American democracy, but also aids in perpetuating other forms of oppression such as racism, sexism, classism and anti-Semitism.

Each year, I mark the MLK holiday be reexamining King’s teachings, remembering that my longing for LGBTQ justice is inextricably tied to my work toward religious tolerance in the Black Church.

Rev. Irene Monroe is an ordained minister, a Huffington Post blogger, a syndicated religion columnist and a friend to HRC’s Religion and Faith Program. She was chosen in 2009 by MSNBC as "10 Black Women You Should Know."

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