Sunday, October 16, 2005

Anti-gay D.C. Minister/Leader blocks promised gay speaker at Millions More March; A "same-gender-loving" speaker allowed

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Updated October 16, 2005, originally posted October 15, 2005 According to an article published by the Washington Post, anti-gay D.C minister and leader the Reverend Willie Wilson blocked Keith Boykin from taking the stage at the Millions More March this morning in Washington, D.C. Boykin had been invited to speak by Loius Farrakhan to speak at the March after the National Black Justice Coalition met with Farrakhan to address African-American LGBT issues. According to the article:
Black gay activist Keith Boykin was stopped from addressing the Millions More Movement rally in Washington, D.C., Saturday morning. Boykin, board president of National Black Justice Coalition, said that Rev. Barbara Skinner, the event's program manager, refused to admit him to the stage area and said he was not listed on the program. Boykin claimed that Skinner walked over to Rev. Willie Wilson, the executive director of the event, to ask about Boykin. Wilson smirked as he told Skinner that Boykin would not be speaking at the rally, according to Boykin and Donna Payne, NBJC vice president and a Human Rights Campaign organizer, who was also present. Boykin, was invited to speak at the rally during a telephone conference on Wednesday by Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, the founder of the Million More event. Wilson, a D.C. minister, received national attention in July after the Blade reported that he delivered a virulently anti-gay sermon claiming lesbians were taking over among African Americans and decrying gay sex acts.
'Same gender loving brother' allowed to speak According to the article:
Cleo Manago, the founder of the Black Men’s Xchange, known as BMX, did speak to the rally. BMX claimed earlier in the week that it had been invited to speak at the rally as the sole representative of the gay community. BMX is a controversial, all-male organization whose members don’t identify as gay but rather as "same gender loving." BMX views the term "gay" as an identification created by and for white gays. Manago told the crowd, "I'm here to bring the perspective of a black man who is a same gender loving black man." He called for "healing opportunities particular to the black experience that explicitly acknowledge our diversity which would include same gender loving brothers and sisters … "That I'm up here indicates that [Minister Farrakhan] was very serious about us all coming together," said Manago. "I, too, am often called a black nationalist, particularly by the white gay community because I don't identify with their way of framing us in this world." Manago told the Blade earlier this week that his organization has been involved with the Nation of Islam since the 1990s, making BMX a "natural selection."
Another article on this issue: "Gays Protest Rejection Of Speaker at Gathering" The Washington Post