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Martin Luther King Day 40 Years Later

By Charlotte Robinson, January 16, 2023

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King Day as a federal holiday in 2023 remains bittersweet as we still haven’t been able to pass the Freedom to Vote Act & the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Kierra Johnson, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund Executive Director stated, “The right to vote is a baseline. It is an essential part to exercise our power & participate in our democracy. When LGBTQ+ Americans, People of Color & other marginalized populations vote in high numbers, elections are greatly impacted & it can make the difference in local, state & federal elections. The fear of losing power & the threat of losing an elected seat is not justification for our leaders to carve out LGBTQ+ folks, People of Color, women, poor people & so many other already marginalized groups from the political process.” Then of course though we were able to pass The Respect of Marriage Act before the shift in United States House of Representatives passing The Equality Act remains up in the air. For years before her death in 2006 Coretta Scott King always said that Martin Luther King would have supported LGBTQ Equality stating, “I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian & gay people & I should stick to the issue of racial justice… But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King, Jr., said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’ … I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream to make room at the table of brotherhood & sisterhood for lesbian & gay people.”

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