Martin Luther King’s dream “comes a step closer” with Obama

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America’s largest LGBT civil rights organisation marked the birthday of civil rights activist Martin Luther King yesterday with a message of hope for Barack Obama’s administration.

Dr King’s birthday is a federal holiday, a mark of his unique importance in modern American history.

Barack Obama, who will become the first African-American President of the United States later today, has often referred to Dr King’s aspiration that America should be a country where people are judged “not on the colour of their skin but on the content of their character.”

The Human Rights Campaign, America’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights group, released a 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 actualised, 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, a member of HRC’s Religion Council, also released a statement.

“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 colours, 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.”