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NAACP Leader: “Gay Community Stop Hijacking The Civil Rights Movement”

by David Badash on March 17, 2011

in Bigotry Watch,Civil Rights,Marriage,News

Post image for NAACP Leader: “Gay Community Stop Hijacking The Civil Rights Movement”

A leader of the NAACP has come out attacking gays, and he is demanding the “gay community stop hijacking the civil rights movement.” Rev. Keith Ratliff Sr., president of the Iowa-Nebraska chapter of the NAACP, spoke at a marriage rally in Des Moines on Tuesday, adding, “Deviant behavior is not the same as being denied your right to vote,” and calling any parallel between the African-American civil rights movement and the gay civil rights movement an “insult.”

Ratliff, according to reports, also condemned any idea that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., would have supported gay rights or civil same-sex marriage.






A Baptist minister for over thirty years, Ratliff is also an NAACP National Board Member, and, according to his church website, had worked closely with Tom Vilsack, when he was Governor of Iowa. Vilsack is now the Secretary of Agriculture and was recently embroiled in the Shirley Sherrod firing.

This is not Ratliff’s first attack on the LGBT community, and it directly counters his leadership role at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), whose mission clearly states, “is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.”

Ratliff’s anti-gay actions also go directly against the teachings of the NACCP’s president, and Chairman, Benjamin Jealous, and Jealous’ predecessor, Julian Bond. Additionally, Dr. King’s right-hand man, Bayard Rustin, who planned the historic march on Washington, was openly-gay.

Jealous last year said, “I personally support marriage equality,” and Bond has spoken publicly and eloquently in support of same-sex marriage.

Listen: “Julian Bond, NAACP Chair, Speaks To NJ Senate Supporting Gay Marriage

Ratliff, reportedly a Democrat, has fervently supported Iowa’s former Republican gubernatorial candidate, Bob Vander Plaats, who ran — and lost — on an extreme ant-gay platform.

After Iowa’s historic Supreme Court ruling that paved the way for marriage equality in that state, Ratliff stood up in his church, denounced the ruling, and received a standing ovation.

Ratliff is quoted as saying, “We believe the homosexual lifestyle is wrong,” and in an infamous op-ed wrote that “everything about homosexuality conflicts with natural law,” and added, “homosexuality will always be un-natural and un-healthy.”

In 2009, New Jersey Senator Nia Gill, an African-American, delivered an impassioned speech during her state’s marriage equality debate, and said,

“If you look at the constitution, at its intent, the constitution intended that African-Americans would never be full participants.

“The legislators – the female ones – would not be here, because the constitution never intended for a woman to have the right to vote. And if we looked further at what the constitution intended – as if it is a stagnant body – then we know that disabled people would have no rights, under the equal protection clause, that they have access to public buildings.

“It is a civil rights issue – not because African-Americans own the copyright to civil rights, it is a civil rights issue in the analysis of the equal protection of the fourteenth amendment in the constitution. And maybe some in my community want to hold on to it, because it’s ours. Because our blood has been shed for the right to vote, and we jealously guard that as a re-affirmation of being American. And so we hold it, because no one can do civil rights and have civil rights better than we do. That’s emotional, but it is certainly not an analysis of the constitutional imperatives that face us. It [marriage equality] is a civil rights issue.”









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{ 35 comments }

ChristianDJ March 17, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Religious radicals are un-American. They are against the US Constitution, which guarantees

1) Equal treatment under the law
2) Freedom of choice
3) Freedom of religion (Most people’s religious beliefs do not include legalized discrimination, prejudice, and bigotry)

T.L. Mack March 17, 2011 at 12:31 pm

He's using his platform to seperate and segregate. These men that walk around spitting off the Bible thinking they are holier than thou are up for a very rude awakening when it's all said and done.
Three key New Testament passages concerning homosexuality are: Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9, and 1 Timothy 1:10 – While it's excruciatingly clear that God detests the acts of homosexuality and cross-dressing, NONE of these verses say anything about God HATING the homosexuals!
The Bible tells us that YHWH does "hate" certain behaviors/acts such as pride, lying, murder, perjury, and divorce except for reasons of adultery. And the Bible tells us that God hates (please pay attention, "Reverend" Phelps!) a person who tries to stir up discord/dissension among other believers:
Proverbs 6:16-19: "There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers."

Travis Owen March 17, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Biggest thing forgotten about the Civil rights movement, Dr. Kings right hand man was Gay!

WeTheSheeple March 17, 2011 at 12:55 pm

And why should I listen to someone who would still be a slave if the majority was allowed to vote on the issue?

david March 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm

as a black straight man even i feel this is wrong. how stupid is this dude??? he's gonna deny the same rights that were fought for by his ancestors. he's a stupid hypocrite. he's on the board of the NAACP, fighting for black rights, yet trying to prevent another minority group from obtaining them. WTF!

Jon March 17, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Despite what Reverend Ratliff thinks, this is a civil rights issue and civil rights should not be voted on! If there had been a vote 50 years ago on rights for African Americans, they would still be using separate drinking fountains and bathrooms. This bigotry in the disguise of religion disgusts me. The bible also says that it is okay to own slaves. Should I be able to choose that passage in the bible as justification to petition for a vote to make that law?
Has anyone’s marriage really been hurt by their gay neighbor’s marriage? Probably not. Get over it you closed minded people. There is no law forcing you to get gay married.

Roger Klorese March 17, 2011 at 1:47 pm

I wish Bayard Rustin was around to look him in the eye as he spouted this drivel.

austinjavaman March 17, 2011 at 1:52 pm

He should excuse himself from his post. He's an embarrassment to the ideals of the NAACP and what this country stands for.

steve March 17, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Since people argue that marriage belongs to religion and same sex marriage is against God's will, then perhaps all benefits bestowed to married heterosexual couples should be repealed. The government shouldn't be in the business of sanctioning religious rights and granting benefits based on them. Gays are sick and tired of paying for the tax benefits bestowed to people based on a religious ceremony. The heterosexuals should pay their fair share. The Tea Party should be in favor of this. It’s smaller government and it will lower the deficit. These benefits smack of socialism anyway.

marriedinmaryland March 17, 2011 at 3:20 pm

CORETTA SCOTT KING “Like Martin, I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others”, she would tell black civil rights leaders angered by gays and lesbians comparing their struggle to their own. She would quote her husband and say, “I have worked too long and hard against segregated public accommodations to end up segregating my moral concern. Justice is indivisible.” -June 23,__1994

marriedinmaryland March 17, 2011 at 3:23 pm

CORETTA SCOTT KING “Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages.“ March 24, 2004__

“We have to launch a campaign against homophobia in the black community.“ June 8, 2001__

@cybernoelie March 17, 2011 at 5:28 pm

The man wouldn't dare show his face in Northern Ireland where many people died marching for their Civil Rights – most especially on a day we remember as Bloody Sunday – they were white people looking for equality with other white people.

bubbafrombama March 17, 2011 at 8:45 pm

I think the good Rev. Ratliff Sr. needs to be informed that the Christian Bible says slavery is okay, too! Just sayin'…
http://www.evilbible.com/Slavery.htm

Karger 2012 March 21, 2011 at 2:56 am

Good point. A black Christian is like a Jew worshipping Egyptian gods.

doyoujustice March 17, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Let me qualify my statements by saying I'm a black, gay man. If the gay community wants to appropriate the African-American civil rights movement and use it as an example of our own movement for civil rights, then we must be prepared to do as the African-American did, and that is raise the standard of our conduct to a level of excellence that no man can call us inferior. Our leaders of the AACRM, the Tuskegee Airmen, Martin Luther King, displayed a level of competence and commitment, and common purpose that I feel is lacking in the LGBT movement for civil rights. When the gay community at large continues to harbor significant prejudice internally (ageism, racism, socio-economic separation, transgender & transsexual exclusion, "straight acting hang-ups") how can we expect the majority to embrace our equality. The reason it took so long for the AACRM to take root is because a lack of cohesiveness between African Americans. It took a dynamic, charismatic and very organized leader to bring all factions together. If we are going to appropriate a movement, so recently entrenched in another groups history, then we should probably try to appropriate the best parts of it. With all of that said, Americans deserve American rights, and the arbitrary characteristics that we choose to separate ourselves from each other have no bearing on the fact that we are all Americans and therefore deserving of the rights bestowed by the Constitution of this Nation.

Guest March 18, 2011 at 3:30 am

So . . . before the LGBT community is deserving of rights it has to eliminate within its ranks every unsolved social problem the country has?

doyoujustice March 18, 2011 at 5:33 am

no love… I will reiterate… "With all of that said, Americans deserve American rights, and the arbitrary characteristics that we choose to separate ourselves from each other have no bearing on the fact that we are all Americans and therefore deserving of the rights bestowed by the Constitution of this Nation."

However, I do feel that there is a heightened bigotry inside of the LGBT community that I think many if not most would agree with me.. It would help our cause to come together and present a unified front…

David Jumper-Biritz March 17, 2011 at 9:57 pm

I spoke with the Rev earlier and asked him what he thought about gay mariaige equality. This is what I got:

1.) Being black is NOT like being gay; gay is a chioce, black is not. I told him I was gay and always have been and proceeded to ask him when he made the choice to be heterosexual.

2.) Heterosexual procreative sex is what all humans should do by god's design. God said being gay is wrong. I told him I don't believe in all that supernatural superstitious god stuff, so I therefore am under no obligation to live by his god's rules on sexuality-or anything else for that matter.

3.) Gay marriage is wrong because god says so. Immediate family members be legally able to marry one another as a result of gay marriage equality. I told him that was illegal because of genetic disturbances and birth defects and he repeatedly reiterated his god mumbo jumbo.

4.) I questioned to him to relate his own personal thoughts about the negative impact of gay marriage equality without reference to god or laws and he said after a long pause, "…….what?" He then proceeded to tell me, "that's what you want to do, take god out of this, that's the gay agenda.' Clearly he refused to answer the question, and I reminded him I'm homosexual and was not aware of any group effort agenda besides equal rights, which he predictable told me that gays are wrongly attempting to claim we're like blacks.

5.) Realizing this guy needs some education from this concrete world instead of magic sky daddy fantasy land, I tried to inform him of the exact interrelatedness of the origins of the discriminations racism and homophobia and how they pose the same threat to the same group for exactly the same reasons: heterosexual white men. He actually let me expalin this to me and then said, "We're just not going to agree on this whole thing."

6.) I asked the Rev if he threw stones at women who were in public while on their periods. He thought I was crazy, so I explained that this was a strict rule in the buybull and he should therefore follow this rule as well if he is going to place such credence on adherence to what the buybull says. He went off on some bs and didn't answer the question, AGAIN.

7.) He told me that homosexuals have never been through what black people have in the usa. Slavery was what he specifically cited. I then asked him if Matthew Shepherd needed to go through more painful experiences to, in his view, be deemed worthy of being considered having suffered as much as a black person in America. No answer, so I asked him if he was ever a slave and, in another pf his LONG pauses, replied, "No, but my ancestors have,' and I said, "Homosexuals have also been killed or gay bashed in the past, does that mean anything/" The Rev said Actions the church is taking in no way condones the horrible violence or ill will thrown the GLBT community's way, BUT gays are not like blacks because he never chose to be black. I again told him I never chose to be gay and he told me I was wrong. I shit you not! Can you believe it? I informed him the buybull condones slavery and he said I was wrong and had no idea what I was talking about.

8.) I felt it completely unnecessary to discuss with him why I thought it insane to adopt the magic guy in the sky social control bullshit of one's captors.

This asshole is whitenuckling the oppression of racism. Unfortunately, is is still pervasive in American culture. But it gives no one the right to use that as one's soapbox to shit on another minority. I mentioned this to him and I swear it flew right over his hollow head. Throughout the whole conversation he repeated that I was incapable of understanding him because I was trying to remove god from the information provided by him.

Call him and tell him what you think. If enough of us do this he will have no choice but to fight with himself in his own head over it. Call Rev. Ratliff Sr. at 515-262-1931!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CALL CALL CALL CALL CALL CALL CALL!!!!!!

David Jumper-Biritz March 17, 2011 at 9:58 pm

CALL CALL CALL CALL CALL CALL CALL CALL the Rev at 515-262-1931!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Deerfield Attorney March 17, 2011 at 10:50 pm

I agree with the poster above me – it is very sad that one minority is claiming a movement for the rights of all minority peoples all for their own. It is oppression all the same.

David Jumper-Biritz March 17, 2011 at 11:24 pm

Ya, the rev pretty much doesn't want to learn anything. Look, I'm a 35 year old white gay man and I've got a bit of kill whitey in me too. I totally empathize with black America because, at the end of the day, I'm fighting the same fight they are.

Seriously, for an older African-American man to sling poo at homosexuals is beyond the pale. I was a hair's distance from asking him if he hates homos so much because he was involuntarily bun-punched by another man when he was younger, yet my better heart refrained. More than almost anything, I would love to know the pathology behind clinging to lies and things that aren't true regarding homosexuals through the justification of reliance on the dictates of a nonexistent impossible entity. I mean hard research and data. It would be more than helpful to know what a psychologist and psychiatrist would say to these hatefully delusional individuals. Igno-screwballs who want to control the sex lives of people they have and will never meet. There must be literature from some medical organization on this exact issue. Please tell menif you run across it.

Steven March 18, 2011 at 12:37 am

Gays are always written out of history… Civil rights are for all people not just a select few!! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayard_Rustin

exchangerates March 18, 2011 at 1:58 am

Every once in a while people aren't assholes.

Gluckster March 18, 2011 at 6:46 am

Got to check out this video… powerful. http://www.gmcla.org/galleries/gmcla-videos/
Click and share "Revolution!"

David Jumper-Biritz March 18, 2011 at 11:50 am

I spoke with the Rev earlier and asked him what he thought about gay mariaige equality. This is what I got:

1.) Being black is NOT like being gay; gay is a chioce, black is not. I told him I was gay and always have been and proceeded to ask him when he made the choice to be heterosexual.

2.) Heterosexual procreative sex is what all humans should do by god's design. God said being gay is wrong. I told him I don't believe in all that supernatural superstitious god stuff, so I therefore am under no obligation to live by his god's rules on sexuality-or anything else for that matter.

3.) Gay marriage is wrong because god says so. Immediate family members be legally able to marry one another as a result of gay marriage equality. I told him that was illegal because of genetic disturbances and birth defects and he repeatedly reiterated his god mumbo jumbo.

4.) I questioned to him to relate his own personal thoughts about the negative impact of gay marriage equality without reference to god or laws and he said after a long pause, "…….what?" He then proceeded to tell me, "that's what you want to do, take god out of this, that's the gay agenda.' Clearly he refused to answer the question, and I reminded him I'm homosexual and was not aware of any group effort agenda besides equal rights, which he predictable told me that gays are wrongly attempting to claim we're like blacks.

5.) Realizing this guy needs some education from this concrete world instead of magic sky daddy fantasy land, I tried to inform him of the exact interrelatedness of the origins of the discriminations racism and homophobia and how they pose the same threat to the same group for exactly the same reasons: heterosexual white men. He actually let me expalin this to me and then said, "We're just not going to agree on this whole thing."

6.) I asked the Rev if he threw stones at women who were in public while on their periods. He thought I was crazy, so I explained that this was a strict rule in the buybull and he should therefore follow this rule as well if he is going to place such credence on adherence to what the buybull says. He went off on some bs and didn't answer the question, AGAIN.

7.) He told me that homosexuals have never been through what black people have in the usa. Slavery was what he specifically cited. I then asked him if Matthew Shepherd needed to go through more painful experiences to, in his view, be deemed worthy of being considered having suffered as much as a black person in America. No answer, so I asked him if he was ever a slave and, in another pf his LONG pauses, replied, "No, but my ancestors have,' and I said, "Homosexuals have also been killed or gay bashed in the past, does that mean anything/" The Rev said Actions the church is taking in no way condones the horrible violence or ill will thrown the GLBT community's way, BUT gays are not like blacks because he never chose to be black. I again told him I never chose to be gay and he told me I was wrong. I shit you not! Can you believe it? I informed him the buybull condones slavery and he said I was wrong and had no idea what I was talking about.

8.) I felt it completely unnecessary to discuss with him why I thought it insane to adopt the magic guy in the sky social control bullshit of one's captors.

This asshole is whitenuckling the oppression of racism. Unfortunately, is is still pervasive in American culture. But it gives no one the right to use that as one's soapbox to shit on another minority. I mentioned this to him and I swear it flew right over his hollow head. Throughout the whole conversation he repeated that I was incapable of understanding him because I was trying to remove god from the information provided by him.

Call him and tell him what you think. If enough of us do this he will have no choice but to fight with himself in his own head over it. Call Rev. Ratliff Sr. at 515-262-1931!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CALL CALL CALL CALL CALL CALL CALL!!!!!!

IowaLove March 18, 2011 at 4:00 pm

The African American community is faced with so many challenges – access to health care, funding for education, employment discrimination, HIV/AIDS, police brutality, poverty, pay inequity and so much more. Given his unique talents to find followers, I am so very disappointed in Reverend Ratliff for using his gift of speech to further divide communities and for using his authority to cater to groups who may not have the best interest of his communities at heart. How much better the world might be if his efforts to divide and push down our gay and lesbian friends, neighbors and families were instead used to unite and raise everyone.

His website lists many accolades but they do not seem to align with this man.
-Des Moines Area Religious Council Interfaith Service Award – This organization unites many different faiths yet Mr. Ratliff stands in judgement of other faiths which have 'Burger King you can have it your way' beliefs.
- The Des Moines Human Rights Commission Award – The Human Rights Commissions goal is to advance justice and equality of all people in Des Moines. They attempt to foster justice and equality for all people who live or visit Des Moines by creating an atmosphere of opportunity regardless of: Age, race, color, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ancestry, national origin, physical and mental disability or family status.

This list also includes Amnesty International, Keys to the city and much more but I can't help but believe many of these awards would not have been given if his views were known at the time of their issuance.

Rev. Bob March 18, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Ratliff needs to turn away from the religion of the oppressors. So do we all. If someone can turn Christianity into a religion that supports human beings, more power to them. As it is, Christianity is the enemy of humanity.

Wonda March 22, 2011 at 7:43 pm

Rev. Ratliff, I was born gay, no matter what you or anybody says that is the truth I live by and that is all I need. I can have a baby and raise it as good as anybody and as a matter of fact there are children thrown away everyday who need good homes, with out even have sex to have one. God has never called me or sent me a letter saying gay love was not right. It seems that only hateful, uneducated people say that and yes I am a Christian who follows the bible, where God does say love one another.
You should try this sometime, I find that when I love I do not hate. Now about the point you made about gay people never having to go through what black people did. Think again my friend. Blacks were slaves for a short time through out history, compared to gays who have be enslave since the start of time. After all it was the Christian religion who made love between two people or same sex people a sin and since that time gays have been kept down in slavery because of this, again the idea that gay is the new black should be gays have been slaves of unequality since the begginning of time. Time we get our civil rights just like you, way past time we get our civil rights.

Justice Calo Reign March 25, 2011 at 3:59 am

Thank you Bill… I agree with them whole-heartily. This is what I'm doing to try and help raise the level of excellence in the best way I know how to do! http://doyoujustice.com and please check out my blog http://strengthplay.com Here is to Championing the good cause!

TheBall March 28, 2011 at 12:43 am

Are Gays really a race?, if the answer is yes, well then, this must be Mars. Why do so many people send meaningless hours talking when the majority well is basically against people that had some hard childhood lives that psychologically damaged their instincts…… Please go take a psychology class and study and see that the experience will change the person once they see the truth the reality not through the eyes of a damaged soul. How can one see our own errors when the individual may think its okay? That its good? Look through history and find that although its has been here, it is and never will be accepted when it does then like I stated this must be Mars. Thank you for your time and reading :)

MattAlgren March 28, 2011 at 1:46 am

You are not very bright.

Thank you for your time and reading :)

David Badash March 28, 2011 at 2:14 am

You have not made a single valid, scientific, or factual point. Do you have one, or are you content to live in the ignorance of the 1950s?

known April 11, 2011 at 2:19 am

I am not going to bash the minister for his religious beliefs. I do think that he should not mix religion with politics. I don't believe in homosexuality and I am against gay marriages however, if that is what a person wants to do to each, his and her own. I will not condemed a person for being gay and I do believe that people have a right to live as they choses. Just because a person doesn't believe in ones life style does not make them homophobic. It is when someone acts on their beliefs. I would love to meet this minister and talk with him regarding the holy bible. And people are rights there is a time a place for all things. I don't think anyone should put the bible into this because this situation is a political thing not spiritual

ash April 13, 2011 at 9:21 pm

all of you homos are full of shit .martin luther king did not marfch and fight for civil rights so some homos can have the right to legal marry and do each other all of you are sick assholes nasty perverts.the ones that dont believe in god are the worst of the bunch you will see one day who has the power and it sure is'nt your boyfriend's penis. how the hell do you think you got here / do you think you poped out of a man asshole.freaakssssssssss

Bob Lowe May 13, 2011 at 1:11 pm

As a man who has been very active with the NAACP, and given a Martin Luther King award or my work with the NAACP, I am horrified by the religious bigotry exhibited by many so called Christians also active in the NAACP, in regards to homosexuals. Too many black kids have been exiled by their families. Too many black preachers spew hatred even while referring to their religion as loving. "Civil Rights" is not owned by black folk or by the NAACP. You who justify bigotry with religion are a shame to the community.

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