Los Angeles, CA —
Gay and lesbian African-Americans joined thousands of people on Monday to mark the Martin Luther King Day holiday at the 26th annual King Day Parade in South Los Angeles.
Long Beach resident Chante Craig joined a group of black gay residents marching in the parade down Martin Luther King Boulevard.
"Unfortunately, though we live in California, it's a very liberal state but we still have some very conservative views – especially in the black community with churches being such a stronghold in the community," she told Public Radio Station KPCC. "It tends to allow homophobia to spread across the community – and so this is one of our ways to come out and bring some positive exposure to the community and show them what other things we're doing as well."
LA Weekly reports the LGBT community was also invited to participate in the Martin Luther King Jr. Kingdom Day Parade in LA's Leimert Park.
Monday marks the 25th anniversary of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Dr. King was assassinated in 1968. Before her death, his widow, Coretta Scott King speculated that Dr. King would have supported gay rights, if he had lived.
"Freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation is surely a fundamental civil right in any great democracy, as much as freedom from racial, religious, gender, or ethnic discrimination… I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream to make room at the table of brotherhood and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people," she said.