Comments at The We Shall Not Be Moved Rally; Matin Luther King Memorial Monument – January 14, 2017
Washington DC – Hello, my name is Rev. MacArthur Flournoy and I am the Director of Faith Partnerships and Mobilization for the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of nation’s largest LGBTQ equal rights organization.
It is my privilege to stand before you in this sacred assembly, in our nation’s capital. We gather as a pluralistic nation, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and non-Abrahamic faith traditions, immigrants, African Americans, Latinx, Native American, White, Asian and Multiracial people, Millennial and Baby-boomers, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities, people of various gender expressions.
We have come in our diversity to declare with you “We Shall Not Be Moved.”
In the wise words of First Lady, Michelle Obama we also declare that “Our glorious diversity – our diversity of the faiths, and colors and creeds – that is not a threat to who we are, it makes us who we are…”
Representing the Human Rights Campaign, we stand with you determined, to advocate for justice for all. Elected officials may come and go.
However there is a constant that must remain ever before us; whoever you are, whichever community you belong to, there is an unequivocal moral mandate before us this hour, friends, and it is this:
Now, with fierce urgency and courageous solidarity we must forge new partnerships and coalitions to protect civil freedoms and equal protection under the law for everyone – particularly, for those whose voices are seldom heard in the halls of power.
We must all rise to protect voting rights. We know all too well that what happens at the ballot can have devastating consequences, but, our resolve is not based on one election.
Still, we cannot stop at voting rights. We must also call for criminal justice reform where all people are treated equally under the law.
This nation deserves an attorney general who supports the rights of all of our people, regardless of one’s national origin, ethnicity, religious affiliation, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical ability or any of the defining characteristic.
Equally important to us, is the provision of affordable access to healthcare for every American. This is as much a moral issue as it is a justice issue.
We cannot go backwards. So, we stand with you calling to protect the Affordable Care Act from those determined to dismantle it.
Finally, we know that there are those legislators and elected officials who are determined to turn back the clock on many of the gains we have made in recent years on LGBTQ equality.
They want to continue discriminating against LGBTQ people, turning us away from employment, housing, healthcare, schools and business establishments. In too many corners of our country this discrimination remains rampant, and legal. We need to protect our gains and ultimately ensure equal protection is guaranteed under federal law.
They’re going to use the strategy that they have used in the past and it is simply this: divide and conquer.
The intention is to pit members of the LGBTQ community against other communities.
There are those that are depending on us concentrating on our difference rather that what we hold in common. We cannot afford this distraction. We all stand to lose too much if we fall prey to division. We understand that unity does not mean uniformity. It has been said that we all don’t have to have the same mind to mind the same things. So we, as the Human Rights Campaign, stand united with all of you in a quest for freedom and justice.
We shall not be moved.
African American and Latinx – we shall not be moved
LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ– we shall not be moved
Christian and Muslim – We shall not be moved.
In the days that lie ahead, we, the Human Rights Campaign, stand firm in our resolve, to work on the critical issues just outlined.
We look forward to standing with you in our diversity, and in the sacred nature of our commonality, working for the collective good of all people.