MLK Day: Video of Me Speaking on Capitol Hill

Two years ago today (Martin Luther King Jr. Day) I spoke on Capitol Hill the night before the Inauguration of President Barack Obama.

The event was an official Inauguration event, a series of government sponsored events that led up to the actual Inauguration ceremony of our country’s 44th President. This event consisted of two representatives from each of the major faiths that make-up America, to speak about something that reflects the essence of Martin Luther King Jr and the current state of our country.

It was a huge honor to be there, not just because I had the opportunity to speak on Capitol Hill during such a pivotal time in our country’s history, but because the other evangelical representative speaking was Dr. Vincent Harding, the former speech writer for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr! Here and here are two of Dr. Harding’s recent books. After MLK’s assassination, Harding worked closely with Coretta Scott King to preserve MLK’s legacy, including being the first Director of the only official MLK museum, the King Center, in Atlanta, GA.

I was humbled to find out that the talk that I gave that night (above) impacted the director of the Smithsonian Museum, who was in attendance that evening. Later, I received a document from the Smithsonian asking for my permission to archive my talk in our country’s history depository. Needless to say, I signed it and what you hear above will always be a part of our country’s history. To date, speaking on Capitol Hill with Martin Luther King Jr’s speech writer, leading to my talk being archived in the Smithsonian, the night before the Inauguration of President Obama, has been the biggest honor of my life.

It’s still amazing to me that any of this stuff has even happened. I was just a kid who moved into Boystown with my best friends because I loved them and wanted to seek the truth, because what I heard from the Church world about LGBTs and what I heard from LGBTs about the church world never matched up to any experiences I had in either community. Let’s keep this bridge building movement of reconciliation rolling…

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Much love.

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  • Debbie Thurman

    I’d say that’s a pretty big deal. 🙂

    Thanks for creating a blog where folks can talk and practice living in that non-violent tension for the sake of growth. Little by little, we all understand each other more. That can never happen if we stay in our safe enclaves.

    • Thanks so much Debbie. Much love! I am humbled that you continue to be such an integral part of that growth.

  • Mrs T

    I love that clip & have watched it several times. Thanks for ‘rerunning’ it.
    I just wish I could have heard the audience reply more. I’m sure they enjoyed the speech like we did.
    I wish you well in your work.

    • Thanks Mrs. T! 🙂 I’m blessed from all of your love, prayers and encouragements!

  • I’m just surprised that you own a suit. Don’t they know you like to rock the flip flops and Cubs hat?

    • I was told in some not-so-subtle, very, very clear terms:

      “You have to wear a suit. Period.”

      🙂 So I did.