Gay Activist Denied Speaking Role at Millions More Movement

Mon. October 17, 2005 12:00 AM by

Washington, D.C. - Keith Boykin, president of National Black Justice Coalition and an openly gay activist, was not allowed to address the crowd at Millions More Movement in Washington, D.C., despite assurances from organizer Minister Louis Farrakhan that he would.

After months of ongoing conservation between the NBJC and Farrakhan, a meeting early last week led to Boykin being tapped as the gay African American speaker for the ceremonies.

“I came in today thinking I will be able to speak,” said Boykin, who thought he would speaking during the “tapestry of unity” portion of the program over the weekend. Boykin said that on Wednesday the NBJC, Farrakhan and his family and the Rev. Willie Wilson, the executive director of the Millions More Movement, had a hour and 15 minute meeting at their hotel.

“[Farrakhan] was very polite and respectful,” Boykin told the Chicago Defender. “He told us that we may not agree on issues but he told us that [the Millions More Movement] is about unity.”

According to Boykin, the “obstruction” that he faced and has been facing is Wilson. The minister faced a whirlwind of controversy when he made comments about the gay community during one of his sermons entitled "You've Got To Fight to Be Free" at Union Temple Baptist Church in Southeast D.C. earlier this year. Boykin also said that during the meeting on Wednesday, Wilson showed behavior that he did not understand. The behavior began when Boykin and others walked in; Wilson would not shake their hands. According to Boykin, an upset Wilson began to do and say “bizarre” things.

"[Wilson] had a copy of a book entitled the 'Joy of Gay Sex' that somebody apparently sent to him to harass him or something,” Boykin said. “He threw it on the table and started yelling and screaming. I told him that I have never seen the book and that I don't have anything to do with this. He had sleeping pills that he said the young girls were being forced to take. [The pills] were making them lesbians. He pulled out this thong, this candy thong and threw it on the table and said they made [the girls] lick this, lick the candy off the thong.”

Boykin said he believes that statements like the ones made by Wilson in his speech lead to “anti gay hatred” and “anti gay violence.”

Even though Boykin did not speak, the gay community was invited to the march. They were visible with a flag that had the colors of the rainbow and an African red, black, and green flag waving side by side. Couples held signs that said "Gay by God," "Equal Justice for Equal Souls" and "Marriage Equality Means Full Equality."

Written By Angela D’Amboise

Photo: National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) President Keith Boykin, NBJC Vice President Donna Payne, Minister Louis Farrakhan and NBJC Executive Director H. Alexander Robinson.

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