The Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a 50-year-old civil rights organization founded by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wants to fire the president of its Los Angeles chapter over his support of marriage equality in California. The SCLC has threatened Reverend Eric Lee with dismissal for speaking out against Prop 8. Lee believed that despite the tension with black clergy he was compelled to stand up for civil rights and felt that banning same-sex marriage “is a clear violation of civil rights and I have to speak up on that.” Lee said in a report by The New York Times. Rev. Lee also said that he sees failures of leadership at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; he told the Times, "Dr. King would be turning over in his grave right now."
Related: In a speech in November 2003 Coretta Scott King made her now famous appeal linking the civil rights movement to the gay rights movement: "I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people. ... But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.' 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." Her support of LGBT rights was strongly criticized by some black pastors. She called her critics "misinformed" and said that Martin Luther King's message to the world was one of equality and inclusion.