Main | Friday, July 10, 2009

Civil Rights Group May Boot Leader For Supporting Marriage Equality

The LA chapter head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Rev. Eric P. Lee, may be kicked out for supporting same-sex marriage. The SLCL was founded over 50 years ago by Martin Luther King, Jr. and is one of the most noted civil rights groups in American history.
Mr. Lee’s opposition to Proposition 8 “created tension in my life I had never experienced with black clergy,” he said. “But it was clear to me that any time you deny one group of people the same right that other groups have that is a clear violation of civil rights and I have to speak up on that.” In April, Mr. Lee attended a board meeting of the civil rights organization in Kansas City, Mo., and found himself once again in the minority position among his colleagues on the issue of same-sex marriage, but was told, he said, by the interim president of the civil rights organization, Byron Clay, that the group publicly had a neutral position on the issue. So a month later, Mr. Lee said, he was surprised to receive a call from the National Board of Directors summoning him immediately to Atlanta to explain why he had taken a position on the same-sex marriage issue without the authority of the national board. Explaining that he was unable to come to Atlanta on such short notice, Mr. Lee then received two letters from the organization’s lawyer, Dexter M. Wimbish, threatening him with suspension or removal as president of the Los Angeles chapter if he did not come soon to explain himself.
According to the above-linked story, it is unclear if the national board has the authority to remove chapter presidents.

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