NAACP apologizes for antigay MLK Day speech
January 27 2004 12:00 AM ET
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has apologized for an antigay speech given by a civil rights activist at a service honoring Martin Luther King Jr., according to The [Columbia, S.C.] State. During last week's service, Sheila Koger of Columbia's Bethlehem Baptist Church said that transgendered people confuse children and that the Bible doesn't condone homosexuality. "God said in the beginning he created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve," Koger said on January 19. "If you don't got a womb, then you're a man."
In a statement released Friday, the South Carolina NAACP said her comments do not represent the group: "The remarks by Dr. Sheila Koger regarding sexual preference did not represent the views of the NAACP and were inappropriate during a service designed to bring together the various sectors of the community." Lonnie Randolph Jr., president-elect of the South Carolina NAACP, told the newspaper he was offended by Koger's speech.
Bert Easter, president of the South Carolina Gay and Lesbian Pride Movement, welcomed the NAACP's comments but said they fall short, adding that they did not specifically address the transgender issue. "They are a part of our society and our community," Easter said. Easter said he would like to discuss Koger's comments with her but that she has not returned his calls.