By Julie Bolcer
Originally published on Advocate.com August 28 2010 11:10 AM ET
Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King Jr. who this month addressed a National Organization for Marriage event against marriage equality, will be a keynote speaker at the Restoring Honor rally hosted by Glenn Beck on Saturday in Washington, D.C.
The Beck rally, which is billed as “nonpartisan” and also features Sarah Palin, is taking place on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
According to the Daily Caller, Alveda King sees her participation in the rally as an extension of her uncle’s legacy.
“I’m speaking at the Glenn Beck rally because Glenn and I have had many conversations about faith, hope and love,” she told the Daily Caller. “Glenn asked me about the philosophy and the strength to love that my uncle Martin had. I’ve been sharing that with Glenn and I’m hearing and seeing Glenn embrace those principles. Where those principles are bound, and they’re not just rooted in the American Dream, but in the faith of our Father.”
Critics including the NAACP and the National Action Network disagree that the slain civil rights leader would see eye to eye with conservatives, and they are leading a Reclaim the Dream counter rally on Saturday.
Earlier this month Alveda King spoke at a NOM rally in Atlanta, where she compared marriage equality to “genocide” and warned that it would lead to “extinction.”
Salon reports more on her antigay background:
“In 1994, she released a letter condemning Coretta Scott King’s support for abortion and gay rights, saying it would bring ‘curses on your house and your people ... cursing, vexation, rebuke in all that you put your hand to, sickness will come to you and your house, your bloodline will be cut off.’
“Lynn Cothren, Coretta Scott King’s openly gay special assistant for 23 years, recalls Alveda’s vocal opposition to a hospice for AIDS patients in her neighborhood. Once, says Cothren, Alveda brought religious tracts to the King Center and encouraged him to repent.
“‘Mrs. King dealt with it," said Cothren, ‘and she didn’t pass out any more tracts.’”
Coretta Scott King, the late widow of Martin Luther King Jr., called marriage equality a civil rights issue in a 2004 speech.
Fox News host Beck said this month that he did not see marriage equality as a threat to the country. Asked by colleague Bill O'Reilly, he said, "Honestly, I think we have bigger fish to fry."