Today, the National Black Justice Coalition’s (NBJC) Executive Director and CEO, Sharon Lettman-Hicks, issued the following statement in support of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s termination of former Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran after he went against city policy by writing a book that included homophobic statements...

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Washington, DC – Today the state of Florida joins 35 other states in granting same-sex couples the freedom to marry. This action comes after Federal District Court Judge Robert Hinkle ruled last August that Florida’s law barring same-sex couples from marrying violated the equal protection and due process requirements of the U.S. Constitution and stayed his ruling until January 5, 2015. Both the 11th Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court subsequently denied the State of Florida’s request to extend the stay, which ultimately led to marriage equality as the law of the land in Florida as of today. The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) applauds the ruling and celebrates Florida joining the movement to expand marriage rights to same-sex couples in our nation.

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Please join us in Washington, D.C. or at one of the marches around the country this Saturday, December 13, as we stand in solidarity with thousands of community members, activists, and organizations to march against police violence and demand racial justice.

In Washington, D.C., the National Action Network has organized the National March Against Police Violence, which begins in Freedom Plaza at noon. Faith leaders, community members, regional activists, and national organizations will all begin meeting at 10:30am to prepare to march alongside the families of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and Akai Gurley.  

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Black America faces an unspoken agenda of terror and racism. In response, tens of thousands of historically Black congregations/denominations and allies across the country will be wearing black on December 14, 2014, to protest the criminalization, disproportionate incarceration, and killing of black and brown people by law enforcement. As Black lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) religious leaders, we are all too familiar with oppressive systems that discriminate and kill.

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Words cannot begin to describe the depth of feeling we all share about the unfolding tragedies in Ferguson and New York City. Words cannot relieve the suffering of Michael Brown and Eric Garner’s loved ones nor can words alone salve the pain nor quell the anger of millions. It’s action we need and we need it now.
As LGBTQ national organizations, we proudly stand in solidarity with the civil rights organizations and local activists — including the actions of an amazing, fierce, brilliant cadre of youth leaders, many of whom are queer identified — in demanding fundamental systemic change that tackles the root causes of racial and economic injustices once and for all. 

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