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Posted: August 22, 2005

Rev. Willie Wilson sermonizes against African-American lesbians

Rev. Willie Wilson, the Executive Director of the Millions More Movement (MMM), delivered a homophobic sermon at his Union Temple Baptist Church in Anacostia, Washington, D.C. on July 2, 2005.

In his sermon, Rev. Wilson warned against an increase in lesbianism among black women which he attributed to their growing economic self-sufficiency. ''That's one of the reasons many of our women are becoming lesbian,” Wilson said. “You've got to be careful when you say you don't need no man.... If you don't need a man, what's left? Lesbianism is about to take over our community.” Rev. Wilson went on to describe lesbian sex as not “real,” adding, “it ain't natural.”

Rev. Wilson’s comments provoked black gay rights groups to call for him to step down as MMM executive director and prompted a lesbian MMM convener to withdraw from the MMM. Philip Pannell, a longtime political and gay activist who led the charge to have gay men and lesbians represented in the MMM, is now questioning the participation of the homosexual community. Gay and lesbian leaders are demanding official roles in the organization, and to have male and female gay speakers at the podium during the march.

Min. Louis Farrakhan, creator of the MMM, has recently been praised for having imbued the movement with openness to women and to homosexuals. However, Min. Farrakhan has a long history of denouncing homosexuality in his sermons.

Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams and NAACP Chairman Julian Bond have each called on Rev. Wilson and Min. Farrakhan to include gay men and lesbians among the organizers of the October rally.

Rev. Wilson has since apologized for his language, which he described as “intemperate.” But, he later posted on his church’s Web site concerns about “same sex girl gangs” which threaten their peers into lesbianism. Rev. Wilson added that the number of young girls involved in same sex relations are “prolific, astounding and mind-boggling.”

Gay rights groups have not accepted Rev. Wilson’s apology. There is no indication that Min. Farrakhan and Rev. Wilson will grant gay and lesbian leaders more prominent roles in the march.
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