'They Are a Part of Me and I am a Part of Them': Tish James at LGBT Forum

One more highlight from State Senator Dan Squadron’s forum on LGBT issues, now that same-sex marriage is legal in New York: the opening remarks by City Councilwoman Letitia James of Brooklyn.

“I stand strong with the LGBT community because they are a part of me and I am a part of them,” said James.

James — a two-term Council member who recently opened a 2013 campaign committee for an unspecified office — went on to invoke her race and religion as reasons for her support of the LGBT community.

“To treat someone different is wrong, is immoral, and for me, it is really unChristian-like,” she said. “And for me to be a Christian is to accept you as you are.”

Also at the event were Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and City Comptroller John Liu, both likely candidates for mayor in 2013, along with Senator Gillibrand and representatives of various elected officials.

Here’s video of James’ remarks, and a transcript.

City Councilwoman Letitia James:

“A lot of African-Americans have asked me ‘why do you support gay marriage? Why did you come out early on? Why do you stand strong with the LGBT community?’

“And I stand strong with the LGBT community because they are a part of me and I am a part of them. I stand with them because no one should be treated differently, no matter your race or sexual orientation or your gender. And that we are all a part of one human family. And that to treat someone different is wrong, is immoral, and for me, it is really unChristian-like. And for me to be a Christian is to accept you as you are and to accept me at the place that you are and to accept you as equal.

“And so I stand with you always. I stand with you in demanding that the federal government also give you full rights. I stand with you when you marry. I stand with you when you adopt. I stand with you when you live next to me. I stand with you with all of your rights because I want all of my rights. And I stand with you today, and that’s why I am here today.”