ATLANTA, August 7, 2015 – On the day after The King Center commemorated the 50th anniversary of the signing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the Center stands in solidarity with faith and social justice leaders in opposing Amnesty International’s pending vote for the decriminalization of prostitution. Dr. Bernice A. King, CEO of The King Center and the youngest daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, expressed deep disappointment regarding the proposed decriminalization.
In an open letter issued this week to faith-based activists in New York, Dr. King said, “For a globally recognized human rights organization such as Amnesty International – that has historically shed light on the darkness of human and civil rights violations – to vote on a policy that would call for the decriminalization of pimping, brothel owning and sex buying, is beyond reason. It is not only appalling, but is morally reprehensible and irresponsible to the overall well-being of humanity.”
The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), modeled after the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), one of the oldest African American faith-based organizations, which was founded by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., did not hesitate to answer the call against this social injustice. President and founder of the NHCLC, Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, who leads over 500,000 evangelical church congregations worldwide, states, “Decriminalizing prostitution and related activities serves no other purpose than to amplify the financial incentive for individuals that deny the image of God in children and primarily women around the world.” .
The Carter Center, founded by President Jimmy Carter, known for speaking against social and civil injustices, is taking action by inviting all to watch President Carter’s appeal for the Nordic model and to join President Carter and The Carter Center in taking action through this online petition.
The King Center challenges Amnesty International to abandon the proposal that would decriminalize pimps and buyers, and align with President Carter. We also encourage other human rights advocates to join us in solidarity by supporting the Nordic model.
Dr. Bernice A. King feels that economic disparity and unequal distribution of wealth is an underlying source of this issue. She challenges the delegates of Amnesty International to take the following words from her father to heart before they cast their votes in Dublin, Ireland.
“The stability of the large world house which is ours will involve a revolution of values…we must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing”-oriented society to a “person”-oriented society.
When machine and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered. A civilization can flounder as readily in the face of moral and spiritual bankruptcy as it can through financial bankruptcy.”