President Obama’s public endorsement of same-sex unions recently has sent a ripple effect through Washington. Now, the NAACP has passed a resolution in support of gay marriage.
The resolution that was passed on Saturday stated,
“The NAACP Constitution affirmatively states our objective to ensure the “political, educational, social and economic equality” of all people. Therefore, the NAACP has opposed and will continue to oppose any national, state, local policy or legislative initiative that seeks to codify discrimination or hatred into the law or to remove the Constitutional rights of LGBT citizens. We support marriage equality consistent with equal protection under the law provided under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Further, we strongly affirm the religious freedoms of all people as protected by the First Amendment.”
In response to the resolution, board chair Rosyln M. Brock said, “The mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure the political, social and economic equality of all people. We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law.”
Some had wondered if Obama’s support of gay marriage would serve as a rift in the black community. The NAACP’s endorsement is certainly intended to prove this theory wrong, as was the statement recently by a large coalition of African American ministers and civil rights leaders. The coalition included such heavy hitters as Rev. Al Sharpton, Julian Bond, Melanie Campbell and Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery.
In an open letter last week to prove their support of Obama’s position, they wrote,
“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.'” As leaders in today’s Civil Rights Movement, we stand behind the President Obama’s belief that same sex couples should be allowed to join in civil marriages. We also affirm that individuals may hold different views on this issue but still work together towards our common goals: fair housing and equitable education, affordable health care and eradicating poverty, all issues of deep and abiding concern for our communities.”
The NAACP’s resolution and statement specifically used the language “civil marriage” for same sex couples. As NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous said in a statement, “Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP’s support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and equal protection of all people.”