In a somewhat surprising move, the NAACP passed a historic resolution endorsing marriage equality.
President and CEO Benjamin Jealous made the following 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.”
Although the endorsement carries no specific legislative weight, the significance of the largest and arguably best known civil rights organization in the nation making such an endorsement can’t be ignored, particularly since there has been such disparity in polling numbers between the black community and the community at large when asked about marriage equality.
Opposition among blacks is often attributed to black churches. The text of the NAACP’s resolution addresses that opposition in a somewhat roundabout way:
“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.”
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