The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People made headlines today announcing its official endorsement of same sex marriage – an issue that has long divided the Black community.
The news comes on the heels of President Obama’s own endorsement, which came just over a week ago. The organization’s 64 board members convened in Miami earlier today for their quarterly board meeting, and all but two voted in support.
“Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law,” said NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous, shown here, who is a known supporter of gay rights. “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.”
The NAACP’s decision to back same sex marriage is a symbolic one. Many religious leaders in the Black community oppose it.
Same sex marriage is currently legal in six states and the District of Columbia. Thirty one states have passed amendments to ban it.
“We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law,” said Roslyn M. Brock, chairwoman of the board.
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