The NAACP has issued a statement officially supporting same-sex marriage. Photo via alifarid at SXC Photo
Following President Barack Obama’s recent statement in support of same-sex marriage, Saturday night the NAACP board of directors voted to support same-sex marriage and released a statement that “civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law” and citing the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as a reason for backing marriage equality.
Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP President and CEO, 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.”
Roslyn M. Brock, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, 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.”
Last week, during an interview with CNN, rapper Jay-Z praised Obama’s recent statements supporting same-sex marriage and said that the issue “is still holding the country back.”
“You can chose to love whoever you love; that’s your business,” Jay-Z, 42, said to CNN. “It’s no different than discrimination against blacks. It’s discrimination plain and simple.”
Following President Obama’s announcement supporting same-sex marriage, an ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 54 percent of African-Americans were in agreement with the President on the issue. In similar polls from mid-2011 and early 2012, only 41 percent of African-Americans supported same-sex marriage.
The NAACP has previously opposed legislation that would prevent same-sex marriage, including California’s Proposition 8 and North Carolina’s Amendment 1, ABC News reports.
In repsonse to the NAACP’s announcement, the Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Rea Carey said, “We are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with the NAACP working together on the many issues that affect all of our lives. Whether it be fair access to education and jobs, an end to voter suppression and racial profiling, the right to love and be who we are free of discrimination — these issues affect all of us, our families and our country. Today the NAACP did what it does so well — inspires and affirms our common humanity.”
In a statement obtained by ABC News, GLAAD President Herndon Graddick said, “Across races, faith traditions, and political persuasions, a majority of our culture recognizes that denying gay couples the chance at happiness that comes with being married is unfair and un-American.”
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