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In landmark announcement, NAACP endorses marriage equality

Monday, May 21, 2012
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MIAMI, Fla. — The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) late Friday passed a resolution endorsing marriage equality for same-sex couples.

The resolution — coming on the heels of President Barack Obama’s historic support for marriage equality, and subsequent polling on the issue among African-Americans — stated that it was demanded by the equal protection guarantees written into the U.S. Constitution.

“The mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure political, social and economic equality of all people. We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law,” NAACP Chairperson Roslyn M. Brock said in a statement.

NAACP president, Benjamin Todd, an outspoken supporter of LGBT rights, said, “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.”

Since Obama announced his support for marriage equality, attitudes within the African American community appear to have become more positive.

A Washington Post/ABC News poll showed that 54 percent of African Americans supported the President’s statement, while a Public Policy Poll — also taken after the President’s announcement — reflected an 11-point increase among African Americans in North Carolina who support either marriage or civil unions for committed gay and lesbian couples.

Half of African-Americans, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll conducted earlier this month, back marriage equality.

“Almost every demographic slice was more in favor of gay marriage than it had been in 2009,” reported the Journal.

“We could not be more pleased with the NAACP’s history-making vote — which is yet another example of the traction marriage equality continues to gain in every community,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese.

“It’s time the shameful myth that the African-American community is somehow out of lockstep with the rest of the country on marriage equality is retired – once and for all. The facts and clear momentum toward marriage speak for themselves,” Solmonese said.

Observers consider the NAACP’s announcement a positive step in bridging the apparent divide between ethnic minorities and the LGBT community, and reinforces previous findings from Pew Research Center that African Americans have become more supportive of marriage equality than even four years ago, though they still remain the ethnic group most opposed to the move.

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