Largest Latino civil rights group approves same-sex marriage resolution


By Michael K. Lavers[e]Washington Blade[m]

Board members of the country’s largest Latino civil rights organization earlier this month unanimously passed a resolution in support of marriage rights for same-sex couples.

Eric Rodriguez, vice president of public policy for the National Council of La Raza, confirmed to the Washington Blade that the vote took place on June 9 during a previously scheduled board meeting. NCLR did not provide a copy of the resolution, but Rodriguez stressed that there was little opposition to it.

“There was discussion for that period of time, but everyone really strongly that supporting what we had already put out there in terms of our statement was the right thing to do,” he said.

Former NCLR Board Chair Danny Ortega, a Phoenix lawyer whose term ended after the vote, provided broad details of the conversations that he said took place among the 25 board members before the vote.

“We had a discussion about this and clearly some people had more questions than others, but at the end of the discussion it was unanimous,” he said.

The resolution passed less than a month after the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Persons’ Board of Directors endorsed marriage rights for same-sex couples.

President Barack Obama on May 9 publicly backed nuptials for gays and lesbians during a White House interview with ABC News. NCLR President Janet Murguía applauded him for his “historic remarks expressing support for marriage equality” after the network broadcast them.

“The board in essence validated that and said we fully support Janet’s position,” said Rodriguez. “Consistent with that belief they expressed for themselves the belief that marriage equality is consistent with the mission—the civil rights mission—of our organization.”

Murguía also applauded the resolution.

“NCLR has taken a strong stand on marriage equality and our Board of Directors wanted to affirm and support that decision, which I very much appreciate,” she told the Blade. “ That unanimous vote recognizes that marriage equality and LGBT issues are, and need to be, part of NCLR’s core civil rights agenda.”

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