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Iowa

NAACP conference leader resigns over group’s support of marriage equality

Thursday, June 7, 2012

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Rev. Keith Ratliff, president of the Iowa and Nebraska conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), has resigned over the group’s national board resolution in support of same-sex marriage.

Ratliff, pastor of Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church in Des Moines, has long been an outspoken opponent of same-sex marriage, and said he has been struggling with the group’s vote during a leadership retreat last month.

Rev. Keith Ratliff

On May 18, the NAACP passed a resolution endorsing marriage equality for same-sex couples.

Ratliff has previously complained that gay rights activists had “hijacked” the civil rights debate, reported the Des Moines Register.

“There is no parallel” between gay rights activism and the civil rights movement of the 1960s, said Ratliff, whose church has a predominately black membership.

“That is an insult to the civil rights movement.” He added, “Deviant behavior is not the same thing as being denied your right to vote.”

The NAACP 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.

“When people ask why the NAACP stands firmly for marriage equality, we say that we have always stood against laws which demean, dehumanize, or discriminate against any person in this great country. That is our legacy,” said Roslyn Brock, chairman of the NAACP’s board, in a statement last month elaborating on board’s decision to support marriage equality.

Ratliff’s Iowa/Nebraska Conference includes NAACP branches in Lincoln, Omaha, Ames, Burlington, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Des Moines and Sioux City.

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24 more reader comments:

  1. see ya bitch!

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 6:09pm
  2. equality is NOT for everyone dumb ass…guess who WALKEd for YOUR equality? the GLBT community

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 6:10pm
  3. dont let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya!

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 6:13pm
  4. You’d think more African American people would understand a cause like this, considering that it wasn’t too long ago historically speaking that we were much in the same position. The Civil Rights struggle is *long* from over, except it’s moved from color to sexual orientation. It is *no different.* How dare he quit over this. He of all people should understand exactly why the NAACP stands with the LGBT community.

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 6:14pm
  5. Everybody’s equal, but some of us are more equal than others.

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 6:15pm
  6. tired old bigot

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 6:17pm
  7. buh-bye!

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 6:20pm
  8. Good riddens.

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 6:25pm
  9. NAACP, as long as you’re not gay? Ugh I cannot believe people!

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 6:27pm
  10. I think Adam White hit it right on the head. Ratliff of all people should know what it means to have to fight for equality.

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 6:28pm
  11. Well said Adam…LOL. Send me a friend request. Anyhoo the Rev. like so many other “Religous Loons” use their religion to justify their hatred of gay people. I hope the Rev. comes to his senses SOON…SMDH

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 6:32pm
  12. If u compare the LGBT struggle to that for civil rights, u will start a firestorm of complaining from SOME African-American leaders.

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 6:35pm
  13. Good for him!

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 6:44pm
  14. let teh bigots resign..

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 6:46pm
  15. Awww … to bad….

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 7:05pm
  16. The civil rights movement has so many parallels to the LGBT rights movement. In both cases people are being subjugated and marginalized. If you can’t see that, your blind beyond hope

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 7:08pm
  17. Again, I’m reminded of the guy who said “What’s next, penguin rights?” It’s “apples and oranges,” true, if you compare the historical details, but who made this a contest?

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 7:11pm
  18. Bye bye bigot!

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 7:39pm
  19. Sad. But there are bigots in every group. Sooner or later they reveal themselves. . .

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 9:14pm
  20. Wow. Ill be at the conference in houston happier than ever!

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 10:25pm
  21. No homo haters? Fine by me! I work for naacp and was glad they officially came out and supported lgbtq community.

    Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 10:27pm
  22. Posted on Thursday, June 7, 2012 at 10:34pm
  23. “When people ask why the NAACP stands firmly for marriage equality, we say that we have always stood against laws which demean, dehumanize, or discriminate against any person in this great country. That is our legacy,” said Roslyn Brock, chairman of the NAACP’s board, in a statement last month elaborating on board’s decision to support marriage equality.

    Posted on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 12:47am
  24. Complete and total nut-job.

    Posted on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 7:46am