The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has just announced its support for gay marriage. The NAACP stated that same-sex marriage is a civil right and the LGBT community should be allowed the same rights as heterosexual couples.
According to NAACP Officer Maxim Thorne, the organization’s Board of Directors voted to endorse gay marriage with a 62-2 vote.
“The NAACP Board of Directors has just endorsed marriage equality unequivocally. Only two opposed! An historic moment.”
The NAACP said in a statement:
“The NAACP Constitution affirmatively states our objective to ensure the ‘political, education, social and economic equality’ of all people. Therefore, the NAACP has opposed and will continue to oppose any national, state, local policy or legislative initiative that seeks to codify discrimination or hatred into the law or to remove the Constitutional rights of LGBT citizens. We support marriage equality consistent with equal protection under the law provided under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Further, we strongly affirm the religious freedoms of all people as protected by the First Amendment.”
Metro Weekly reports that several NAACP members have announced their support for gay marriage previously, but today’s announcement puts the whole organization behind the cause of marriage equality.
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey praised the NAACP for their support. 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.”
Evan Wolfson, the founder and president of Freedom to Marry, also said that he was proud to see the NAACP stand behind gay marriage. Wolfson said:
“The NAACP has long been the nation’s conscience and champion for an America where all share equally in the promise of liberty and justice for all. Today the NAACP resoundingly affirmed that the freedom to marry is a civil right and family value that belong to all of us, and that discriminatory barriers to marriage must fall. The toxic tactics of anti-gay groups like NOM to ‘drive a wedge between blacks and gays’ will be washed away in the wave of righteous affirmation.”
President Obama announced earlier this month that he supported same-sex marriage. Obama’s announcement has forced several public figures to announce their support of, or opposition to, gay marriage. Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney reiterated his position against gay marriage, saying that “Marriage is the relationship between one man and one women.”