Several national groups have lauded the NAACP for its board decision in Miami Saturday to support gay marriage as a civil right:
WASHINGTON, May 19 — The board of directors of the NAACP, the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization, today voted to endorse marriage equality. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the NAACP have worked together on issues related to racial and economic justice, LGBT rights and marriage equality, among others. NAACP leaders Julian Bond and Ben Jealous have each also spoken at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, the largest convening of pro-LGBT rights supporters in the country.
Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
“This is truly a historic moment as the NAACP — the nation’s oldest civil rights organization — takes an official and unequivocal stand for marriage equality. As the country’s oldest national LGBT rights group, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force could not be more thrilled.
“We are also not surprised by the leadership exhibited once again by the NAACP. Just a few months ago, NAACP President Ben Jealous stood before 3,000 LGBT rights activists at our Creating Change Conference and spoke powerfully and poignantly about the ties of conscience and courage that bind us. ‘The NAACP and the LGBT movement have fought together for social justice since Bayard Rustin planned the March on Washington in 1963,' he told the crowd. ‘He was a black gay hero who wrote the textbook on mobilizing the masses for jobs and freedom.’
“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.”
HRC, Human Rights Campaign:
WASHINGTON – On the heels of President Obama’s historic support for marriage equality and subsequent polling on the issue among African-Americans, the NAACP Board of Directors today endorsed marriage equality.
“We could not be more pleased with the NAACP’s history-making vote today – 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.”
Half of African-Americans, according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll conducted earlier this month, back marriage equality. The Journal reported, “Almost every demographic slice was more in favor of gay marriage than it had been in 2009.”
Following President Obama’s historic endorsement of the issue also this month, attitudes within the African-American community become even more positive. A Washington Post poll showed that 54 percent of African Americans backed the President’s statement. 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.
Months ago, HRC unearthed secret internal memos by the so-called National Organization for Marriage which admitted in stark terms its racial strategy. One memo to its Board of Directors stated NOM would drive a “wedge between gays and blacks.”
“NOM has pursued ugly racial politics seeking to divide people, but what is becoming crystal clear is that its strategy is not working,” said Solmonese. “Americans from all walks of life are uniting to support love, commitment, and stronger families.”
NEW YORK -- Today the Board of Directors of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) endorsed same-sex couples' freedom to marry, stating that it was "consistent with equal protection." Below is a statement from Freedom to Marry's founder and President Evan Wolfson:
"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 belongs 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."
Today the NAACP, an organization that has long been against efforts to discriminate against the LGBT community, endorsed marriage equality. Aisha Moodie-Mills, Advisor to the Center for American Progress on LGBT Policy and Racial Justice issued the following statement:
The NAACP has long been a staunch defender of justice for all people and their resolution today is a continuation of that legacy. Marriage equality is the defining civil rights issue of our time, and I applaud the NAACP for their vote today, and for their past opposition to efforts to codify discrimination against gay and transgender Americans into the law.
"For more than 103 years, the NAACP has been a leading advocate and a voice for members of marginalized communities. Today’s announcement represents their continued stance against the discrimination that LGBT families face. We applaud President Ben Jealous and the NAACP Board of Directors for their leadership on this issue," said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. "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.”