The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) passed a resolution Saturday endorsing same-sex marriage as a civil right. The 103-year old civil rights group says their marriage equality endorsement is a continuation of its historic commitment to equal protection under the law.
“The mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure political, social and economic equality of all people,” Board Chairwoman Roslyn M. Brock said in a statement. “We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law.”
The NAACP announcement comes just two weeks after President Barack Obama announced his support for gay marriage.
“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,” said NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous.
Colorlines.com’s Editorial Director Kai Wright says it’s difficult to identify a more “traditional,” mainstream black institution than the NAACP’s national board.
“Surely this vote can finally put to rest the weird debate over whether black people will abandon the president over his change of heart—and importantly, not change of policy—on LGBT relationships. To the contrary, his comments are forcing overdue conversations and leading all kinds of people to come out of the closet in their love and support for the LGBT people in their lives and communities,” Wright said.
Below is the text of the resolution passed by the NAACP board of directors:
The NAACP Constitution affirmatively states our objective to ensure the “political, educational, 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.