The NAACP has announced that its backing same-sex marriage, more than a week after President Obama also expressed support for the issue.
“The mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure political, social and economic equality of all people,” Roslyn M. Brock, chairman of the NAACP’s board of directors, said in a statement. “We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law.”
President Obama’s public support of same-sex marriage led many to question whether his stance would spark a backlash among some in the black evangelical community, which has traditionally been against same-sex marriage.
Other prominent African-American religious leaders, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton and the Rev. Joseph Lowery, have expressed their support for same-sex marriage and have praised Obama’s support for same-sex marriage.
“Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law,” said NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous. “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,”
The NAACP has stood in favor of gay rights issues in the past, notably opposing Proposition 8 in California, the Defense of Marriage Act, and North Carolina’s constitutional amendment that bans marriage and domestic partnerships for same-sex couples.