by Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
A release this afternoon from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is another, and a quite significant, indication that “the times, they are a-changin’.”
Decision Affirms Opposition to Government Efforts to Codify Discrimination …
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People today released a resolution supporting marriage equality. At a meeting of the 103-year old civil rights group’s board of directors, the organization voted to support marriage equality as a continuation of its historic commitment to equal protection under the law.
‘The mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure the political, social and economic equality of all people,’ said Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NAACP. ‘We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law.’
‘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 Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP.
The NAACP has addressed civil rights with regard to marriage since Loving v. Virginia declared anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional in 1967. In recent years the NAACP has taken public positions against state and federal efforts to ban the rights and privileges for LGBT citizens, including strong opposition to Proposition 8 in California, the Defense of Marriage Act, and most recently, North Carolina’s Amendment 1, which changed the state constitution’s to prohibit same sex marriage.
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.’
A Human Rights Campaign release regarding the announcement begins:
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. …
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.’
One of my favorite parts of the NAACP release: “We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law.”