During a leadership retreat in Miami, the NAACP’s board voted to support marriage equality in a resolution. NAACP President Ben Jealous remarked that the organization’s support is deeply aligned with this nation’s 14th amendment:
“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.”
While NAACP Board Chairman Roslyn M. Brock explained that endorsing same-sex marriage is a natural extension of their organization’s values:
“The mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure political, social and economic equality of all people. We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law.”
As expected, gay rights advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign were pleased with the NAACP’s public stance.
“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,” HRC President Joe Solmonese said in a statement.
Time will tell how this pans out in the Black community.
Shortly after President Obama made his announcement, however, there was major backlash. Sixty percent of more than 1,200 NewsOne readers, for example, took a poll, saying they disagreed with the President’s position.
“…So why should he turn his back on this issue?”
Obama should turn his back on this issue because he professes to be a Christian and he knows exactly what the Bible says about homosexuality. He seems to be willing to compromise all of his core beliefs. He’s been wrestling with this issue for a long time because his conscience was telling him that endorsing same sex marriage is not right. He has allowed himself to be forced into accepting something that, deep down, he knows is wrong.
This is probably the lowest moment of his presidency.
Several Black pastors also disagreed publicly with the commander-in-chief. President of the Southern Baptist Convention Bryan Wright said, “[President Obama's announcement is ] a very sad day for America when the President comes out in support of same sex marriage. No surprise, but deeply troubling for our future!”
While acceptance of same-sex marriage has increased in the African-American community over the years, we still index as having the lowest support for the institution overall, with only 39 percent of us in support, according to the Pew Research Center.
It remains to be seen whether President Obama’s position will compromise or buoy him in November’s election.