NAACP President Calls on African-Americans to Support Gay Marriage as a Civil Right
NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said Monday he hopes the group’s resolution supporting same-sex marriage will encourage blacks to support marriage equality as a civil right if the question is put to voters on the ballot in Maryland or other states.
The civil rights group’s resolution was significant, as only 39 percent of blacks favor gay marriage, compared with 47 percent of white Americans, according to a Pew poll conducted in April. Much of the opposition stems from churches, which have long been important institutions in the black community.
“I hope this will be a game-changer,” Jealous told The Associated Press in an interview. “There is a game being played right now to enshrine discrimination into state constitutions across the country, and if we can change that game and help ensure that our country’s more recent tradition of using federal and state constitutions to expand rights continues, we will be very proud of our work.”
Jealous spoke about the resolution, which was approved by the organization’s board of directors on Saturday, at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People headquarters in Baltimore. The resolution was approved about two weeks after President Barack Obama announced his support for gay marriage.