Northwest NAACP asks Washington residents to approve Ref. 74

The Northwest chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) officially endorsed the freedom to marry in Washington statelast week by asking residents to vote to APPROVE Referendum 74. 

The Northwest chapter encompasses Alaska, Oregon, and Washington State, and their official endorsement is the latest in a long list of formal endorsements for Referendum 74 from powerful organizations and institutions in the civil rights, business, and non-profit communities. 

Oscar Eason, Jr. president of the area conference, released a statement about the endorsement. He said:

The Alaska-Oregon-Washington State Area Conference of the NAACP officially endorsed Referendum 74. The NAACP has always been at the forefront of the battle for marriage equality. We fought for marriage equality in the 1960s when miscegenation laws blocked marriages between races and we continue to stand up for marriage equality today. 

The NAACP has played an integral role in helping to pass the freedom to marry at the ballot this year. In Maryland, they have added their powerful voice to the thousands of people speaking up for why marriage matters for same-sex couples. Julian Bond, the chairman emeritus of the national NAACP, has recorded radio advertisements, appeared in print ads, and penned editorials in support of marriage for all families, and statements of support have come from Prince George's County in Maryland and current national president Ben Jealous.  In May, the NAACP's national chapter approved a resolution supporting marriage for same-sex couples nationwide.

The NAACP's endorsement of Referendum 74 reflects the burgeoning support for the freedom to marry in the black community in Washington and beyond. We've seen in national polls that respondents who identify as "non-white" support the freedom to marry by a very strong margin; one June 2012 poll tracked 59% support and 39% opposition. We've also heard many prominent voices from the African-American community speak out in support of all families, including Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery, Rev. Al Sharpton, Colin Powell, 50 Cent, Jay-Z, and Tony winner Audra McDonald.

Freedom to Marry applauds the Northwest NAACP and other Washingtonians who support the approval of Referendum 74. We know that a wide range of diverse communities overwhelmingly support marriage for all loving and committed couples. Amplifying these communities and highlighting their support is essential to winning the freedom to marry in November.

Read more about why marriage matters to African-Americans, Referendum 74 in Washington, and the four states where marriage will be on the ballot in November.