Poll shows majority of black Americans support the freedom to marry

Three weeks after President Barack Obama announced that he supports the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, we are only beginning to see the positive impacts of his statement. 

Earlier this week, The Washington Post and ABC released results from a poll about American views on the freedom to marry and whether the President's endorsement affected their perspective. The poll demonstrated for the first time that a majority of black Americans support the freedom to marry. 59 percent of black respondents say they agree with the President. This compares with the 53 percent of respondents overall who said they support the freedom to marry. The poll was the tenth consecutive national poll to confirm majority support for ending marriage discrimination. 

In the past few weeks, a number of black leaders in the country have stood with President Obama in supporting the freedom to marry. Last weekend, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People approved a resolution stating that marriage for same-sex couples is a civil rights issue. Previously, four prominent black leaders — from the National Action Network, the NAACP, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference — signed onto a letter supporting the freedom to marry. And just this week, former Secretary of State Colin Powell announced that he has "no problem" with same-sex couples marrying.

Our founder and President Evan Wolfson has commented on the recent evidence of a surge in black support for the freedom to marry. He said:

It's particularly gratifying to see the growing support among African-Americans who, like the President and the NAACP, understand that the Golden Rule and our nation's civil rights commitment of liberty and justice for all really do apply to 'all.' The toxic tactics of anti-gay forces to, in their own words, 'drive a wedge between blacks and gays' has backfired, and support for the freedom to marry now has a majority among those who know all too well what discrimination, including discrimination in marriage, looks and feels like. 

Freedom to Marry thanks this new majority of Americans for taking the time to consider why marriage matters and talk with their gay and lesbian friends to neighbors to understand that all families deserve the protections and security that only marriage can provide.