The NAACP supports same-sex couples’ freedom to marry

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has joined the growing ranks of organizations who support the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. On Saturday, during the organization's board meeting, the NAACP approved a resolution supporting the freedom to marry, stating that advocating for marriage for same-sex couples is consistent with the organization's 103-year history of committing to equal protection under the law. 

The resolution reads:

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.

The resolution is the latest move in the NAACP's long-standing support of the freedom to marry. The organization has publicly opposed a number of previous attempts to limit marriage, including Proposition 8 in California, the Defense of Marriage Act, and North Carolina's Amendment 1, which earlier this month was passed to ban all forms of relationship recognition for gay and lesbian couples across the state.  

Our founder and President Evan Wolfson released a statement following the resolution:

The NAACP has long been the nation's conscience and champion for an America where all share equally in the promise of liberty and justice for all. Today the NAACP resoundingly affirmed that the freedom to marry is a civil right and family value that belongs to all of us, and that discriminatory barriers to marriage must fall. The toxic tactics of anti-gay groups like NOM to 'drive a wedge between blacks and gays' will be washing away in the wave of righteous affirmation. 

The NAACP decision comes on the heels of a joint statement from four prominent black leaders — Rev. Al Sharpton, Melanie Campbell, Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery, and the NAACP's own Chairman Emeritus Julian Bond — that endorsed the freedom to marry. Their statement, taken with this weekend's stated support from the broader NAACP, demonstrates growing support for the freedom to marry among black Americans. Recent polling has shown that 39 percent of black Americans favor marriage and only 49 percent percent oppose marriage, a large improvement over recent years. 

Freedom to Marry thanks the NAACP for their resolution and applauds the Board of Directors for reaffirming the importance of continually opposing discrimination.