They say whenever any group’s civil rights are infringed upon, we all have a responsibility to speak up in protest and the NAACP appears to be doing just that by endorsing same-sex marriage.
On Saturday, the organization’s board of directors voted to back efforts pushing for gay and lesbian couples to marry in this country, striking a balance between its usually conservative stance on issues and liberal blacks who feel the divide between African Americans on gay rights has lasted far too long. In a statement released after the decision, NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous said:
“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. The well-funded right wing organizations who are attempting to split our communities are no friend to civil rights, and they will not succeed.”
It’s not just right-wing organizations that are influencing the divide though; it’s typically religion that underlies a significant portion of African Americans’ resistant to support same-sex marriage, and it’s not likely that social organizations’ will outweigh spiritual convictions. In November, a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 58 percent of African Americans called same-sex marriage “unacceptable,” while just 35 percent said it was “acceptable” in terms of their own values and morals. A new ABC Poll shows that first figure may be dwindling just a bit, with 54 percent of African Americans saying they are in favor of President Obama’s support of gay marriage. But with a number so close to a 50-50 split, the NAACP’s endorsement of gay marriage will likely be just as controversial as the president’s.
What do you think about the NAACP’s endorsement? Was it the right thing to do?