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?

Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter