The NAACP today voted to formally endorse gay marriage and commit to it as a civil rights issue. It comes about a week and a half after President Barack Obama’s earlier public endorsement of gay marriage. But he also said it should be left to states to decide.”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,” said Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP, in a statement.
The NAACP has opposed some high-profile issues involving gay marriage — including Proposition 8 in California and the recent passage of Amendment 1 in North Carolina.
But this is the first time the NAACP has taken a stance on the issue. It’s important for Obama because it could shore up support among his base, particularly African-American voters that have been less likely to support gay marriage.
Two separate polls have shown that more people are less likely to vote for Obama than support him after his endorsement of gay marriage. The majority of people, though, said it wouldn’t have an effect on their votes for or against him.
Here’s the full text of the resolution passed by the NAACP’s Board of Directors earlier today:
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.
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