NAACP Board Approves Statement Supporting Marriage Equality

Jim Burroway

May 19th, 2012

The Board of Directors of The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), has just approved the following resolution:

The NAACP Constitution affirmatively states our objective to ensure the “political, education, 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 drew only two opposing votes on the 64-member board.

Karen Ocamb celebrates and adds:

Now it’s the turn of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which was co-founded by gay organizer Bayard Rustin, but threatened to fire SCLC/LA President Rev. Eric Lee over his opposition to Prop 8 and support of marriage equality. When I interviewed SCLC’s General Counsel Dexter M. Wimbish in July 2011 about Lee’s situation and the organization’s professed “neutrality” over marriage equality. Wimbish said: “I personally understand that position. …But this organization is not at a point where it will take a public position on the issue. It just means that inside the organization and outside, we have work to do.”

Truthspew

May 19th, 2012

How very interesting. I strongly doubt the Southern Baptists will ever support equality. But the other groups do have a shot at it.

Gene in L.A.

May 19th, 2012

@Truthspew: This article isn’t about Southern Baptists. The SCLC is the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an African-American civil rights organization whose first president was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Nathan F

May 22nd, 2012

I hope gay rights groups counter with an announcement of strong support for black civil rights measures like reforms to end racial profiling. Immigration reform, hate crimes legislation — these are issues that disproportionately impact LGBT people of color, that LGBT leadership should be supporting just as ardently as marriage equality.

If gay rights groups worked more closely with racial equality advocacy groups, we could have a very powerful civil rights coalition. Our goals really are the same: economic, social, and legal equality.

EOJ in DC

June 1st, 2012

Profiling, immigration reform, and hate crimes impact people of color and members of the LGBT community, and, of course, there is overlap. Do white gays and lesbians think they aren’t profiled? No one makes assumptions about you based on stereotypes and then treats you suspiciously? Legislation to prevent gays and lesbians from being around children is profiling. Immigration reform impacts white same sex couples. Sure, marriage would resolve the issue, but so would immigrations reform.

Main stream LGBT groups see links to traditional civil rights groups, but their funders don’t. The funders want same sex marriage and campaigns to end anti-gay-bullying. What they fail to understand is that there’s only one set of civil rights, and they belong to all of us. As long as the LGBT majority continues to see one set of rights for racial minorities that is distinct from their own, the LGBT community will continue to fight harder and expend more resources reinventing the wheel. A civil rights alliance that involves all people facing nationwide, discriminatory policies is the only way all of us will win. The LGBT community can benefit from the decades of grassroots organizing that has been mastered by groups like the NAACP, and the decades of hateful ideas that white evangelicals have been whispering into the ears of back minister will only be undone with the acceptance campaigns used by mainstream LGBT organizations.

It’s not a matter of “if gay rights groups worked more closely with racial equality groups,” the question is, “Why aren’t they doing it already?” The Christian right has more of a presence in the black community than LGBT groups. Seriously, how much longer is it going to take for these respective groups to see how much we need each other right now? No more hypotheticals. Let’s figure out how to make it happen.

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