(Phatforums News / USA Today) — The NAACP waded this weekend into the debate cracked wide open with President Obama’s recent public support of gay marriage, as the group’s national board voted on Saturday in support of same-sex unions.
According to a press release on the website of the Baltimore-based civil rights organization, the board of directors passed a resolution supporting marriage equality.
“The mission of the NAACP has always been to insure the political, social and economic equality of all people,” Roslyn Brock, chairwoman of the board, said in the statement.
Said Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO, in that same statement: “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 NAACP vote comes about a week and a half after President Obama’s decision to support gay marriage and the subsequent decision by the pastors of some black churches to blast the president’s decision.
Bishop Timothy Clarke, head of the First Church of God in Columbus, Ohio, told his congregation that he opposes gay marriage, but also told USA TODAY that he hopes Obama’s decision does not become a political football.
Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, praised the NAACP decision in a statement released on the group’s website.
The statement noted a speech that Jealous made a few months ago to a national conference of the gay and lesbian community in which he referenced Bayard Rustin, the late black leader who organized the 1963 March on Washington and who was a gay activist.
“Today, the NAACP did what it does so well — inspires and affirms our common humanity,” the statement read.