On May 19th, 2012, the NAACP announced its support for marriage equality. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People made its announcement almost two weeks after President Obama announced his support for marriage equality.
Roslyn M. Brock, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the NAACP, said that the “mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure the political, social and economic equality of all people. We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law.”
Benjamin Todd Jealous, the President and CEO of the NAACP, said that 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 NAACAP’s announcement in support of marriage equality may seem as if it correlates with the president’s announcement but the organization has dealt with the issue of marriage when interracial marriage was opposed by many Americans. Loving V. Virginia declared anti-miscegination laws unconstitutional in 1967; it also declared marriage a civil right, which could have implications on a future same-sex marriage case in the Supreme Court.
The NAACP has opposed state and federal efforts to ban marriage rights for LGBT citizens; it opposed Proposition 8 in California; it opposed the Defense of Marriage Act; it also opposed North Carolina’s Amendment 1, which banned same-sex marriage for the second time and other forms of recognition.
The NAACP’s board of directors also released the text from its resolution regarding its support for marriage equality:
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.