In Landmark Move, NAACP Board Endorses Marriage Equality

Flurry of Recent Developments Shatters Myth of African-American Opposition to Same-Sex Marriage

WASHINGTON – On the heels of President Obama’s historic support for marriage equality and subsequent polling on the issue among African-Americans, the NAACP Board of Directors endorsed marriage equality on May 19, 2012.

“We could not be more pleased with the NAACP’s history-making vote today – which is yet another example of the traction marriage equality continues to gain in every community,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “It’s time the shameful myth that the African-American community is somehow out of lockstep with the rest of the country on marriage equality is retired – once and for all. The facts and clear momentum toward marriage speak for themselves.”

Half of African-Americans, according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll conducted earlier this month, back marriage equality. The Journal reported, “Almost every demographic slice was more in favor of gay marriage than it had been in 2009.”

Following President Obama’s historic endorsement of the issue also this month, attitudes within the African-American community become even more positive. A Washington Post poll showed that 54 percent of African Americans backed the President’s statement. A Public Policy Poll also taken after the President’s announcement reflected an 11-point increase among African Americans in North Carolina who support either marriage or civil unions for committed gay and lesbian couples.

Months ago, HRC unearthed secret internal memos by the so-called National Organization for Marriage which admitted in stark terms its racial strategy. One memo to its Board of Directors stated NOM would drive a “wedge between gays and blacks.”

“NOM has pursued ugly racial politics seeking to divide people, but what is becoming crystal clear is that its strategy is not working,” said Solmonese. “Americans from all walks of life are uniting to support love, commitment, and stronger families.”

The Human Rights Campaign is the author of this press release and is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.