2012 Election | Barack Obama | Gay Marriage | NAACP | Religion

NAACP Supports Marriage Equality

Yesterday, the board of directors of the NAACP voted to officially endorse marriage equality. The resolution passed by the board reads:

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.

A further statement on the NAACP's website provides context:

The NAACP has addressed civil rights with regard to marriage since Loving v. Virginia declared anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional in 1967. In recent years the NAACP has taken public positions against state and federal efforts to ban the rights and privileges for LGBT citizens, including strong opposition to Proposition 8 in California, the Defense of Marriage Act, and most recently, North Carolina’s Amendment 1, which changed the state constitution’s to prohibit same sex marriage.

The sudden endorsement of marriage equality by the 103-year-old civil rights organization is entirely symbolic. Yet as the Washington Post points out:

The decision has political implications for President Obama, who needs an enthusiastic turnout from black voters to help him win reelection in November but angered some African-American church pastors with his announcement this month that he believes gays and lesbians should have the right to marry.

The NAACP now presents itself as a counterbalance to the influence of the traditionally socially conservative black church. It can also help establish closer ties between blacks and gays, two of Obama’s most loyal constituencies.

Some pro-Republican conservative evangelical activists have said Obama’s announcement gives them an unusual opportunity to deflate enthusiasm among black voters for reelecting the country’s first black president, who tends to win more than 90 percent support in that community.

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  1. Artie_in_lauderdale
    I did say the numbers may have changed. It was not a high elevation. It was there at the time, I trust, becuase I trust my college text over you, or somethng I read on the internet so I can't examine the original studies. At one time recently latinos were more homophobic than whites and that was all I was saying. I did anticipate the number might have changed and so I sought pardon before the fact, if you will note.
    Thank you for pointing this out, but calling someone's well-qualified true fact laughable lowers your own credibility in my eyes. If you want to change a persons mind, don't start by closing it to you with an insult. Doesn't that make sense? Otherwise, if you are contemptuous of a person they will lose all respect for you, even if it is the first interaction you ever had with them. They will hold it against you and you obscure every future argument you make with this sheen of disrespect. It is hard to like a person who just told you they needlessly laughed at you since you made it clear in the first place that you weren't sure what you were saying still held true. Is it not so?

    Posted by: NullNaught | May 20, 2012 10:17:40 PM

  2. This is outstanding news. As a white guy who participated in NAACP and SCLC demonstrations as far back as 1962 as a college student in D.C. I accept this as a kind of pay back. THANK YOU!!!

    Posted by: andrew | May 20, 2012 11:15:29 PM

  3. @NULLNAUGHT--Don't waste your time reasoning with BLACKFIRST. He doesn't care about homophobia, only racism. And he doesn't care about facts or figures.

    That said, bravo to the NAACP!

    Posted by: dh | May 21, 2012 1:14:46 AM

  4. Are you guys effing kidding?
    How did I know when I clicked on this article that the comments were gonna be riddled with racist rhetoric.
    Whether you racist white queers like to admit it or not, it's white people who are imposing the heterosexist oppression on LGBT individuals in this country. Black Americans only make up, at most, 15% of the population. Yet you're scapegoating this minority when the white Christian majority is the group spouting the most homophobic, unfounded vitriol about queer individuals and providing the votes against us.

    You guys desperately need to check your White (and male and cis) privilege ASAP. I don't want to speak out of place, but there's probably a reason BlackFirst is called that, and it's because the systematic institutionalized oppression of Black Americans and PoC in this country is still very much a real thing, and it far outweighs the discrimination gay and bisexual individuals face. This forum is just another perfect example.

    This 20 year old non-Black queer is frankly sick of seeing the bigotry here, a gay blog of all places. Check your white privilege! stop trying to combat heterosexist bigotry with racist bigotry.It's not helping anyone and you're making yourselves look like assholes.

    Posted by: Jumex | May 21, 2012 3:54:43 AM

  5. lol
    "he doesn't care about homophobia only racism"

    I can't I just can't.

    Also, queer black individuals don't exist. They're mythical creatures.

    Posted by: Jumex | May 21, 2012 3:55:58 AM

  6. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Board of the NAACP. In California and elsewhere they have a long history of supporting GLBT equality and now they're playing a decisive leadership role nationally. What they did is huge, if overdue.

    In 1978 the LA Coalition against the Briggs Initiative (LACABI) and our Bay Area friends in BACABI approached many organizations including unions and groups like the NAACP and got a good response. NAACP leaders and activists attended our rallies, spoke against the initiative and distributed our literature. That's been the case in other states and battles. The same is true for MALDEF, the remnants of Raza Unida and some native American Tribal authorities.

    They defended marriage equality in 2000 and 2008 in spite of the fact that no substantive efforts were made by the Democrats who ran those groups to reach out to people of color on the question.

    It's clear what stopped many groups and politicians until now was the personal and often repeated bigotry of Obama, who until recently was contemptuous or marriage equality, going so far as to sabotage it in California in 2008 with his rancid 'gawd's in the mix' appeal to bigoted voters, mostly EuroAmerican catholics, mormons and evangelicals. At the same time Obama's bigotry gave the go ahead to bigots and demoralized the GLBT communities.

    Now it's time to insist that Obama give up his Jeffersonian (as in Jefferson Davis, not Thomas Jefferson) position that states rights trump human rights. That process is already underway. "On Monday, Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), a long-serving congressman and civil rights icon, said that leaving the issue to states was a mistake. "If you consider this a civil right, and I do, I don't think civil rights ought to be left up to a state-by-state approach..."

    Posted by: Bill Perdue | May 21, 2012 3:59:58 AM

  7. @Jumex
    I would like to be able to respond if I am caught up in your group of racists, so if you could, would you please point out anything I said that you think is biggoted? I didn't mean to imply ever that blacks were a bigger problem than conservative whites. I know they are not. I know trying to divide the black community against the gay community was a NOM strategy and I am glad it didn't work.
    Um... The constant use of the word queer in your post does somewhat dilute your point. It is controversial and emotional language and makes you look a bit over-the-top. I notice you are tying to say that blacks have suffered more than gays and that is devisive. It is not a competition. Civil rights don't work that way. Blacks have been oppresed, they deserve relief. We have been oppresed, we deserve relief. We both can have relief without taking anything from eachother.
    Might you be a visitor from NOM?

    Posted by: NullNaught | May 21, 2012 4:09:37 AM

  8. @Bill Purdue
    Actually racists in the south picked up on states rights because the south lost the civil war. Jefferson Davis was for federal rights because the supreme court found in the Dred Scott decision that black runaways found in the north must be returned to a slave owner from the south who claims him. the effects were even further reaching than this awful decision sounds.
    Before the civil war, the federal government and not the individual states supported slavery in the south. The individual northern states such as Mass. made laws to forbid the return of blacks to the south. Jefferson Davis hated the idea of states rights. He was if anything a Federalist in that regard.

    Posted by: NullNaught | May 21, 2012 4:15:46 AM

  9. I will cede that a segment of my post came off as "x minority has it worse than y minority"
    You lost credibility when you accused me of being from NOM. The irony in the whole NOM debacle was that they don't need any help dividing the communities. I've seen so much racism from the LGB community we're practically doing NOM's job for them.
    As far as using the word queer, I'm sorry if that offends you. I assume it is mostly a generational thing, because I wasn't regularly insulted with the word queer ("faggot" was what was always thrown at me) and it's a word I've come to embrace and identify with. Having the privilege to go to a liberal university on the east coast where queer is something many LGBT and qenderqueer individuals self-proclaim might have warped my view, but I didn't realize out of everything I said, THAT would be what someone found contentious.

    Posted by: Jumex | May 21, 2012 4:18:19 AM

  10. @Jumex
    You say "I didn't realize out of everything I said, That would be what someone found contentious" as if it were the only thing I was concerned with. It took up very little space in my response. I think you may mean you were surprised to see it and it looked out of place with the rest of the argument. I would concure on the second part.
    I don't mind anyone self identifying however they please. What I don't like about it actually is that the people who use it do so in such a way as to invite straight people to use it. Do you see how it is just like the "N" word and that the original intent was to take back the language? I never hear the "N" word like I did as a kid anymore because blacks started using it to self-identify in such a way that whites were disinvited to use it. They were militant.
    Gays who tried to take back the word queer (and I was one of them) word destroyed by such things as "Queer Eye For The Straight Guy" because they trivialized the uglyness of the word and made it unavoidable for straight announcers to use it. Have you ever heard the "N" word used in the title of a television show? No? It is for a good reason. Blacks have self-respect.
    Why don't you be specific like I asked you in the first place and tell me what if anything I may have said that was biggoted? I really am curious.
    I only suggested you might be from NOM because you seemed to use my as-far-as-I-know-non-existant biggotry as an excuse to be more devisive than I was or intended to be. Please excuse me if I am wrong and answer the question "what did I say that was biggoted?" Please.

    Posted by: NullNaught | May 21, 2012 4:37:04 AM

  11. Oh, you silly young fagots and your surprise that not all us old trolls embrace you throwing around the word "queer" to describe everybody.

    I suppose that's to be expected from the kind of silly sissys that brag about their East Coast Liberal University degrees.

    Condescend to the group that worked so hard to even get us to this point, when you were still shitting in your diapers much ?

    Posted by: NVTodd | May 21, 2012 4:49:47 AM

  12. NVTODD reminds me to make this point: When you use the Q word to self-identify publicly in such a way as to invite straight people to use it, you make this decision for all of us. I don't consent to what you do because being gay you are calling me a queer by extension and inviting straight people to do so as well. However you live your life, you define what it is to be human. And male. And gay. Etc. I am paraphrasing and interpretng Sartre somewhat. I don't know if he'd agree with that exactly or not. He used Kant to morally condemn us.

    Posted by: NullNaught | May 21, 2012 5:05:36 AM

  13. Rick's stereotypes and generalizations, "Blacks finally did something right for once", "he doesn't care about homophobia only racism", Rick again with his "Blacks are siding with the people who justified slavery", Rick using the term "blacks", etc etc.
    I'm curious why you felt so guilty you had to ask what you said wrong, Null. If you know you hadn't you wouldn't have felt the need to ask. I won't lie, you haven't really said anything bigoted.

    Me spouting off about my "west coast university" was a bit much. I would take it back if I could. It really wasn't cool. I, too, need to learn to check my privilege and sit the f down sometimes.

    As far as my use of the word queer, it's because I realize that besides gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, trans women, trans men, straight people, and everyone else regularly visit this blog and I was trying to be inclusive the only way I knew how. I'll point out that of the three times I used it originally, twice I personally identified myself with it. I definitely see how the use of that word is problematic, though, Null, and I'll be much more careful when (if?) I ever use it again.
    Though I do see some irony in Nvtodd calling me out for using the word, and then calling me a faggot in the same breath. Oh well.

    Posted by: Jumex | May 21, 2012 5:13:47 AM

  14. lol and calling me a sissy, too.
    Anyway, I hate double posting (LET US EDIT POSTS TOWLEROAD), but somehow certain lines got dropped out of my last message. I just wanted to add that, while you haven't said anything bigoted, you really can't deny that this blog is overflowing with racist rhetoric. Virtually *every* single post that even remotely deals with race, and especially ones that are all about race, truly brings out the worst in this community. Look at anything about Trayvon Martin and the comments about him being a thug who deserved it, or stuff about North Carolina blaming Prop 1 on the Black population that happens to be a small percentage of the population and composes a small percentage of votes.
    It's just painfully depressing.

    Posted by: Jumex | May 21, 2012 5:18:18 AM

  15. @Jumex
    I agree about the racism here entirely. I asked about your perception of me because I specifically defended Rick, and people here are often not very discerning. I had no idea what your reading comprehension was like, so the idea you might conflate my defense of Rick with my endorsing his stance in general did not seem far fetched. Some people here have a reading comprehension so low that they can't replicate my argument well enough for me to defend my position. They often attack a position I do not hold.
    The other reason is somewhat more insidious. My parents were very racist people. I fear all the time it rubbed off on me. Since childhood I have been into civil rights. I feel guilt for what my parents said in my presence. Once I understood what they were saying I winced often.

    Posted by: NullNaught | May 21, 2012 5:29:56 AM

  16. Kant we all get along ?

    Posted by: NVTodd | May 21, 2012 6:13:50 AM

  17. @NVTodd

    Is it categorically imperative that we do?

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | May 21, 2012 10:34:48 AM

  18. RICK,

    As usual you point out that the majority Black Americans are not in favor of marriage equality WHEN IT COMES TO OPINION POLLS and BALLOT INITIATIVES.

    But when it comes to supporting politicians WE have no problem supporting pro-Gay rights candidates. And don't tell me about any damn entitlement programs, RICK...most Blacks who vote regularly don't get any damn entitlements (except the elderly on social security). And that is why President Obama's support for same sex marriage will have no effect on his support from Black Church folks-- I repeat, they are always voting for pro-Gay rights politicians.

    Does anyone know what the Black vote was in Houston for Anise Parker? I'll bet that most Black Houstonians stuck with the Lesbian Democrat.

    (why do I punish myself reading this sh.t?)

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | May 21, 2012 11:03:37 AM

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