The board of directors for the NAACP voted to endorse marriage equality for same-sex couples, the Washington Post reports.
“Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law,” NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous said in a statement released Saturday. “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 well-funded right wing organizations who are attempting to split our communities are no friend to civil rights, and they will not succeed.”
The organization’s landmark decision could have political implications for President Obama, who will need a significnt turnout from black voters to help him win reelection in November but angered some African-American church pastors earlier this month when he spoke out in support of marriage equality.
GLAAD President Herndon Graddick also released a statement, saying, "For more than 103 years, the NAACP has been a leading advocate and a voice for members of marginalized communities. Today’s announcement represents their continued stance against the discrimination that LGBT families face. We applaud President Ben Jealous and the NAACP Board of Directors for their leadership on this issue. Across races, faith traditions, and political persuasions, a majority of our culture recognizes that denying gay couples the chance at happiness that comes with being married is unfair and un-American.”
According to the GLAAD press release, Maxim Thorne, the NAACP Senior Vice President of Development, tweeted that only 2 of the 64 members of the Board of Directors opposed the endorsement.