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NAACP Calls for
Overturning of Prop. 8

NAACP Calls for
Overturning of Prop. 8

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The NAACP announced support on Monday for California's supreme court to invalidate Prop. 8, the November ballot initiative that constitutionally banned same-sex marriage in California.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People announced support on Monday for California's supreme court to invalidate Proposition 8, the November ballot initiative that constitutionally banned same-sex marriage in California.

The civil rights group not only wants the court to overturn Prop. 8 -- they want California's legislature to go on record against Prop. 8 as well.

"The NAACP's mission is to help create a society where all Americans have equal protection and opportunity under the law," wrote NAACP CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous (pictured) in a letter to legislative leaders. "Our mission statement calls for the 'quality of rights of all persons.' Prop. 8 strips same-sex couples of a fundamental freedom, as defined by the California state supreme court. In so doing, it poses a serious threat to all Americans. Prop. 8 is a discriminatory, unprecedented change to the California constitution that, if allowed to stand, would undermine the very purpose of a constitution and courts -- assuring equal protection and opportunity for all and safeguarding minorities from the tyranny of the majority."

The California state conference of the NAACP has already filed briefs with the California supreme court in the legal challenge against the ballot initiative, which squeaked by with 52% of the vote. California's state court will begin hearing oral arguments to Prop. 8 on March 5.

"The NAACP has long opposed any proposal that would alter the federal or state constitutions for the purpose of excluding any groups or individuals from guarantees of equal protections," said NAACP chairman Julian Bond in a press release. "We urge the legislature to declare that Proposition 8 did not follow the proper protective process and should be overturned as an invalid alteration that vitiated crucial constitutional safeguards and fundamental American values, threatening civil rights and all vulnerable minorities."

Alexander Robinson, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, an LGBT rights organization, said that the letter represented forward movement for the NAACP. "It's consistent in that they have always opposed constitutional bans," he observed, "but I think that weighing in so clearly on an action that would have the effect of reinstituting marriage given that they still have not taken a position on gay marriage is a significant step forward." Robinson also anticipated that the national organization might get some pushback on the letter from local NAACP chapters. (Neal Broverman, Advocate.com)

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