Over the weekend one of the nation's most influential civil rights organizations, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), declared support for civil marriage rights for same-sex couples.
Local LGBT leaders have been weighing in on this important development in the efforts to secure marriage equality.
Hispanic Black Gay Coalition (HBGC) Executive Director Corey Yarbrough:
The Hispanic Black Gay Coalition (HBGC) is pleased to learn of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP) passage of a resolution in support of marriage equality. The NAACP’s announcement is historic for confronting homophobia within communities of color and moving the country forward in the direction of justice and equality for all.
HBGC extends our appreciation to the entire NAACP board of directors, Benjamin Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP, and the local allies who helped make this possible.
We are inspired by the pledge of America’s oldest and largest civil rights organization to fight against legislation that discriminates against and revokes the constitutional rights of LGBT citizens. In upholding its commitment, we hope the NAACP’s support for LGBT equality will lead to additional efforts for correcting other injustices that disproportionately impact LGBT individuals of color, such as employment discrimination, youth homelessness, and violence perpetuated against LGBT individuals.
We look forward to continuing to develop our partnership with the Boston Branch NAACP this year by featuring President Michael Curry at our Day of Awareness and Action at the Massachusetts State House on Thursday, June 14, 2012 and collaborating with the local branch on a voter mobilization campaign this summer.
MassEquality Executive Director Kara Suffredini:
This is a critical and significant endorsement for the marriage equality movement. The NAACP is the oldest civil rights organization in the country and is a powerful leading voice for equality.
Massachusetts recently celebrated eight years of marriage equality. Our quest for full marriage equality would not have been possible without the critical support of African American leaders, especially those from the faith, public service, and business communities. At least seven national polls have found majority support among Americans for marriage equality. Recent polls have also shown majority support among African Americans for marriage equality. These polls, and major advances on marriage equality this year in Washington and Maryland, show that the day is fast approaching when we will finally put the politics of discrimination around marriage equality behind us. And that day is fast approaching because of the collaboration and coalition building taking place among social justice organizations representing every sector of our society.
Here in Massachusetts where we have been privileged to celebrate the right to marry for eight years, we have learned that all of our communities, are safer, happier, and healthier when all families are respected, supported, and celebrated. As time goes on and even larger majorities of our population come to support marriage equality, we look forward to the day when all residents can enjoy the freedom to marry.
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