The NAACP has thrown its support behind gay marriage, saying marriage equality “is deeply rooted in the Fourteenth Amendment,” and calling for the end to any national, state, or local policy that seeks to remove the “constitutional rights of LGBT citizens.”
While many pundits have fretted over how the black community would react to the nation’s first black president supporting gay marriage, not just civil unions, the NAACP’s support seems to provide further evidence that attitudes are shifting.
Polling done late last year suggested that a majority of African-Americans were against same-sex marriage, but a more recent poll showed that 54% of blacks supported President Obama’s decision.
Civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson, founder of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, appeared on The Daily Rundown this morning to discuss his own support for gay marriage.
While Jackson praised the president for his “bold” step, he disagreed with leaving the decision at the state level.
“If you say we support the right to vote and you leave it up to the states, you won’t get the right to vote – that’s what the civil rights struggle was about,” Jackson said. “You can’t have 50 states separate but not equal systems of civil rights. Ultimately, you must have one set of rules.”
That position echoes one expressed by some other black leaders, including Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, who made his views known last Monday on The Daily Rundown.