Whatever that weird thing is with black churches and gay people is one step closer to being resolved, following an action by the NAACP, which followed an action by Pres. Obama.
The board of the N.A.A.C.P. voted to endorse same-sex marriage on Saturday, putting the weight of the country’s most prominent civil rights group behind a cause that has long divided some quarters of the black community.
The largely symbolic move, made at the group’s meeting in Miami, puts the N.A.A.C.P. in line with President Obama, who endorsed gay marriage a little over a week ago…
Borrowing a term used by gay rights advocates, the resolution stated, “We support marriage equality consistent with equal protection under the law provided under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.”
In a statement, Roslyn M. Brock, chairwoman of the 64-member board, said, “We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law.”
Well, Chair Brock, you haven’t — if we’re talking about gay people — until now but let’s not get technical. The important thing is that it’s never too late to do the right thing so welcome to the 21st century!
The setting for the vote is notable, since Florida is home to the largest city in the country that still offers no protection in housing or hiring based on sexual orientation.
That would be Jacksonville, where a Democratic African-American city council member, Warren Jones, finally introduced a resolution to correct the situation, and where the Democratic African-American mayor, Alvin Brown, has yet to make good on his campaign promise to support such action.
Brown continues to sit on the fence, leaving the rest of the city to play “Will He or Won’t He” even as Jacksonville churches — and the president himself — provide endorsements.
Julian Bond, a civil rights activist and former chairman of the N.A.A.C.P., said that Mr. Obama’s recent support for same-sex marriage was “a tipping point” for many board members. He said the vote debunked the myth that the black community is uncomfortable with same-sex marriage…
Yet there is greater opposition among black Democrats than white Democrats. Sixty-one percent of white Democrats supported legalizing marriage for same-sex couples, compared with 36 percent of black Democrats, while 35 percent of black Democrats opposed any legal recognition, compared with 18 percent of white Democrats.
We can only hope the NAACP’s move will embolden Brown, a former adviser to Pres. Bill Clinton, to get off the dime and evolve already.