The NAACP's national board voted to support marriage equality over the weekend. The organization is calling their position consistent with the equal protection provision of the U.S. Constitution.
Board Chairwoman Roslyn Brock said in a statement that "The mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure political, social, and economic equality of all people."
President Obama recently publicly supported gay marriage while also saying "my feelings about this are constantly evolving, I struggle with this."
In the wake of the president's endorsement of gay marriage, backlash has been felt around the country, with many black religious leaders opposing it.
"I do understand the president's position, although personally I don't support that position, same sex marriage, but I understand it," said Dr. Joseph Wright.
Dr. Wright is also the Southern Christian Leadership Conference president and a local pastor. He says that in the case of the NAACP and the president, the endorsments are political, not biblical.
"We're trying to elect a president, not a pastor...you must adhere to the constitution and any policies or laws that protects all races, creeds, and colors."
MIAMI (AP) -- May 20. 2012
The NAACP has passed a resolution endorsing same-sex marriage as a civil right and opposing any efforts "to codify discrimination or hatred into the law."
The Baltimore-based National Association for the Advancement of Colored People announced Saturday that its board voted at a leadership retreat in Miami to back a resolution supporting marriage equality. It said the position is consistent with the equal protection provision of the U.S. Constitution.
Same-sex marriage is legal in six states and the District of Columbia, but 31 states have passed amendments to ban it.
NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous, a strong backer of gay rights, says "civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law."
Gay marriage has divided the black community, with many religious leaders opposing it.