NAACP Comes Out Against Prop 8

Major civil rights organization supports marriage equality

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People issued a strong statement against Proposition 8 on Feb 23, in a letter to California legislators from NAACP national board chair Julian Bond and president and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. They asked legislative leaders to pass House Resolution 5 and Senate Resolution 7, which would put the legislature on record calling for the invalidation of Prop 8 as a dangerous and improper revision of the state’s constitution, according to the Portland, Oregon-based newspaper Just Out.

Both houses of the California state legislature passed the resolutions on March 2.

Prop 8, the ballot measure which bans gay marriage in California, passed in November with 52 percent of the vote. Exit polls from the Associated Press showed that seven in 10 African-American voters supported the ban, joining religious groups and Hispanics as blocs that were decisive in passing the measure. The NAACP, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in February, remains one of the preeminent American civil rights organizations.

The California state conference of the NAACP is one of 43 groups that have filed briefs in the legal challenge against Prop 8. Oral arguments in the case will be heard on March 5, when opponents are expected to argue that Prop 8 violates the equal protection clause of the constitution because it improperly used the amendment process to allow the majority to vote on the rights of a minority group. A decision could be issued as early as June.