The NAACP announced Saturday the 103-year-old black civil rights group is supporting same-sex marriage.
The group’s board of directors made the decision at a meeting this weekend, saying it was a “continuation of its historic commitment to equal protection under the law.”
The decision follows President Obama’s recent support of gay marriage, a move that threatened to divide key parts of the Democratic voting base — the gay and black communities.
“The mission of the (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) has always been to ensure political, social and economic equality of all people,” said Roslyn M. Brock, chairman of the board. “We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law.”
Black religious leaders — who traditionally have opposed same-sex marriage — originally opposed the president’s recent decision but appear to have softened their position in recent days.
Pastor Emmett Burns said on the Sunday following the president’s May 9 announcement that he opposed the decision but this week reportedly said he would vote for Obama.
Burns, a delegate in the Maryland state legislature, was among the lawmakers who strongly opposed a same-sex marriage bill that passed in the Assembly this year. He helped defeat the bill last year.
Conservatives think the issue could still split the president’s base.
“He’s on the wrong side of this issue,” Deneen Barille, a black conservative told Fox News earlier this week. “He’s going against the values of black Americans voters. â€¦ He’s splitting his base. He’s going for the gay community versus the black community where he has thrown them under the bus.”
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