NAACP Statement on the Passage of Maine Marriage Equality Initiative

(WASHINGTON)-- The NAACP released the following statement on the passage of Maine Ballot Question 1, which allows same sex couples to be married under the law. Today voters supported Question 1 with a comfortable margin:

“I am proud of the history we made tonight in Maine,” said NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous, who had been a vocal proponent of the measure throughout the campaign. “We achieved this important step toward equality because civil rights leaders, church leaders and the LGBT community came together throughout the state with a united message that civil marriage is a civil right.”

Documents from the anti-marriage equality group called the National Organization for Marriage recently unsealed by the courts revealed their strategy to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks -- two key Democratic constituencies.”

“This victory sends a powerful message,” said NAACP Portland President Rachel Talbot Ross. “Those who would seek to divide our communities have watched as African Americans stood alongside LGBT leaders. We will not be divided when it comes to equal protection under the law.”

A recent NAACP poll of African American voters in battleground states (Florida, Georgia, Ohio, and Virginia) found that 57% of respondents support marriage equality laws that include religious protections for churches, as was the case with Question 1.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

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