NAACP Statement on the Passage of Maryland Marriage Equality Initiative

The NAACP released the following statement on the passage of Maryland Ballot Question 6, which allows same sex couples to be married under the law.

“Maryland made history tonight, and I am proud,” 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 Maryland State Conference President Gerald Stansbury. “Those who would seek to divide our communities have watched as African Americans stood alongside LGBT leaders to show that we would not be divided when it comes to matters of 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 6.

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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