Marriage-Equality Stance Makes NAACP Relevant Again

Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson says that the civil rights organization has finally returned to center stage.

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NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Jealous (left) with the
Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

In his column for the Washington Post, Eugene Robinson says the civil rights organization has finally returned to center stage.

With its support for gay marriage, the NAACP has done more than strike a blow for fairness and equality. The nation’s most venerable civil rights organization has made itself relevant again.

The NAACP’s 64-member board approved a resolution Saturday supporting “marriage equality” not as a matter of empathy or compassion but as a right guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. In citing this rationale, the 103-year-old organization founded by W.E.B. Du Bois firmly linked the campaign for gay rights to the epic African American struggle for freedom and justice.

The 14th Amendment, adopted in 1868, overturned the atrocious Dred Scott ruling and guaranteed full citizenship rights to black Americans in the wake of the Civil War. The amendment’s language mandating equal protection under the law provided the basis for the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling that ended segregation in public schools.

Read Eugene Robinson's entire column at the Washington Post.

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