(CNN) — The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People on Saturday announced its backing of same-sex marriage, more than a week after President Barack Obama also expressed support for the issue.
“The mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure political, social and economic equality of all people,” Roslyn M. Brock, chairman of the NAACP’s board of directors, said in a statement.
She added: “We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law.”
Following Obama’s announcement last week, speculation swirled over whether his decision would spark political backlash among some in the black evangelical community, which has traditionally been against same-sex marriage.
Meanwhile, some prominent African-American religious leaders, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Joseph Lowery, praised Obama’s support for same-sex marriage last week.
The NAACP in the recent past has stood in favor of gay rights issues, notably opposing Proposition 8 in California, the Defense of Marriage Act, and North Carolina’s constitutional amendment that bans marriage and domestic partnerships for same-sex couples.
“Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP’s support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and equal protection of all people,” said the group’s president, Benjamin Todd Jealous.
By CNN Political Unit
CNN’s Martina Stewart contributed to this report.
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