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NAACP enters the gay marriage fray

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As I predicted, this being a presidential election cycle, things are getting more bizarre by the moment.

According to the Los Angeles Times this weekend, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has come out and publicly supported same sex marriage calling it a “civil right”.

This announcement in conjunction with President Obama’s recent revelation that he believes that same sex marriage should be the law of the land, has sent shockwaves through the nation and possible repercussions yet to be revealed.

Listening to a local talk show a couple of weeks ago, the discussion centered on Obama’s support from black people. The contention was that over 90% of black people would vote for Obama simply because he is black. This figure may indeed change.

In 2006 Tennessee Amendment One banning the recognition of gay marriage, was approved by an overwhelming majority of 81% of the voters. An article that appeared in the Commercial Appeal after the historic vote noted that the black community was largely responsible for the passage of the amendment because many blacks are religiously opposed to same sex marriage and they tend to be very conservative with regards to that issue. The LA Times article states that a Pew poll from last October shows that 62% of blacks oppose gay marriage.

Locally, several pastors of black churches have banded together to send President Obama a letter asking him to rescind his position on same sex marriage. According to an article in the Commercial Appeal “The pastors say the same-sex marriage debate is hijacking the Civil Rights Movement”.

These events have indeed generated fodder for controversy. As Charles Krauthammer aptly pointed out in his column this week in the Washington Post, Obama has painted himself into a corner in some respects. Krauthammer said “First, if same-sex marriage is a right, then there is no possible justification for letting states decide for themselves. How can you countenance even one state outlawing a fundamental right?” Krauthammer went on to say that if we had left it up to the states to vote on rights some time ago, there would still be legalized discrimination in this country.

So, we have Obama saying that gay people should have the right to marry on one hand, yet leaving it up to the states to accept it or not, a contradiction in itself. We have the NAACP endorsing gay marriage as a civil rights issue and in their own words “The NAACP’s support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution and equal protection of all people.” Does this mean they will change their name to “The National Association for the Advancement of All People”?

In addition, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, both of whom are supposed to be Christian ministers, have announced their support of the NAACP position and that of President Obama with regards to gay marriage. This puts them both in direct conflict with many other black pastors that believe the Bible specifically states that homosexuality is not just unnatural, but an outright abomination.

The support of Jackson and Sharpton, as well as that of President Obama, for same sex marriage puts many religious blacks at odds with their most prominent leaders. Can they reconcile their support for these leaders all of whom are in direct contravention with their faith?

As November creeps inexorably closer it will be fascinating to watch which way the votes will come down.

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