Washington, D.C. – May 9, 2012 – Today, President Obama affirmed his support of marriage for loving and committed same-sex couples. The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the nation’s leading Black LGBT civil rights organization, applauds the President for this historic endorsement of the freedom to marry.
“It is an honor to witness our President take such a strong stand in support of gay and lesbian couples across the country,” says Sharon Lettman-Hicks, Executive Director and CEO of the National Black Justice Coalition. “This affirmation reinforces the Administration’s ongoing commitment to LGBT Americans and our families.”
The President has had an exemplary record advancing protections for the LGBT community. However, he explained that his position on marriage equality had been changing and had not explicitly proclaimed his support of extending marriage to gay and lesbian couples until now. Despite the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” ending the legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), endorsing the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) and more, President Obama had been under increased pressure for his self-described “evolving” position on marriage equality when Vice President Biden said he was “absolutely comfortable” with marriage for loving and committed same-sex couples.
“As my (s)hero, Barbara Jordan, once said, ‘one thing is clear to me: we, as human beings, must be willing to accept people who are different from ourselves,’” Lettman-Hicks adds. “Here is President Obama, the nation’s first Black president, taking a position that no sitting president in history has had the fortitude to ever take. If anyone in America has ever wondered what courageous leadership looks like, here it is.”
The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. NBJC’s mission is to eradicate racism and homophobia.