Friday, July 17, 2009

Obama Addresses Anti-Gay Discrimination at NAACP Convention; Civil Rights Group to Consider Marriage Equality Stance

At the NAACP Centennial Convention in New York Thursday night, President Obama gave a speech addressing, among other issues, discrimination and prejudice facing minority groups, including LGBT.

"The first thing we need to do is make real the words of your charter and eradicate prejudice, bigotry, and discrimination among citizens of the United States. I understand there may be a temptation among some to think that discrimination is no longer a problem in 2009. And I believe that overall, there probably has never been less discrimination in America than there is today. But make no mistake: the pain of discrimination is still felt in America. By African-American women paid less for doing the same work as colleagues of a different color and a different gender. By Latinos made to feel unwelcome in their own country. By Muslim Americans viewed with suspicion simply because they kneel down to pray to their God. By our gay brothers and sisters, still taunted, still attacked, still denied their rights.

On the 45th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, discrimination must not stand. Not on account of color or gender; how you worship or who you love. Prejudice has no place in the United States of America."
Read the whole speech.

The NAACP's board of directors met while at the convention to discuss their newly formed GLBT Task Force's mission statement, which would include opposing discrimination toward gays and lesbians who want to get married. This would be a major declaration from the civil right's group who up to this point has remained neutral due to the struggle within its membership to come to a consensus.

Just recently, the NAACP's president Benjamin Todd Jealous, spoke to CNN stating that marriage equality is a divisive issue within the organization, which is the reason that so far they have not taken a stand.

However in March, NAACP chairman Julian Bond gave an amazing speech at HRC's Los Angeles Gala Dinner in which he states he gives full support to LGBT equality, including marriage.

The NAACP will give full consideration to its GLBT Task Force mission statement Thursday.

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