NAACP backs marriage equality

Demonstrators turn out for marriage equality at Los Angeles City Hall
AP Photo/Gus Ruelas

Updated 10:20 p.m. ET

(CBS News) The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) backed a resolution on Saturday in support of marriage equality.

"We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law," Roslyn M. Brock, chair of the NAACP board of directors said in a statement.

The resolution passed by the organization's board of directors says "the NAACP has opposed and will continue to oppose any national, state, local policy or legislative initiative that seeks to codify discrimination or hatred into the law or to remove the Constitutional rights of LGBT citizens."

NAACP President Benjamin Jealous said, "Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law." He cited the equal protection provision in the 14th Amendment, which is one of three post-Civil War amendments securing African American freedom and rights.

The NAACP's action comes less than two weeks after President Obama came out in support of same-sex marriage, but saying it is an issue best left to the states.

LGBT groups praised the NAACP's decision.

GLAAD President Herndon Graddick said, "Today's announcement represents their continued stance against the discrimination that LGBT families face. We applaud President Ben Jealous and the NAACP Board of Directors for their leadership on this issue."

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