Black Coalition Announces Gay Marriage Support
The National Black Justice Coalition Monday announced a nationwide campaign to generate black support for same-sex marriage and to fight against the recently proposed Federal Marriage Amendment.
The coalition is an ad hoc group of black LGBT community leaders, public figures and activists who have come together to fight against discrimination in the African American community.
Speaking at a Washington press conference, leaders of the group vowed to engage all major national black political leaders and civil rights leaders and many of the nation's black religious leaders to support their campaign.
The group also called on all black civil rights organizations and political leaders to take a strong position against the Federal Marriage Amendment.
"The right-wing fired the first shots in this battle, but today we fire back," said Coalition member Donna Payne.
"We will not allow the out-of-touch radical right to divide the black community on this issue," she added.
The coalition has begun raising $100,000 for a targeted ad campaign in the black media, and intends to developing a new website to counter right-wing misinformation about blacks and same-sex marriage.
The coalition also announced the support of Coretta Scott King, Congressman John Lewis, Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun, Rev. Al Sharpton, Whoopi Goldberg and several other key African American public figures who have come out in favor of same-sex marriage. The group said it plans to announce major new supporters in the coming months.
"African Americans support civil rights for all Americans," said writer and coalition member Keith Boykin, "and our judgment will not be clouded by the smoke and mirrors of a few vocal opponents."