A top NAACP official in Maryland is expressing support for marriage equality in the state just days before prominent African-American clergy are expected to announce that they also back same sex marriage.
Marylanders for Marriage Equality on Tuesday released a video of Bob Ross, president of the NAACP's Prince George’s branch, expressing his support for Maryland’s ballot Question 6, the Civil Marriage Protection Act.
"Question 6 gives gays and lesbians the right to obtain a marriage license," Ross explains in the video. "It doesn’t force the church, clergy, or anyone to marry them. It is the fair thing to do for all citizens in the state of Maryland."
Ross' video is part of a larger campaign by Marylanders for Marriage Equality to show that marriage equality is gaining momentum among black voters.
Rev. Delman Coates, pastor of the 8,000-member Mt. Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton, will join other prominent African-American clergy -- including Rev. Al Sharpton -- on Friday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to endorse Question 6.
Earlier this year, the NAACP followed President Barack Obama's lead and passed a resolution supporting marriage equality at the national level.
"The NAACP Constitution affirmatively states our objective to ensure the ‘political, education, social and economic equality’ of all people," the resolution stated. "Therefore, 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. We support marriage equality consistent with equal protection under the law provided under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Further, we strongly affirm the religious freedoms of all people as protected by the First Amendment."
Watch this video from Marylanders for Marriage Equality, broadcast Sept. 18, 2012.