Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People released on May 12 a resolution supporting marriage equality. At a meeting of the 103-year-old civil rights group’s national board of directors, the organization voted to support marriage equality as a continuation of its historic commitment to equal protection under the law. The resolution reads:

“The mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure the political, social and economic equality of all people. 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. Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP has addressed civil rights with regard to marriage since Loving v. Virginia declared anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional in 1967. In recent years the NAACP has taken public positions against state and federal efforts to ban the rights and privileges for LGBT citizens, including strong opposition to Proposition 8 in California, the Defense of Marriage Act, and most recently, North Carolina’s Amendment 1, which changed the state constitution’s to prohibit same sex marriage.”

The NAACP position on marriage equality is repeated by our Vineyard NAACP chapter.

Liza Coogan

Vineyard Haven

The writer is secretary for the Martha’s Vineyard chapter of the NAACP.