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0 comments | Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Queerty points us to a new interview with NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Jealous via BigThink.com in which the civil rights leader defends his organizations record (or lack thereof) on gay rights and explains why so many in the black community and within his organization are opposed to equality for LGBT's. Take one guess-religion.

"So, we had been involved, you know, gay people have been involved in the NAACP for a long time," says Jealous. "The NAACP has been supportive of a broad civil human rights agenda in this country, including rights for gay and lesbian people, for a long time and many of our most outspoken leaders are very outspoken on the issue of marriage equality and many are outspoken against it. And like any other democratic organization, trade union, what have you, it's being worked through. And the way that one side wins or the other is that they decide that they want the membership of the NAACP to be supportive of this one particular part of the agenda more than the other side does. And right now it seems to be a bit of a toss-up."

A toss up? So Jealous admits that there's black gay and lesbian people within his organization but apparently they must wait for access to full equality under the law until the majority is convinced that discrimination in any form and despite what their bible tells them is wrong? This is coming from the same organization who refused to take a national stance on marriage equality or Don't Ask Don't Tell, which disproportionately affects black soldiers. Can the NAACP still claim the civil rights mantra in 2010 when they are clearly absent on two of the most significant civil rights struggles of the day?

As President of the NAACP and a personal supporter of gay rights Jealous is doing his organization a disservice by not bringing them into the 21st century and actually providing leadership on gay rights issues since it's painfully clear they need it.

Watch the interview below:


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