Yesterday, September 9, 2011 the Baltimore NAACP chapter demonstrated true social courage and joined the steering committee to ensure marriage equality in Maryland in 2012. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) lends its voice and political clout to a chorus including labor, civil liberties, and LGBT groups already on board. Of course, this news warmed my heart.
The support from the NAACP not only will help all LGBT folks striving for equality, but it sends a clear message to the African American population that all of us must do a better job of taking care of our LGBT brothers and sisters of color. For those of you that are regular TSM readers, you know that violence has increased against the LGBT community overall by 13% in a single year, with people of color experiencing violence in disproportionate numbers .
Tessa Hill-Alston, president of the Baltimore Branch NAACP, said in a statment:
We believe gay and lesbian couples have the same values as everyone else…They want to make a lifetime commitment to the person they love and build a loving, stable family. So it is only right that committed gay and lesbian couples be given the opportunity to marry as everyone else. We look forward to working with the coalition and lawmakers to pass a marriage equality bill that protects religious freedoms.
Brava, Ms. Hill-Alston. People like Hill-Alston give me hope that we can collectively address the intersections of oppression and move to push for equality for all oppressed peoples. Hill-Alston is the tonic for the hypocrisy and bigotry I witness from gays who are racist and misogynists, or blacks who are homophobic, or women who are anti-women and homophobic. I simply don’t understand how anyone that is or has been marginalized can’t feel an obligation to then stand up for others who are marginalized. I am hopeful and will look forward to other NAACP chapters stepping up to the plate and continuing to show great courage and leadership for civil rights for all.