The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the oldest and most storied Black civil rights organization in the country, has endorsed the federal Equality Act, which makes it illegal to discriminate against the LGBTQ community.
“We support what it does—and we support it now,” Hilary Shelton, the NAACP’s D.C. bureau director, told NBC News. “It’s important that it gets through.”
Shelton said the organization had endorsed the bill earlier after meetings with two of its sponsors, Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I, according to NBC News.
The NAACP has long been an advocate for civil rights and played a crucial part in getting the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed. The act makes it illegal to discriminate against people based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. It also helped to desegregate schools and secure the right to vote for Black people.
The Equality Act would add “sexual orientation” and “gender equality” to the protected classes outlined in the Civil Rights Act—which is important to protect women and the LGBTQ community.
“We believe the same protections that we have worked for so hard over the 110 years of the NAACP should be extended to all Americans, particularly members of the LGBTQ community,” Shelton said, according to NBC News.
Public backing of the Equality Act by the NAACP shuts down an inference earlier this week that the NAACP was not behind the legislation. Gregory T. Angelo, the former president of Log Cabin Republicans, a gay conservative group, made the implication in an op/ed he authored in the Washington Examiner entitled: “Don’t Fall for the ‘Equality Act,‘” in which he wrote that “African American legacy civil rights groups are absent” from the list of organizations supporting the Equality Act. In the article, he called out the NAACP.
Now, what does he have to say?
Angelo could not be reached for comment, according to NBC News.