National and local NAACP leaders rally in St. Paul against marriage amendment

Benjamin Jealous, president of the NAACP, is in town today for a rally in St. Paul against the proposed Marriage Amendment.

He’ll be joined by  St. Paul NAACP President Jeff Martin and other black leaders for the 1 p.m. rally at the Hallie Q. Brown Center, 270 N. Kent St., St. Paul.

There have been reports this campaign season that many black pastors are supporting the marriage amendment, which would put into the state’s constitution a ban on gay marriage. State law already prohibits marriage between anyone other than a man and a woman, but supporters want the ban in the constitution to make it harder for judges or legislators to overturn the ban.

In a story last month on support of the marriage amendment in the black community, MPR quoted Patrick Egan, a political science professor at New York University who has studied voter turnout in states that passed same-sex marriage bans:

“African American voters tend to be more supportive of these bans on same-sex marriage than their fellow white Democrats.”

But today Jealous and Martin and others will urge Minnesotans to vote no on the proposed amendment. Organizers say they’ll “highlight why the African American Community should stand in solidarity with same-sex couples, who this amendment singles out and excludes from the freedom to marry.”

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