Black Coalition Announces Major New Campaign to Win Black Support for Gay Marriage

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December 8, 2003

WASHINGTON -- The National Black Justice Coalition today announced a nationwide campaign to generate black support for same-sex marriage and to fight against the recently proposed Federal Marriage Amendment.


Speaking at a press conference on Monday, leaders of the group vowed to engage all major national black political leaders and civil rights leaders and many of the nation's black religious leaders to support their campaign. The group also called on all black civil rights organizations and political leaders to take a strong position against the Federal Marriage Amendment.

"The right-wing fired the first shots in this battle, but today we fire back," said Coalition member Donna Payne. "We will not allow the out-of-touch radical right to divide the black community on this issue," she added. "African Americans support civil rights for all Americans," said Coalition member Keith Boykin, "and our judgment will not be clouded by the smoke and mirrors of a few vocal opponents."

To generate support for their effort, the Coalition today launched a major national campaign that will include raising and spending $100,000 for targeted advertisement in the black media, developing a new website to counter right-wing misinformation about blacks and same-sex marriage, and holding future press conferences to announce new supporters of the campaign.

The coalition today announced the support of Coretta Scott King, Congressman John Lewis, Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun, Rev. Al Sharpton, Whoopi Goldberg and several other key African American public figures who have come out in favor of same-sex marriage. The group plans to announce major new supporters in the coming months.

The Federal Marriage Amendment would change the United States Constitution to prevent states from recognizing same-sex marriage.

The National Black Justice Coalition is an ad hoc coalition of black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community leaders, public figures and activists who have come together to fight against discrimination in their community.

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Contact: Keith Boykin, (212) 281-9449; keithboykin1@aol.com

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