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Black support for US gay marriage down to 'civil rights'

Majority of African-Americans favor same-sex marriage rights in the US, claims prominent black campaigner
Majority of African-American voters favor same-sex marriage rights in the US, claims prominent black campaigner

The majority of African Americans now support gay marriage because they see it as a civil rights issue, claims a prominent black campaigner in the US.

Ben Jealous, head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), says surveys show that most black Americans favor the legislation which has already been passed in several states.

A poll by the Pew Research Center found that 51% of African Americans nationwide now endorse gay marriage rights, while 41% oppose it.

While among whites, 47% favored and 49% opposed the idea.

The research found support had doubled since 2008 when most black voters were in favor of a same-sex marriage ban and opposed the lifting of Proposition 8.

'We’re talking about it as a civil rights issue,' Jealous told reporters during a visit to San Francisco last week.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Jealous believes if the issue reached the ballot again in California, 'we would see majority black support,'

He said: 'I’m very confident that...we would win.'

Earlier this month, Maine, Maryland and Washington voters approved marriage equality initiatives. In Minnesota, people stopped gay marriage from being banned outright.

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