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WHAT IS AT STAKE: The Black Vote for Gay Marriage

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the nation’s leading Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, has been a proud supporter of the Maryland Marriage Campaign working actively to win the freedom to marry in the Free State.

NBJC organized a strategic conversation about marriage equality at Mt. Ennon Baptist Church with local faith leaders and elected officials such as Pastor Delman Coates, Pastor Christine Wiley and Montgomery County (MD) Councilmember Valerie Ervin and worked closely with Promised Land Film to capture the moment for an upcoming documentary, The New Black.  Produced by Yoruba Richen, The New Black documentary uncovers the complicated and often combative histories of the African American and LGBT civil rights movements. NBJC Emerging Leaders Rodney Nickens and Samantha Master as well as Marylanders for Marriage Equality Campaign staffers Karess Taylor-Hughes and Melanie Carr also filmed a scene for the documentary discussing why marriage equality is important to young people.

This collaboration with Promised Land Film began in 2010, which led to the production of Black Love, a series of NBJC-commissioned docu-shorts celebrating the uplifting stories of Black gay and lesbian couples who have courageously stood on the front lines of the fight for marriage equality in Washington, DC. Black Love laid the foundation for The Black Vote for Gay Marriage, a segment of Richen’s feature-length documentary, which is profiled in The New York Times this week.

As a component of NBJC’s faith outreach, the organization hosted a workshop entitled "We Shall Not Be Moved" during the 3rd annual OUT on the Hill Black LGBT Leadership Summit discussing the role of faith in the fight for Black LGBT equality with a focus on the Maryland marriage equality battle. NBJC is also a lead organization of the NoWedge 2012 campaign, a coalition of Black faith and social justice leaders working to combat “divide and conquer” strategies that manipulate religious sensibilities, and Black and Hispanic cultural identities to make marriage equality a defining wedge issue.

NBJC hasn’t stopped there. The NBJC team will be volunteering on the ground in Prince George’s County on Election Day encouraging registered voters to make their way to the polls, and more importantly, make an informed decision that will protect and benefit Black families. A vote for Question 6 is a vote for equality and fairness. A vote for Question 6 is a vote to strengthen Black families.

If you support fairness and equality, sign up to volunteer with NBJC. Email NBJC Policy and Networks Associate Rodney Nickens at

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.