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History is Made: Marriage Equality Upheld in Maryland, President Obama Re-Elected


Washington, D.C. – November 7, 2012 – Yesterday, Marylanders voted to uphold the Civil Marriage Protection Act, making Maryland one of the first states to pass a marriage equality initiative on the ballot (Maine, Washington and Minnesota celebrated similar historic victories last night). The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) celebrates this joyous day for same-sex couples in Maryland who will soon be able to marry the person they love, to make a lifetime promise in front of family and friends, and to protect their loved ones.  

We commemorate another tremendous win for LGBT Americans: President Barack Obama was re-elected after becoming the first sitting president to voice support for marriage equality. The reaffirmation by the electorate is critical to the future of the LGBT movement and our families. President Obama has consistently made momentous strides in support of freedom and fairness, and will undoubtedly continue to do so during his second term. His moral leadership has proven to serve as a compass for the rest of our country as more and more Americans realize that LGBT people deserve the same protections that are so fundamental to our nation's values.  

"Justice and fairness have prevailed. While freedom and equality should not be subject to a popular vote, we celebrate this historic win for families in the state of Maryland," says Sharon Lettman-Hicks, NBJC Executive Director and CEO. "NBJC is so pleased to see marriage embraced in a state with a significant Black population at the same time President Obama triumphed on the presidential ballot. This hopefully heals some of the misguided speculation about the Black vote and the freedom to marry."  

NBJC was a proud supporter of the Maryland marriage equality campaign working actively to win the freedom to marry in the Free State. From October 2011 through February 2012, NBJC worked strategically with Marylanders for Marriage Equality during the legislative session, participating in town hall meetings in Prince George's and Baltimore County, Lobby Days at the State Capitol, phone banks, and canvasses.

As a component of its faith outreach, NBJC organized a series of strategic conversations about marriage equality with local faith leaders and elected officials such as Pastor Delman Coates, Pastor Christine Wiley and Montgomery County (MD) Councilmember Valerie Ervin at Mt. Ennon Baptist Church, during the annual OUT on the Hill Black LGBT Leadership Summit and for the film The New Black, which was recently profiled in The New York Times.

The NBJC team also volunteered 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.

"Our nation is one step closer to recognizing the full equality for all people," adds Lettman-Hicks. "The momentum for the freedom to marry is irrefutable as more and more states and everyday Americans continue to stand on the right side of history."


The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. NBJC's mission is to eradicate racism and homophobia.  

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.