The NAACP board passed a resolution endorsing same sex marriage as a natural extension of their commitment to equal rights and non-discrimination on Saturday. What’s interesting about this announcement is not so much that a liberal anti-discrimination group supports same sex marriage — in fact, it would be weird if such a group opposed same sex marriage — but how much the NAACP’s announcement is clearly tied to Obama’s publicly changing his mind on the issue. As the Politico article I linked to points out, Julian Bond, the former NAACP chairman, is part of a group of black political and civil rights leaders who have signed on to explicitly support Obama’s position on the issue.
This tonal shift by the NAACP is part of what looks like to be one of the major shifts in how the same sex marriage issue is understood. Although a lot has been made of how quickly a significant portion of the population has changed their opinion on same-sex marriage, what Obama’s public support will likely do is make same-sex marriage an issue that is unambiguously part of the advocacy platform of most organizations in the liberal/Democratic universe (the NAACP being a prime example) and something that liberal politicans will not be afraid to enthusiastically support lest they oppose a sitting president.
The flipside of the NAACP deciding to more explicitly back gay marriage is the situation of moderate Democrats from more Republican states like Tim Kaine and Claire McCaskill who still hold what used to be the president’s position on the issue and may now end up opposing a position that will likely end up in the Democratic party platform. The president’s announcement made a tricky situation — winning elections in Virginia and Missouri — a little bit trickier.