On June 9, 2012 the National Council of La Raza, the country’s largest Latino civil rights organization, voted unanimously to pass a resolution which endorsed marriage equality for same-sex couples. Said Danny Ortega, a former NCLR Board Chair, “We thought it was not only the right thing to do, but consistent with our values as an organization.”

NCLR joins The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, as well as the Texas chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens, both of which have also endorsed marriage equality recently.

MALDEF’s President and General Counsel, Thomas A. Saenz (who will be the Keynote speaker at SDLRLA’s Annual Gala and Dinner on October 19) issued the following statement shortly after President Obama announced his personal support for marriage equality: “MALDEF has long supported marriage equality, and we applaud the President’s announcement that he also recognizes and supports this critical right. We look forward to the President’s leadership on related issues of equality, including taking steps to immediately implement immigration practices that would accord the same family reunification rights equally to all binational spouses.”

An April 2012 study from the Pew Hispanic Center found that 59 percent of Latinos in the United States say homosexuality should be accepted by society, and a March 2011 study suggested that 67 percent of Latino Catholics support legal recognition for same-sex couples. A Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted in May also found people of color are more likely to support gay marriage than whites.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Director, which organization has worked with NCLR on issues related to racial and economic justice, LGBT rights and marriage equality said: “This is truly a historic moment as the National Council of La Raza takes an official and unequivocal stand for marriage equality. We are proud to work together with NCLR on the many issues that affect all of our lives. Whether it be for comprehensive and humane immigration reform, fair access to education and jobs, an end to voter suppression and racial profiling, the right to love and be who we are free of discrimination — these issues affect us all, our families and our country. With this historic vote, NCLR reaffirms that LGBT issues are Latino issues and we reaffirm that Latino issues are LGBT issues.”