The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has passed a resolution yesterday endorsing equal marriage, two weeks following President Obama’s move to do so.

The NAACP board voted during a meeting in Miami, arguing that it was demanded by the equal protection guaranteed by the US constitution.

Many observers consider this a positive step in bridging the apparent divide between ethnic minorities and the gay community, and reinforces previous findings from Pew Research Center that African Americans have become more supportive of marriage equality than even four years ago, though they still remain the ethnic group most opposed to the move.

Chairwoman Roslyn M Brock said in a statement: “The mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure political, social and economic equality of all people. We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law.”

The president of NAACP, Benjamin Todd, who is a known supporter of gay rights, added: “Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP’s support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the fourteenth amendment of the United States constitution and equal protection of all people.”

Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, also welcomed the move, saying: “We could not be more pleased with the NAACP’s history-making vote – which is yet another example of the traction marriage equality continues to gain in every community.”