Washington — Former U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell supports marriage equality. Powell made the remarks in an interview taped for CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. In talking with Blitzer, Powell cited his LGBT friends and their committed relationships as a driving force in his support.
"Colin Powell's support for marriage equality is representative of the continued momentum for marriage that we're seeing nationwide, and its significance cannot be overlooked," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "One of our nation's foremost statesmen and a top military leader, Colin Powell is another example of how a growing number of Americans are personally connected to loving, committed LGBT couples — and these connections are having transformative results. As more and more Americans come to see the discrimination their own LGBT family members and friends experience on a daily basis, support for marriage equality is increasingly common-sense. No longer can marriage be used as a wedge issue for any community — Americans are increasingly supportive of marriage equality regardless of age, race, ethnicity, religious affiliation or political associations."
Colin Powell is the latest in a string of leaders within the African-American community to support marriage equality — joining Russell Simmons, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the Rev. Al Sharpton, and Jay-Z. An ABC News/Washington Post poll out today shows African-American support for marriage equality at 59 percent — an all-time high. The poll also found support for marriage equality nationwide at 53 percent — the latest in a series of national polls to show a majority of Americans supporting the right of loving and committed same-sex couples to marry.
Powell's support also is indicative of increasing support for marriage equality among fair-minded Republicans. An NBC News/WSJ poll released yesterday showed support for marriage equality at nearly 50 percent among Republicans under the age of 35.
View the video of Powell expressing his support for marriage equality.