. It appears that ever since prominent African American figures have publicly voiced their support of gay marriage, the African American community’s support of gay marriage has surged. A national exit poll by Edison Research shows that black voters favored their state legalizing gay marriage, 51 to 41 percent. Pew polls have also showed an increase from 36 percent in 2011 to 44 percent last month supporting gay marriage. According to the exit poll conducted by Edison Research on behalf of the NEP, 51 percent of black voters said their states should legally recognize same-s*x marriage, compared with 47 percent of whites who favored this idea. The new poll results exude a surge in support of gay marriage within the Black community since 2011 — the Pew Research Center found that only 36 percent of African Americans favored legalizing gay marriage, compared with 49 percent of whites supporting it. A Pew survey found last month that long-standing racial differences in attitudes toward gay marriage were narrowing. Consistently over the past decade, blacks have been significantly less supportive of legalizing gay marriage than whites, but the latest survey found blacks divided more evenly on this issue than in the past, with 44 percent in favor and 39 percent opposed to allowing gay marriage. Among whites, 49 percent favored and 41 percent opposed same-s*x marriage. Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, said in a statement, “ 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. The well-funded right wing organizations who are attempting to split our communities are no friend to civil rights, and they will not succeed .” Still, there are many prominent figures in the black community that remain against same-s*x marriage. The Coalition of African-American Pastors has been vocal in their opposition to President Obama’s support for gay marriage and a group of well-known African Americans, including Dr. Alveda King, launched the “God Said” campaign this year in support of the biblical definition of marriage, between one man and one woman.