The National Black Justice Coalition, the leading black civil rights group is releasing a new advertisement that takes on Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on a sensitive gay rights issue.  NBJC announced today that the group is publishing an ad that challenges the influence of religious intolerance on the US Supreme Court.

The ad — which will be published in the Afro-American Newspapers in Baltimore and Washington, and in Roll Call, the Congressional newspaper — features a photograph of Justice Thomas, who is black, and his wife Virginia, who is white.  Noting their interracial relationship, the ad asks, "Offense Before God?"

"If Clarence Thomas had been on the Court in 1967, how would he have voted?," the ad asks, referring to the Supreme Court decision that legalized interracial marriage.  "If Samuel Alito had been on the court in 1967, how would he have voted?," it continues.  The tagline of the ad argues that "using religion to justify discrimination is the real offense before God.

The ad is a part of the NBJC’s ongoing public education campaign in support of marriage equality for lesbian and gay couples.