Blacks Consider Obama’s New Stance on Gay Marriage

March 2, 2011  |  

(Washington Post) — When same-sex marriage was upended in California by popular vote in 2008, gay rights activists pointed to one factor: religious African Americans who came out in record numbers for President Obama but who also largely voted against the marriage proposal, according to exit polls.

More than two years later, religious African Americans are giving a more nuanced response to an announcement last week by the Obama administration that the government will no longer defend a federal law banning the recognition of same-sex marriage. Some say the decision is dismaying, although not damning. Others may be rethinking their views, given the influence Obama has in the African American community. And there are those who don’t seem to care much at all.

“I don’t think that this is a deal breaker in terms of whether we are going to support the president . . . but it doesn’t help,” said Cheryl Sanders, pastor of a small church in Washington, who described herself as fairly conservative theologically.  She is among the 68 percent of churchgoing African Americans who oppose same-sex marriage and among the 90 percent who support Obama.

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