Obama’s Gay Marriage Stance Affects the Black Community
President Barack Obama has recently declared that he supports the right of same-sex couples to get married in this country. His announcement was received with a multitude of responses from different segments of society and in the media. Predictably, he has tremendous support from the gay community and the left. Also very predictably, right wing and Evangelical Christians are in strong opposition to the president’s endorsement of gay marriage. White evangelical Christians were a group that did not tend to favor Barack Obama in the 2008 election. They opposed his stance on almost everything including abortion and stem cell research, citing their religious beliefs as the main driver for their opposition. Although Black Evangelical Christians held some of the same views as their white counterparts, they voted for President Obama in record numbers last election. He ran in 2008 on a platform that opposed gay marriage. Over the years however, the President has implicitly stated several times on the record that his position on gay marriage was “evolving”. His opinion has apparently reached its final stage in its evolution, as he announced last week that he believes in the right of same sex couples to wed.
Even among religious African Americans, there are those who say that they separate religion and politics and still plan to support the President despite disagreeing with him on gay marriage. There are some in the Black community who are of the same opinion as the president. Many recognize and even applaud the historic nature of his announcement, but even among that group, there is a fear that his stance on gay marriage will hurt his prospects of winning the Black vote in the droves that he did in 2008. Hip-hop mogul Jay-z, who has always been an ardent Obama supporter, made a statement in a CNN interview saying “I think it’s the right thing to do, whether it cost him votes or not. Again, it’s not about votes, it’s about people. So whether it cost him votes or not I think it’s the right thing to do as a human being.”
When it comes to the impact of Obama’s support of gay marriage on the African American community, we cannot plainly recognize what the long term impact of Obama’s support for gay marriage will be. One thing that is very plain to see is that the Black community is not one monolithic group. There are varied opinions and we will have to wait and see what kind of impact this has on President Obama when the poll results are in this November.
Written by: Kika Ramsay
Disclaimer: All views expressed within this post are that of the author and not BLACK STREET entirely.