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Saturday, May 12, 2012

President Obama & Same-Sex Marriage

For the past four years I have been working on and fighting for marriage equality here in California. So, when President Obama came out this past week and endorsed same-sex marriage it felt like a huge victory in the continuing fight for full equal rights for the LGBT community in the United States.  President Obama took the conservative, the federalism position on same-sex marriage. Leave it up to the states to decide.  I may not agree with Mr. Obama and his politics but I applaud the President for coming out in support. Now I believe African Americans will still support the president and not turn on him. In 2008 here in California President Obama carried over 90% of the African American vote; however 50% of African Americans voted in favor of proposition 8. I believe civil rights should never be on the ballot and the masses shouldn’t determine whether a certain group of people have the right to do something because quit often the masses will get it wrong. While the economy is certain to dominate the campaign over the next few months, gay marriage could have an impact in key states by influencing voter turnout among important constituencies, among them minorities and young people. National surveys show a majority of Americans support same-sex marriage.  North Carolina voters, for example overwhelmingly passed a referendum Tuesday that strengthened the state’s gay-marriage ban. It appears to have driven GOP turnout to record levels. 61 percent of voters approved the measure in a traditionally GOP state Mr. Obama won four years ago. While its unlikely blacks will suddenly decide to vote for Mitt Romney over this, if some of them decide to stay home, it could make a difference in the outcome of the election.   Mr. Obama‘s statement might have made him the first sitting American President to support same-sex marriage but it carried no immediate policy changes. In the end, the legality of gay marriage will decided primarily in the states and court, not the White House.