Local voters react to President's gay marriage announcement

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

President Barak Obama declared his personal support for same sex marriage Wednesday in an exclusive interview with ABC's Robin Roberts.

Obama said he hesitated on gay marriage because he thought that civil unions would be sufficient, but apparently no more.

It is immediately evident that the issue of gay marriage will become a hot button issue in the campaign for president.

Opinion polls show that just over half of Americans now favor same sex marriage, and perhaps more importantly to the candidates, 57% of Independents think gay people should be able to get married.

Local response to the President's announcement ranged from thumbs up to disagreement about his support for gay marriage.

There were those who were uncomfortable talking about the matter, while others had plenty to say.

It is a hot topic that had people on the streets of Philadelphia sounding off.

"Well I think he's in line with where the country is going, and I think that's fantastic," said Bob Runyan.

"Personally I don't believe in it but that's what everybody is going for, and that's the way it is right now," said Donna Sinkiewicz.

The views on President Obama standing up for gay marriage were wide ranging.

There were those who disagreed with the President but applaud him for speaking out.

"I'm not sure about marriage. I say unio, but not marriage. I think it was very brave of him to come out with marriage," Bob Heitz said.

James, a lifelong Democrat, said on Facebook that he could no longer support the President.

Rainette quoted actor Seth Rogen, claiming that someone else's marriage is against your religion is like being angry at someone for eating a donut because you're on a diet.

Malcom Lazin, Executive Director of the Equality Forum says that it is a major moment that will mobilize and energize the gay community.

"I think it is a wonderful day for all Americans and for the concept for love thy neighbor as thy self," Lazin said.

And while critics call the President's "evolving" though on gay marriage a calculated political move, Villanova political professor Matthew Kerbel just called it a risky one that many are not surprised about.

And when it comes to votes, there is so much focus on the economy, Dr. Kerbel believes people will be thinking about that issue in November a lot more than gay marriage.

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president barack obama, gay marriage, election, philadelphia, local/state, kenneth moton
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