Local/State

Obama's stance on gay marriage divides NC voters

Thursday, May 31, 2012

President Obama's support for gay marriage may put him at odds with African-American church-goers.

Pastor Will Nichols, of Victorious Praise Fellowship in Durham, told ABC11 that the energy behind the president's campaign is not what it was during the 2008 election.

"The whole thrust four years ago was the first African-American. Well, that thrust is not here any longer," Nichols said.

Nichols added that some of his colleagues and their parishioners are already vowing not to vote in the upcoming presidential election.

"Pastors are themselves publicly announcing that they aren't going to vote," Nichols said.

Christians who are vowing not to back Obama would be left with Republican candidate Mitt Romney, a Mormon.

"I have one president who's going against a very basic tenant in scripture and I have another person who's not even in scripture," Nichols said.

The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll shows 41 percent of all Americans have a positive view of the former Massachusetts governor, compared to Obama's 52 percent.

In North Carolina, a state where Obama won by 14,000 votes in 2008, gay marriage may not make much of an impact.

"We forget how close it was in 2008," William Peace Political Science Professor David McLennan said. "People who may not like President Obama's stand on gay marriage may say he's still the best candidate."

McLennan said Obama had roughly a 12:1 advantage with black voters in 2008, and he expects the numbers to be about the same in 2012.

Both Nichols and McLennan said there are plenty of those who plan to exercise their right to vote no matter which sides the candidates take on the gay marriage debate.

"I believe in what the Bible says, but I am also an African-American and I believe people fought and died so that we can vote.  And so I'm not going to give up that vote."

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Tags:
barack obama, mitt romney, local/state, fred shropshire
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