After the bombshell news story yesterday of President Barack Obama speaking out in support of gay marriage in a sit-down interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts, several voices in the African-American community rang out on the issue. NewsOne ran a story on the interview on Wednesday, which was heavily contested by readers. In the poll, we asked readers if they agreed with the President’s decision to support gay marriage. In the 22 hours since the poll has been live, more than 400 votes have come with an overwhelming 63 percent of readers in disagreement with President Obama’s stance.
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One comment in particular from a user named Kelly sparked a passionate debate, which questioned in a simple phrase the sincerity of Obama’s new claim, “Obama will do anything for votes, even sell his soul…,” read the statement, setting off a variety of replies. Other comments far too harsh and vulgar to print seem to point to the idea that many are angered that Obama would turn away from the normally held conservative Christian beliefs that marriage should only occur between a man and woman.
Although the gay vote helped propel his progressive message as he sought the Presidency, Obama didn’t seem to pander to that voting bloc, although he addressed gays and their issues during campaign stops along the way. In 2010, there were reports that gays, especially those who supported Obama in 2008, were turning their backs on the President. Accused of trying to snag votes although the political risk was high, Obama is standing firm that this is not a political chess move.
Meanwhile, some in the Black community have also expressed resentment that Obama’s choice to underscore gay rights over many urgent issues in our community is a slap in the face. NewsOne’s own Dr. Boyce shared this view on Thursday and 74 percent of 162 voters agreed with him.
For example, Jezreal wrote:
Yesterday, after watching the President speak so empathetically and boldly on gay marriage it occurred to me that if the President had done half as much for African Americans as he’s done for homosexuals to address our issues we might not be much better off economically but at least we would know that we have someone in Washington working on our behalf.
Time will tell how this plays out in November.