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Is Obama's Embrace of Gay Marriage a Risky Move?

Some say Obama's support of gay marriage could drive some voters to Romney.

In an interview on Good Morning America on Thursday, President Barack Obama said that he personally supported the right of gay couples to marry, becoming the first sitting president in history to do so.

While Obama stressed that the decision on whether to allow gay marriage should be left up to the states, he said he had come to believe that gay couples should be afforded the same rights as heterosexuals.

Many LGBT rights groups are applauding the president's announcement, which came the day after North Carolina voters approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in that state. However, some think announcing his support for gay marriage was a risky move for Obama to make in an election year.

"“There’s two camps celebrating this today: Those activists who are advocating for the redefinition of marriage, and the Mitt Romney campaign,” Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, told Bloomberg News. “The president just handed Mitt Romney the missing piece to the picture of enthusiasm for his campaign.”

Others, however, think Obama will make gains in the youth vote -- and still others point out that single-issue voters who are against gay marriage are unlikely to vote for Obama anyway.

What do you think? Will Obama's announcement of support for gay marriage help or hinder him this November?

Count Raoul May 12, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Really? Do I really want to come out on this subject, on this forum. Words should be chosen carefully, as the previous sentence shows. I've used the term third rail before suggesting a topic is too hot to touch. For those not living near a subway system, let me remind you that the third rail is the electrical power source running alongside the two train tracks. If someone shoots you in the toe with a 45mm handgun, you will lose your toe. Should your toe touch the third rail, you will lose your life. THAT is how touchy I consider this subject. Oh, I have an opinion and will share with anyone in private. But only real men, real masochists and real politicians dare make their case in a forum like Athens Patch.
Brian Crawford May 13, 2012 at 01:05 AM
I think there is no doubt that this has already energized Obama's base which had been looking for something to get excited about; i. e. some of that "Change to Believe In" magic from 2008. This is an issue that resonates loudly with Progressives and particularly younger voters. It also draws a stark contrast between Obama (who appears to be much more in touch with how the electorate has evolved on this issue) and Romney (who now seems even more out of touch with the struggles of average Americans) with Independent voters.
Rebecca McCarthy (Editor) May 13, 2012 at 11:55 AM
Count, I hope we retain some civility in the Athens Patch comments. This particular question is also posted in Gwinnett, which tends to attract a more conservative readership. But thanks for the third rail explanation.
A Newcomer May 13, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Wouldn't it be sad if you loved someone and were in a committed to each other - but weren't allowed to be married? Every religious institution has the right to determine who can or cannot can marry in that institution. Letting people marry the person they love doesn't threaten any religion, and certainly has nothing to do with any other couple's marriage. With so much violence in our world, why not respect and support love?
Sharon Swanepoel May 13, 2012 at 03:23 PM
I'm with Newcomer here. I don't see how personal relationships are any concern of the government. Marriage is for a church. If any particular church decides one way, the people concerned are free to go to another. They don't have that same luxury with the government. If the tax code and financial issues like healthcare weren't set up to favor one relationship over another, this wouldn't be an issue. I don't even have a say in who my children should marry, why should the government have any say in who anybody can marry.
Count Raoul May 14, 2012 at 01:49 AM
I fear that sometimes even these critical issues get lost in semantics. The Govt. should have nothing to do with who gets 'married'. That's the church's business as it is a religious effort. The Govt, does have a right to say who gets to inherit estates, adopt children and visit the sick in hospitals. And for me, I don't thing those opposed to gay marriage are against those rights. But maybe the Govt. should stay out of religious activities.
U.B.in Gwinnett May 14, 2012 at 02:43 AM
What else does he have to run on? Change and Hope is played out and proven to be a farce. He's renaged on every campaign promise he ran on in 08. Smoke and mirrors. I personnally could care less if anyone wants to get married. It won't affect me one bit. What same and opposite sexes do behind closed doors is none of my business. I, do however see right through the political ploy though.
Gail Lane May 14, 2012 at 10:39 AM
An interesting poll pulled over the weekend in Georgia on this subject: http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local-govt-politics/poll-shows-most-georgians-are-opposed-gay-marriage/nN4Z8/
Kari Montgomery May 14, 2012 at 10:55 AM
U.B. I agree he has nothing else to run on...so all of a sudden he has "evolved"? Politics stink sometimes. What about our economy?

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