President Obama surprised many Americans this month as the first sitting President to announce his support of same-sex marriage. While Obama’s staunchest critics believe he has risked alienating many of his African-American supporters, his supporters reject this notion. If the Pew poll taken in April this year is any indication of how Blacks think, then Obama may be shifting his views along with the rest of the African-American population. According to Pew poll results in 2008, 67% of African-Americans did not support gay marriage at that time. The Pew poll taken last month showed a sharp drop to 47% of Blacks disapproving of gay marriage.
One example of how Obama’s declaration impacted the deeply-religious, African-American community is how Annie May Johnson reacted to the news. When interviewed by “The Daily Beast,” Johnson admitted that Obama’s announcement has made her reconsider her belief that marriage should only be between a man and woman. As a regular in church on Sunday mornings listening to church leaders condemn homosexuality her entire life, Johnson would not be the type of person that Obama’s critics expect to go easy on the President.
While the media continues to debate and discuss possible political fallout from his announcement, there are many Blacks who share Obama’s belief about same-sex marriage because of family members who are gay. One California resident is quoted in “The Daily Beast” as saying, “My grandson is gay. My wife and I learned to accept it and be at peace with it. Who are we to deny him happiness?” As the population as a whole has become more accepting of same-sex marriage, so has the Black community. A popular belief held by many is that African Americans will continue to rally around Obama, knowing that he is most likely to represent their interests as a community.
Read more at The Daily Beast.