Obama's Stance on Gay Marriage May Not Hurt Black Vote

By Rachel Martin

May 16, 2012 Updated May 16, 2012 at 10:47 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) -- Ever since President Obama said he supports gay marriage and civil unions, some political analysts are saying he'll lose voters—particularly Black Christian voters. A local pastor says that may not be the case.

While some Black churches have preached against the President's stance, others have been more supportive.

Rev. Bill McGill, Senior Pastor at Imani Baptist Temple in Fort Wayne says he doesn't think President Obama will lose the Black vote completely. Although only 39 percent of Black Americans favor gay marriage, according to a recent pew poll, Mcgill says the Black church is not opposed to homosexuality, they just don’t celebrate it.

“The Black Church has never been anti-gay,” Rev. McGill said. “The predominant African-American church has not affirmed gay lifestyles, but there are homosexuals and lesbians on our pews each and every Sunday, directing many of our choirs, doing great work in our music and arts departments. To say that we are somehow ‘anti,’ is disingenuous at best.”

Rev. McGill says by the President taking that political stance, he probably gained as many supporters as he’s lost. Although Rev. McGill admits the Black vote did contribute, he thinks it's the college vote that really boosted Obama’s election in 2008.

“I am not convinced that this is going to cost the President the vast majority of his support,” Rev. McGill said. “Yes 95 percent of African Americans supported him, but I think the deal breaker in the election was that young college-educated vote—individuals on campuses doing crazy organizing—and I think those numbers have remained the same if not increased.”

However, Rev. McGill says he thinks the real fear is the fact that Mitt Romney is a Mormon, which is not regarded as a Christian faith, but as a cult. He says that aspect has been “mainstreamed” and “overlooked.”

“Mormonism is not a Christian faith. They all conceded,” Rev. McGill said. “He spoke at Liberty University this weekend which has a course that describes Mormons as a cult. So somehow we’re not balancing out an issue of real fairness here. I think we’re using the same-sex [marriage] argument as a smoke screen where we really have a very valid faith argument that no one seems to be addressing.”

Rev. McGill says he doesn’t think homosexuals marrying will violate the sanctity of marriage. He says gay people are citizens too and believes they should have the same civil rights as anyone else.

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