African Americans and Gay Marriage — Has President Obama Alienated Himself from A Major Support Base?

Has President Obama drawn a line in the sand between himself and black voters?

The words “civil rights movement” immediately conjure up images of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks, or maybe even Governor George Wallace standing in the schoolhouse door at the University of Alabama, refusing to let black people enroll against a federal order.  We envision separate water fountains for races and huge marches.  The reality of the year 2012 and the issues currently facing the United States of America in this important election year is that civil rights no longer refers to equality among the races.  It now brings only one thing to mind in America:  gay marriage.

It’s one of the most controversial topics to really be debated nationally, perhaps second only to the economy and abortion.  For some, the election of a black man, President Barack Obama, to the most powerful position in the country, and quite possibly the world, is the ultimate culmination of the victory of the civil rights movement of old.  But as they say, out with the old and in with the new.  Gay rights is the new civil rights, and gay marriage is at the forefront as the biggest talking point in this war over exactly what equality entails.

It’s no secret that President Obama had the support of the African American population in his original bid for the presidency in 2008.  And it was considered a virtual lock that at the end of the day, black voters would probably side with him again in 2012, regardless of their true political motivations.  However, Obama’s recent endorsement of gay marriage may have rocked the boat a bit.  Some, especially the media, believe that African Americans sympathize with the gay and lesbian community because they know what it feels like to be discriminated against and oppressed.  The reality is that many African Americans are a little taken aback by the President’s sudden change of heart on this issue.  You see, a huge segment of the African American population is very religion-oriented.  They believe in going to church, they believe in speaking out and praising their Lord, and they believe in the Bible as the word to be followed.  For many of them, the issue of gay marriage is not a civil rights issue but a moral one.  They believe that the Bible teaches against homosexuality, and therefore it should not be a matter we are debating.

It is surmised that Obama believed his surprising announcement might win him more votes from the gay population, but the political strategy may have surprising repercussions.  It seems that he may have hit on the one issue that could sufficiently alienate himself from black voters and what they stand for.  Now, Obama has not done anything to push the gay marriage agenda any further.  He has merely stated that he himself has grown to believe that it should be legal and recognized by the state.  He did not say he would lobby for a constitutional amendment on the issue, and he even pointed out that he also believes it is a matter that should be left up to the states to decide.  But we all know the power of a president in his second and final term.  There is no longer anything to lose at that point, and presidents do things that they would never do in the heat of an election campaign.  Would Obama dare to put a constitutional amendment on the table if he is re-elected?  And is the fear of something like that enough to make some black voters turn their back on him in the name of their religious beliefs?  It could be a very interesting facet to the stories that will dominate this election year.  Common Sense Conspiracy will keep you posted and give you insights into the different things that come up along the way and try to give you an unbiased look at what hangs in the balance.

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