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Decision Virginia Archive 8/08- 7/12

Mayor Jones parts with Obama on gay marriage

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Wednesday night on NBC12, Sarah Bloom told the story of a Richmond preacher who has vowed to stand on a street corner every day until the election encouraging people not to re-elect President Barack Obama.

The pastor, Rev. Shirley Snead is an African-American and a one time supporter of the president who became a vocal opponent after Mr. Obama changed his stance on gay marriage. The black church was a strong bastion of support and energy for the president in 2008 and there is some concern that the gay marriage switch could dampen that enthusiasm.

But it seems that while many religious African-Americans may not support the president’s change of heart, it is going to take quite a bit more for them not to vote for him. One of the most prominent examples of that trend could be Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones. Jones is a strong supporter of the Obama, and is also a pastor that still preaches every Sunday.

Here is a snippet from Sarah’s report last night:

Even one of the President’s strongest supporters in Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones, a pastor himself, doesn’t agree with the President’s new position on marriage.

A spokesperson said he still strongly supports Obama’s re-election.

Our political reporter, Ryan Nobles, said Jones is like many religious black voters who have more in common with the president than just that single issue.

“While most of them don’t agree with him on same-sex marriage, there’s still a lot more that they do agree with him on,” said Nobles.

And when voters go to the polls, Henrico School Board member and Obama supporter, Lamont Bagby believes gay marriage won’t be their biggest concern.

“Because I don’t think anyone has an opportunity at this point to be a single issue voter,” said Bagby.

See the entire report on NBC12.com

Jones might be the perfect example of the divide amongst religious African Americans, who remain opposed to same sex marriage, but remain strong supporters of Obama’s historic presidency. He may lose some, like Rev. Snead, but there is no evidence of a mass exodus from the Obama camp.

In fact, there are many examples of Obama’s change of heart, convincing other prominent African-American groups to move with him. The NAACP took Obama’s newfound position a step further defining marriage as a “civil right”. Obama’s current position supports the states who decide to legalize marriage for gays and lesbians.

It seems that this particular segment of the population is following a similar trend indicated in the many polls taken after Obama’s announcement. He lost some support and gained some support, but for the most part is right where he was before, locked in a very tight race that will remain that way until November.

Written by Ryan Nobles

May 24, 2012 at 9:52 am

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