Gay stance vote decider?
ON THE upper eastern edge of Ohio lies the Mahoning Valley, Barack Obama country.
And native Andre Allie, 54, is very much a Barack Obama man: an AfricanAmerican who “went with history” by voting for him in 2008. But Allie is also a religious man, and he fervently opposes Obama’s declaration in support of gay marriage. “It’s wrong. Period,” he said.
But six months from an election that will decide whether the president keeps his job, a question hovers over the moment: was it a game-changer?
In three very different regions of a state where the election could be won or lost, voters themselves have been considering that. And their reflections reveal something far more pragmatic than an electorate that shifts its views because of the headline of the day.
Allie is but one example, a voter as adamant in his opposition to same-sex marriage as he is in his support – still – of Obama. In his words: “The world is bigger than gay marriage.”
Among Democrats you hear talk of newfound respect for a candidate they supported. “I’m really proud of him,” said Margie Delong, a retired nurse in northern Lake County who plans to volunteer for the Obama campaign.
The Rev Courtney Jenkins preaches to a mostly black congregation in Cleveland, where high turnout among Africanwill be one make-orbreak factor for Obama in Ohio. She knows there are those who theologically disagree with his position; she heard as much from one colleague last week.
Still the person said: “This is the president I’ve been waiting on. One who will stand up and say: this is what I believe.” Said Jenkins: “I think that’s what voters were looking for. We’ve been waiting on change.” — Sapa-ap