Daily Dispatch

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

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