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Many blacks shrug off Obama’s new view on gays

May 12, 2012 • National News


Dorsey Jackson, center standing, cuts hair at his establishment Jackson’s Barbershop, Friday, May 11, 2012, in Ardmore, Pa. Like many black Americans, Dorsey Jackson does not believe in gay marriage, but he wasn’t disillusioned when Barack Obama became the first president to support it. The windows of his suburban Philadelphia barbershop still display an “Obama 2012” placard and another that reads “We’ve Got His Back.” (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

ARDMORE, Pa. (AP) — Like many black Americans, Dorsey Jackson does not believe in gay marriage, but he wasn’t disillusioned when Barack Obama became the first president to support it. The windows of his suburban Philadelphia barbershop still display an “Obama 2012″ placard and another that reads “We’ve Got His Back.”

If Obama needs to endorse same-sex marriage to be re-elected, said Jackson, so be it: “Look, man — by any means necessary.”

With that phrase popularized by the black radical Malcolm X, Jackson rebutted those who say Obama’s new stand will weaken the massive black support he needs to win re-election in November. Black voters and especially black churches have long opposed gay marriage. But the 40-year-old barber and other African-Americans interviewed in politically key states say their support for Obama remains unshaken.

Some questioned whether he really believes what he says about gay marriage or merely took that stand to help defeat Republican Mitt Romney — suggesting African-Americans view the first black president less as an icon than as a straight-up politician who still feels like family.

“Obama is human,” said Leon Givens of Charlotte, N.C. “I don’t have him on a pedestal.”

On Tuesday, Givens voted in favor of banning gay marriage in North Carolina. Login to read more

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