Obama's views on gay marriage get mixed reaction among local African-Americans

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - President Obama's comments in support of gay marriage is drawing mixed reaction from Cincinnati's Black community.

Opinions on gay marriage are as varied. Unlike previous generations, today's Black community does not speak with one voice.

Lavida Harris who Extra Touch Deli in Walnut Hills says "I actually think that he may have been considering that for a long time and maybe just came to terms with that."

Pictures of the President from his first campaign still hang from the walls of the deli.  Harris says she's a firm believer in personal choice.  "Its up to that individual or those individuals and I think we as a society, we need to leave it like that."

Curtis Halsell says his position on gay marriage, like the President's has evolved. "Who am I to tell you who to be with, who to sleep with.  I know what my religious training says and I can say well that's wrong, but I've been wrong before."

Anna Guin says people today have more freedom. "Really people will do what they want to do they're  going to do it anyway with his permission or without his permission or anybody's permission."

However, there are those, like Dimitri Valentino, who adhere to traditional Christian beliefs. "I disagree with it and him as a Christian. I can't see how he would come out and say it like that with no integrity, but I believe it was all done for the votes."

Bishop Nerrick Jackson says the President's motives are political. "It really doesn't surprise me from a political standpoint. As a pastor, of course, the bible's pretty clear on its disposition as to what the definition of marriage is. So while I don't endorse his position I continue to endorse him as a president because of his leadership and his policy."

It remains to be seen what difference, if any, the President remarks have on his level of support among the Black community.

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