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In Baldwin Hills, Obama's stance on gay marriage gets mixed reviews

May 9, 2012 |  4:08 pm

President Obama

Ahmad Butler, a bartender from Leimart Park, said Wednesday that President Obama's support for gay marriage would not alter his support for Obama.

Butler was among a half-dozen African American Angelenos who shared their thoughts about Obama's announcement outside the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.

“I’m in favor of it,” said Butler, 35. “I say good for him. He should have done it a while ago.”

Elvis Prescott, 53, had a sharply different view. Prescott, who works with the homeless in a Compton ministry, said gay marriage is “an abomination to God.”

“I can’t condone gays, lesbians, what have you. They’re God’s children too, but God doesn’t smile on it so I can’t smile on it either if I’m an imitator of God,” he said. “I’m not saying it will change my vote. I stand with Obama and I stand with Biden. I just don’t stand with them on this issue.”

Beverly Russell, who retired last summer after 25 years as an IRS agent, was headed to a shop where she was having Obama “four more years” T-shirts printed. She said she accepted Obama’s stance on the gay marriage issue but disagreed with it.

“Personally what I learned because I am a Christian is that we can have laws but that doesn’t mean that something is biblically correct,” she said. “I just think it’s unnatural.”

She and some others thought Obama’s announcement Wednesday was motivated more by his desire to win the gay vote than by his personal convictions.

“It’s a political year,” said Carole Fletcher, 65. “I think he is going along with the flow. I don’t think that’s the way he feels in his heart. I also don’t think that will take away from people voting for him.”

An anti-gay marriage group, Alliance Defense Fund, released a statement saying Obama "doesn't understand the public purpose of marriage."

"Marriage -- the lifelong, faithful union of one man and one woman -- is the building block of a thriving society," said litigation staff counsel Jim Campbell. "It’s not something that politicians should attempt to redefine for political purposes. The president has spoken eloquently about how fatherless homes often hurt children and society. Today’s statement is a tragic contradiction that promotes the creation of even more fatherless and motherless homes.”


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— Kim Christensen in Baldwin Hills

Photo: President Obama during a speech earlier this month. Credit: Evan Vucci / Associated Press