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Local People React To Obama’s Support Of Gay Marriage

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(Credit: Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images)

(Credit: Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images)

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DETROIT (CBS Detroit) In a much-anticipated announcement, President Barack Obama came out in support of gay marriage Wednesday.

It was music to the ears of Cassandra Varner, director of communications for Affirmations, the lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual community center in Ferndale.

“I really think that this is really good news, this is really good news, especially at such a crucial time in the country … This is really, it takes a positive stance,”  Varner said.

This comes as North Carolina voters supported a ban on gay marriage, supporting a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as only legal between a man and woman. Obama drew fire for initially supporting only civil unions for gay people.

The president later said his views on gay marriage were “evolving.”

“I hesitated on gay marriage in part because I thought civil unions would be sufficient,” Obama told ABC News.

Varner doesn’t hold a grudge about the president changing his stance. “Really what’s most important is that he’s taking the stance now, especially in an election, it’s important that he’s clear with his message, even if he wasn’t always.”

Anna Bartalotta, who lives with her female partner and their three children in St. Claire Shores, said was shocked and delighted to hear that the President put politics aside to and take a stand on the issue.

“Actually taking a stand, standing with us, is pretty impressive,” Bartalotta said. “Instead of just, like hanging on the fence, you know, winking at us, you know, we’re on your side. He’s actually making a statement that he’s on our side.”

“Standing strong … it makes me speechless that he would do this,” she said, adding that she and her partner to marry later in this year.

Many Metro Detroiters approached by WWJ Newsradio 950′s Sandra McNeil did not want to discuss the issue.  Most of those who did want to talk said they didn’t have a problem with it.

But Tim Coxton of Detroit said he wasn’t happy to hear the President’s announcement.

“Gay marriage is a sin against God. And I feel like if you partake in that you’re going against … religion, you’re going against God, you’re going against everything that has been established already,” he said.

Kevin Coleman, also of Detroit, thinks the President’s announcement was a long time coming.

“He’s eventually got to evolve, like, with the rest of society. And I think, at some point, politicians are going to have to embrace that,” Coleman said.

- More on this story from CBS DC

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