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From first black president to 'first gay president'?
The covers of Newsweek and The New Yorker take note of President Barack Obama's support of same-sex marriage.
May 14th, 2012
04:30 PM ET

From first black president to 'first gay president'?

By Mallory Simon, CNN

(CNN) – As if becoming the first black president wasn't momentous enough, Barack Obama has just been handed a new title: "First gay president."

A Newsweek magazine cover bestowed that distinction on Obama this week with a picture of the president and a rainbow halo. If you view that as a naked attempt to grab your attention, capitalize on the moment and have you pick up a newsmagazine, you might be right.

But that illustration along with a New Yorker cover showing the columns of the White House lit up in rainbow colors certainly shows how the president’s public support of same-sex marriage has pushed the issue back into the spotlight.

The magazines’ choices also speak to the broad cultural impact of Obama's announcement and pose questions about whether this moment may become a lasting part of his legacy.

That's not to say the president's announcement is necessarily a watershed moment. It earned him kudos and criticism despite the fact that he left the legal standing of same-sex marriage in the hands of the states and made no policy changes.

The issue also is far from resolved in the African-American community, and some conservatives say Obama's announcement comes at a political cost.

CNN.com's John Blake writes that some suggest the black church may punish Obama for announcing his support for same-sex marriage.

As millions went to church this weekend after the president's announcement, clergy across the country offered their opinions, with the words of black pastors a key base of support for Obama in 2008 carrying special weight in a presidential election year. But black pastors were hardly monolithic in addressing Obama's remarks.

Read the full story on CNN's This Just In blog

soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Marian Atkinson

    Gay marriage with full legal rights has been legal in Canada for years. The world hasn't come to an end! Get with it folks, its the 21st century and 'gay' has been part of society since its beginnings.

    May 16, 2012 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  2. Ryan Wenzel

    The headline was a cheap attempt to get people to read their stupid magazine. We've already had a (probably) gay president.

    “I am now solitary and alone, having no companion in the house with me. I have gone a wooing to several gentlemen, but have not succeeded with any one of them.”

    -James Buchanan

    May 16, 2012 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
  3. Tim Rigney

    REPUBLICANS: I'm curious about something. Honest injun question. I'm wondering if, after you guys lose *this* election to, you'll start listening to people who are trying to give you a heads-up about something instead of instantly disregarding it because it differs from your world-view.

    May 15, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim Rigney

      Ohio. Florida. North Carolina. Virginia. Romney can't win from here.

      May 15, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • honest injun answer

      apparently eluding to gun ownership rates and describing either a reactionary process of secession or an invasion of the "godless" is shunned upon on these pages. sorry i couldn't keep my first honest injun answer to your honest injun question up. people saw the word gun and vomited on the report abuse button... censors everywhere

      May 16, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. B

    With everyone appearing to jump right into the gay marriage argument, has anyone not raised concern over the fact that (based on the "News"week cover) supporting gay marriage suddenly makes Obama gay? I was not aware.

    May 15, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • iminim

      Does that mean Lincoln was the "first black President" because of the Emancipation Proclamation? If you support laws to protect and support children, does that make you a child? Did all the men who voted for women's sufferage years ago suddenly become transgender women? Newsweek just showed how ridicuous it is willing to be to sell magazines, nothing more.

      May 15, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sudhir Malik

    Yes now media do not have anything else to cover Economic does not matter, oil prices, president have no power to control them, Obama will tackle the debt crises after the election in Nov. Now a time for Women health, pay and jobs etc...

    May 15, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Peter

    america still has some moral intergity, so when you see the change you need lose, you will know american will not vote in a gay loving president

    May 15, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • michael

      Many Americans, such as myself, are perhaps a bit more likely to vote for a "gay loving president" than one less supportive of gay rights – and I credit my moral integrity.

      May 15, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • biblical scholar

        also michael was the gay angel in the bible

        May 16, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  7. brownsugarmama

    People who have God's love in their hearts should be able to disagree without hating each other. I love President Obama and I truly feel that he is our only real hope for getting this country turned around, however I do not support gay marriage. It's not that I dont support I just think it should be called something else. Anyway I am still going to vote for him and you can believe that every gay man and woman and their mama will be voting for him too. make ya think uh? He is one smart brother.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      and if you think that God loves the Gays, remember back to when Jesus threw the tables of the church that was being used for unGodly purposes, and hell wasnt desighned for the good !!! but hell will hold a place for all the gays to be as gay as they want

      May 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. brownsugarmama

    President Obama is just full of God's love. He wants us to get along with each other and we should. Some of the most inspirational people that I know are gay.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • biblical scholar

      i don't think barack even believes in god honestly. just like his position on gay marriage, it's whatever suits the moment best.

      May 16, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  9. Fed Up

    Congratulations to those who voted for Obama (i.e., the under-35 YouTube uninformed YouTube generation) your so-called leader panders (you can look that word up in the dictionary if you don't know it) to just about anyone these days. We don't need four more years of this.

    May 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      Neither did we need another four under the Bushes but we got it and look at the mess he left for the next president. I think that is Obama. He will get my vote – that is because I sure do not like Rumney. That man give me the creeps.

      May 15, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. popseal

    This 'Bam is creepy. Now his sycophants in media are really starting the pre-election spin and the public is spinning to its tune like a Russian sabre dancer, well, not all the public. Some of us have a bit of common sense yet.

    May 15, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Peter

    Oh say can you see, all the gays glissening. Oh how proudly we are, to be the gayest by far, while the twilights twinkling, the presidents singing. oh how proudly we are to be the gayest by far ...your new national anthem

    May 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. podunda

    If a bunch of people want to do something and it won't hurt the rest of the people, then just let them do it. What do I care if two guys want to get married? It doesn't mean I condone it – I just allow it.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • brownsugarmama

      That is how I feel too but there is no such thing as gay marraige, all they have to do is call it what it is a "civil union"

      May 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jay

    The first gay president was (probably) James Buchanan. Beyond that let me say this, i'm a straight, christian, man. If i were to affiliate with one of the two major parties (i'm a libertarian), it would probably be the GOP. Having said that, why in the world is it the responsibility of the federal government to determine who is allowed to get married? If your church doesn't allow gay marriage, fine don't get married in that church. It should NOT be the job of the federal goverment to weigh in on morality issues. It's just stupid. I personally have no problems with gay people marrying one another. At various points in our national history, religion has been used to justify segregation, the abolition of alcohol,
    AND slavery. Once you start using religion to make laws, you become no better than Iran or Saudi Arabia. As long as a practice doesn't endanger or harm people not involved in that practice by their own free will, the government should have no say in the matter.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • brownsugarmama

      I agree!

      May 15, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. WhoCares

    Who gives a crap if Gaybama thinks he and Biden should be able to marry. In the real world outside of WDC and NY it's a losing argument.

    May 15, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim Rigney

      Tell that to the independent voters in the swing states who just permanently made up their minds about who they're going to vote for, because of this genius move. Romney can't win now.

      May 15, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Michael

    Mitt believes Marriage is between a man and a woman, and a woman, and a woman. Does that mean Gay Mormons believe in marriage being between a man, and a man, and a man, and a man?...And when they do get the twelfth man, what happens if his name is Joseph Smith??? Lots to think about.....

    May 15, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  16. killallthewhiteman

    The rest of the civilized world laughs at America. They put myth above fact, wealth above its citizens, and votes above honesty. I am not saying that the rest of the world is perfect, but the US is being left in the dust in all categories.

    May 15, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      Very civil comments, "killallthewhiteman"

      May 15, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Victoria

    Some of the smartest, funniest, and kindest people I know are gay and I wouldn't want them to change who they are just to make a bunch of bigots happy.

    Burn in hell you jerks.

    May 15, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Amy

    America has become even dumber since I last checked. It is none of your business what two consenting adults do in their bedroom. Mind your own business and your love life unless it is really that bad.

    There are far more pressing issues.

    May 15, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  19. cbus

    Poor Michelle. I wonder how she taking it?

    May 15, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim Rigney

      Probably fairly well since it's now pretty much guaranteed that they're going to be in the White House for four more years.

      May 15, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Charles Bubb

    How's that CHANGE working out for ya !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 15, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • DBZ

      Vegetta how much support does Obama have for the gays? IT'S OVER 9000!!!

      May 15, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • odk1

      pretty good, pretty good.

      May 15, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Anne Sardina

    though I believe everyone has their right to live the way they choose and only God can judge, the actions of this President is horrifying. With Aids, what is he telling our Children in this country... Most kids look up to the President and want to be just like them... this is a stance he should have kept his nose out of.. period.. For Votes how sick is this, mainly because he could not run on his own record in his first four years of presidency... Time to get someone in their with morales and not extreme ambition.. Very saddened by his decision...

    May 15, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      hahhaahahah "only God can judge"....followed by a paragraph of you judging someone. Gay marriage hurts you how? Not at all? Oh i see. SO WHY should you, or anyone else, be allowed to stop it from happening? Just because your religion tells you it is wrong? You are not God. Only God can condem or save sinners. It is NOT your job or the job of the federal government to do this. Have you never commited a sin? TRUE christians believe in the forgiveness of sins. You have one set of beliefs. That's ok. I'm ok with someone personally believing that gay marriage is a sin. It is your right to believe this. It is NOT your right to stop other people from doing something that has no effect on you, just because you personally believe it is wrong.

      May 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ranger

      There are always people like you Anne. Sadly wrapped up in your own paradigm of ethics to the point of convincing yourself that doing the wrong thing is moral. You do You used this same argument for millenia to oppress women in the middle east "they are different from us." You stood in outrage when Teddy Roosevelt asked Booker T Washington to come to dinner at the Whitehouse. "How DARE a president ask a black man to eat with him!" You eschew their equality while putting on your sheets and lighting your cross to "keep our race pure and children safe from the n***s." You sit in an extremist mosque casting America as a race of devils who Allah says need to be eradicated in order to keep conservative values intact.

      You think this is harsh. You think this is way too dramatic and over the top. You let yourself believe you would not say or do those things, yet here you are spewing at a president who (albeit reluctantly) has taken a stand for inclusion rather than excluding a particular group due to the viewpoint of evangelical America. How slippery your slope is Anne. Frankly, your milksop version of Christianity makes me sick. I am so sincerely tired of one group constantly claiming the moral high ground while acting as if they were taking marching orders from the devil himself. Ask yourself this. How many times did Jesus preach exclusion rather than inclusion. About the only time is when he was preaching at people like you, Anne Sardina. Of course then, instead of being an "Evangelical" or "Baptist" you were called "Pharisees."

      To cast it in your own vernacular, take a look at Acts 10 and apply it to this situation. The God you profess to follow is a God of inclusion, not excusion and hatred and fearmongering. You think that Peter was any more excited about what was on the sheet. He was taught all his life it was morally wrong. What God calls holy, you have no right to exclude.

      May 15, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ranger

      There are always people like you Anne. Sadly wrapped up in your own paradigm of ethics to the point of convincing yourself that doing the wrong thing is moral. You used this same argument for millenia to oppress women in the middle east "they are different from us." You stood in outrage when Teddy Roosevelt asked Booker T Washington to come to dinner at the Whitehouse. "How DARE a president ask a black man to eat with him!" You eschew their equality while putting on your sheets and lighting your cross to "keep our race pure and children safe from the n***s." You sit in an extremist mosque casting America as a race of devils who Allah says need to be eradicated in order to keep conservative values intact.

      You think this is harsh. You think this is way too dramatic and over the top. You let yourself believe you would not say or do those things, yet here you are spewing at a president who (albeit reluctantly) has taken a stand for inclusion rather than excluding a particular group due to the viewpoint of evangelical America. How slippery your slope is Anne. Frankly, your milksop version of Christianity makes me sick. I am so sincerely tired of one group constantly claiming the moral high ground while acting as if they were taking marching orders from the devil himself. Ask yourself this. How many times did Jesus preach exclusion rather than inclusion. About the only time is when he was preaching at people like you, Anne Sardina. Of course then, instead of being an "Evangelical" or "Baptist" you were called "Pharisees."

      To cast it in your own vernacular, take a look at Acts 10 and apply it to this situation. The God you profess to follow is a God of inclusion, not exclusion and hatred and fearmongering. You think that Peter was any more excited about what was on the sheet. He was taught all his life it was morally wrong. What God calls holy, you have no right to exclude.

      May 15, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • CRAIG

        Please don't twist the scriptures to fit your model. read acts 10:35. God accepts us if we repent and turn away from our sin and follow Jesus, nobody is excluded from that. Jews and Gentiles alike.

        May 15, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • brownsugarmama

      I am a Obama supporter but you are excatly right Anne. I hate the fact that I have to sit my nine year old little boy down and try to explain what being gay means.

      May 15, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • B

      Before you guys jump to conclusions, she said "morales", not morals... she just wants everyone to be happy! Oh, maybe she did mean morals... in that case maybe Anne should go back to grade school and relearn English, and maybe she could learn a few morals along the way as well.

      May 15, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |