Overheard on CNN.com: How does same-sex marriage factor into voters' decisions?
President Obama, shown at a February event, hasn't backed Vice President Joseph Biden's support of same-sex marriage.
May 8th, 2012
06:17 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: How does same-sex marriage factor into voters' decisions?

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

President Barack Obama has expressed views on same-sex marriage that CNN opinion columnist LZ Granderson has called an "awkward dance," whereas Vice President Joe Biden has expressed support. Granderson, who is gay, asserts that Obama is keeping his conscience in the proverbial closet. The issue is in the spotlight because North Carolina's primary, among three happening Tuesday, includes a referendum that would constitutionally ban same-sex marriage. The state currently does not permit such unions. What's your take? Share your view on video via CNN iReport.

Obama keeps his conscience in the closet

Two iReporters weighed in on the issue with video commentary. Mark Ivy of Farmersburg, Indiana, says he is gay and in a long-term committed relationship. He also expresses his independent political views frequently on CNN iReport, and said he believes the issue should be decided by the states rather than federal government.

Compared to other things, the marriage issue is a "blip on the radar," Ivy said. He indicated that he doesn't want politicians "pandering" in order to capture "our vote."

"Our time will come, but during this presidential election, the LGBT should keep its eyes on the more needy issues of the economy, jobs and the national debt."

Another iReporter, Egberto Willies of Kingwood, Texas, said he supports Barack Obama and believes the issue is important, but that will come in time.

"His position on same-sex marriage does not weaken my support," Willies said. "It means we must use several avenues to exert pressure to ensure he comes to the right conclusion eventually."

Willies described his political philosophy like this:

"I am not a one-issue voter. I look at every politician as an empty vessel that will ultimately follow his base if made to. It is incumbent then on those that elect a particular president to ensure he fulfill most of his promises by keeping the pressure on him and ensuring that he fears the political repercussions of not doing so."

We saw commenters write in support of same-sex nuptials.

Phange: "I am a conservative and pro-gay marriage. I'd think any real 'government is too big and too powerful' conservative would think the same thing. But I guess parties have more influence on political thought than core political ideology. This is a country predicated on freedom. You should be free to love and marry any consenting adult you want, and no religious text or government law should prevent it. As for perversion, it was considered perverse for women to wear pants in the 1950s. "

Some said they believe Obama is not standing up for his convictions.

LordWorld: "You're learning now that President Obama is a weasel in sheep's clothing? President Obama is from the Chicago school of politics: Say whatever to get elected and then do whatever makes your friends happy. Apparently, his friends are indifferent to gay marriage, so not going to happen."

Now, turn that around. What about people with the opposite view?

jray11: "When Obama is against gay marriage he's obviously doing it for political reasons according to LZ and the other Obamap-bots, but when a Republican is against gay marriage, he is obviously a religious zealot who reads the Bible every day and hates gays."

adm55: "I think Mitt (Romney) is probably liberal on gay rights too, given statements he made as governor. However, he certainly wouldn't make it a priority for fear of alienating his base and not winning re-election."

One reader admitted they are still examining their views.

ezduzit757: "Personally, I understand where the president is coming from when he says he is evolving on this issue. I, too, am evolving as are a great number of Americans. Older folks grew up in a world where they were taught that being gay was wrong, weird, perverted. It is hard to turn around what you were taught growing up. It becomes a part of you, deeply ingrained in the core of your being and difficult to get beyond. As much as my brain knows that gay people are just like anyone else and deserve the same right to love whomever they want, as much as I am completely supportive of gay civil unions along with all the rights that come with that, something in the core of my being makes it difficult to accept the word 'marriage.' My brain and sense of fairness are trying to get me there, but I’m not there yet, and I think the older you are, the more difficult it is to get there. Probably some of us will never get there, but with each generation there is more and more acceptance of the differences in people."

Another said they don't understand why people of the same gender want to get married.

Norton18: "What's wrong with letting heterosexuals have marriage? Gays can have the same legal rights in a union by another name. What is wrong with that? Just giving it another name would make a lot of objections go away because to a lot of heterosexuals it doesn't feel right when a same-sex couple says they are married. It doesn't feel right because the word marriage defines a conventional union between a man and a woman. It seem like gays don't just want equal rights, they want to redefine the English language."

This person said they believe Obama is afraid to alienate some of the demographics that support him, which Granderson alludes to in his column: "Is throwing support behind equality worth alienating voters? Maybe not."

checkurfacts: "Obama cannot support gay marriage. ... He would lose a bunch of that vote if he supports it. News flash, this president does nothing without a vote calculation."

But this reader said Obama has little to gain from discussion of same-sex marriage.

nickmach: "What Obama is saying with his silence is that a debate over gay marriage would be a godsend to the Republicans. There is nothing more delicious to Republicans in Washington than the thought of an 18-month-long debate over gay marriage. That debate would be, of course, destined to result in nothing. The Republicans in the House would defeat it. The Republicans in the Senate would block it."

Can the president "multitask," as one reader puts it?

skyjmpr: "Really, given the number and gravity of broader societal issues, does this REALLY matter? On my list of 10 things of concern to me, it ranks right up there with number 15 or 16. Do I believe a same-sex couple can live in a committed relationship, at least as well as a mixed-sex couple? Yes. Do I believe that a same-sex couple should enjoy the same economic and legal benefits as a mixed-sex couple? Yes. Do I believe this rises to the level of a 'screaming issue'? Sorry, no. Every moment spent on this is a moment that cannot be spent on broader, more generally impactful issues screaming for solutions."

Jason Johnson Frederick: "Thanks for your support skyjmpr, but as a gay man in a 13-year relationship, I would like to think it REALLY does matter, at least to me, and that it is further up on the list than 15 or 16 ... but even if it isn't, it's still a major social issue that should be on the radar. The president is the leader of the free world and should be able to focus on more than one or two issues at a time. I voted for him hoping he could multitask. I hope he can."

What's your take? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (119 Responses)
  1. Portland tony

    Considering a 50% divorce rate among heterosexual couples, the only people who will benefit from gay marriage is divorce lawyers. Welcome to the world of pre-nups, alimony, child-support, visitation rights, custody ...etc...all the benefits of marriage. :)

    May 8, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. hamsta

    Marriage is an agreement between 1 man 1 woman and 1 god. government is nowhere to be found in that agreement. god destroyed the cities of sodom and gammorrha for a reason. where do you think the word sodomy comes from? who always tries to put himself in gods business? SATAN.

    May 8, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. poppajohn818

    We are Democrats and will not vote for Obama for several three of which are his position on Abortion, gay marriage and illegal immigration.

    May 8, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • WHOOSHED

      I will and 40 others I know will vote for him because of his position on these issues. Leave people along!!

      May 9, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mary

    @ hamsta, I am in total agreement with you. Just one thing please ... could you please do a capital G when spelling Gods name, just as a sign of respect. Otherwise.. RIGHT ON DUDE! :)

    May 8, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. banasy©

    Vote your conscience.
    Period.
    Mine is clear.

    May 8, 2012 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Keith Gonyou

    I would like to voice my repulsion with Pierce Morgan's arrogant interview style where he consistently asks a question then interrupts his guest. This is not "good" TV. It is rude. He is rude!!! Thank heavens for a remote control and an on and off switch. Morgan has completely weaned me off CNN.

    May 8, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • bobcat (in a hat) ©

      Tal vez si lo intentamos en español.
      Necesitamos una gran cantidad de ONOF gente de aquí que son totalmente sin pecado. Es fácil decir, como les gusta tirar piedras. Este asunto entre Dios y un indivduals. Ningún hombre tiene la Alta Autoridad para juzgar a los demás. Si lo haces o no de acuerdo, es su elección.

      May 9, 2012 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
    • dazzle ©

      ahora mi comentario de que en español se ha eliminado. Censores o sigilosos que sufrieron de abuso

      May 9, 2012 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat) ©

      Il semble que nous allons avoir à s'en tenir à enlgish.

      May 9, 2012 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
    • dazzle ©

      Je suppose, mais j'aime l'utilisation de différentes langues. Mon autre langue est l'italien.

      May 9, 2012 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
  7. bobcat (in a hat) ©

    Nous devons avoir un peuple onof lot sur ici qui sont totalement sans péché. Il est assez facile de dire comme ils aiment à jeter des pierres. Cette une affaire entre les personnent et dieu. Aucun homme n'a a la Haute Autorité de juger les autres. Si vous faites ou ne sont pas d'accord, c'est votre choix.

    May 8, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • dazzle ©

      Ma réponse à vous en français a été supprimé oh bobcat dans un chapeau.

      May 9, 2012 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
    • bobcat (in a hat) ©

      Je ne sais pas pourquoi ils font toujours ça. Peut-être qu'ils pensent que nous sommes tracé.

      May 9, 2012 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. hamsta

    @banasy you are getting really good at troll spotting. here in louisiana nutria rats become quite a nuiscance. we get a dollar for every nutria we shoot. is it legal to hunt trolls? if so i want you to come troll hunting with me. with your troll spotting ability we will both be rich.

    May 8, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • dazzle ©

      Peut-être ou un lurker pourrait signaler comme abus

      May 9, 2012 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
  9. veteran

    @ hamsta shes not just learnin

    May 8, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. veteran

    @ hamsta shes not just learnin.Shes the queen here

    May 8, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Carmen

    Trolls? Arent those mythical creatures?

    May 8, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Carmen

    Also, with the present state our country is in, i would hope the government would have more important things to worry about than who is married to whom!

    May 8, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • bobcat (in a hat) ©

      There you go.

      May 8, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Carmen

    Is this a foreign blog?

    May 9, 2012 at 1:41 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    I support gay marriage 100%.
    I do not support what North Carolina did.
    I do not approve Billy Graham's ad campaign. I do not support Billy Graham.
    I do not approve Mary's opinion: "god," Mary. god with a small little g.
    There is no god.
    Civil unions do not give the same rights as marriage.
    No, this country does not have more important thins to do than give equal rights to all citizens–especially to those who pay taxes instead of preferring to live off their "checks."
    I'm disgusted.

    May 9, 2012 at 1:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • dazzle ©

      @Joey, unless it is a troll. We will be in New York soon and will getting our Zabars on. Family stuff and I am hoping that TORI will be coming with me.

      May 9, 2012 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  15. Carmen

    Sorry to disagree with you but if the government concentrated more on doing THEIR JOBS others might have jobs and not have to depend on pitiful food stamps! There too busy being in everyones business except their own! And your assuming i dont pay taxes?

    May 9, 2012 at 1:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
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