At Churches, Mixed Review of Obama Gay Marriage Support
President Obama may have roiled the political and clerical waters by his personal endorsement of gay marriage last week, but for many parishioners encountered Sunday, the president’s message was greeted with a mixture of acceptance and relief.
“If this is America and we are free, then who am I to say anything about that?” said Florida Saulsby, who stopped outside for a moment to chat before the morning service at Bright Hope Baptist Church in North Philadelphia.
“I’ve always said to each his own,” said Frances Graham, also heading into the church at 12th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue on a sun-splashed Mother’s Day. “I don’t feel I can get into somebody else’s life. I’ve had gay friends. And that’s just the way I feel.”
George Malson, an usher at Bright Hope, said that Obama’s remarks were “his personal opinion.”
“I’m a Christian all my life,” he continued, noting that homosexuality has been around “since the beginning of time - whether it’s allowed or not.”
For the region’s clergy - as distinct from their congregations - gay marriage is a difficult and potentially divisive issue.