Last week, President Barack Obama announced in a news interview that he supported gay marriage. The announcement comes about six months before the general election. Will the issue have an impact on the outcome of the presidential race? Patch spoke to Lorton residents about it Sunday at the Lorton farmers market:
Susan Jones believes the country wants gay marriage:
"I think Obama is appealing to a mass crowd, especially the whole gay population. I think the country wants it, on the whole."
Lynn Metts questioned the timing of Obama's move:
"It'll help him amongst liberals and hurt him with conservatives, but I think everyone knew what he thought in the first place. I think his timing will hurt him with independents as well as some liberals. I think some will feel insulted and see this as only an opportunity to make a political move. If he had supported this in his heart in the past, then he should have always supported it. I think if you believe in something you do it off the bat."
Michael Gilliam was ambivalent about the President's opinion on the matter:
"To be honest, I don't care. I'm not for homosexuality, but if that's how the president feels, then that's how he feels. It doesn't make any difference, doesn't change anything for me. I still support him."
Lorton's Tracy Bank believes the opposite:
"I think it will only help. It's one of the hot-button topics right now. I think that coming out and saying he supports gay marriage versus just supporting legal partnershiops seems to be what a lot of the public wants to hear right now, mostly because the media has been pushing it, quite frankly.
"I think it matters to this generation of decision-makers in this country, but ultimately I think the issue is a distraction from the questions that people have on the economy, homeland security, foreign wars. It makes people feel better about themselves."