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Obama Gets Another One: Colin Powell Endorses Gay Marriage

President Obama is steadily racking up prominent African Americans who support his endorsement of same-sex marriage, yesterday adding former Secretary of State (and former conservative darling) Colin Powell to the list.

Powell, who declined to endorse Obama earlier this week—though he waited until October to endorse Obama in 2008—told CNN that he has “no problem with it,” either at the state or federal level. It is a huge boost for Obama, considering the esteem with which Powell is held in many quarters of the country—from the military community to the conservative community to the African-American community. Over the weekend, Obama got another big ally when the NAACP Board of Directors voted to endorse same-sex marriage.

Just as Obama did when he announced how he had come to support same-sex marriage, Powell made it personal, talking about friends who are gay.

He said he has “a lot of friends who are individually gay but are in partnerships with loved ones, and they are as stable a family as my family is and they raise children. And so I don’t see any reason not to say that they should be able to get married under the laws of their state or the laws of the country.”

But he also said he respected the rights of the religious community to disagree.

“I respect the fact that many denominations have different points of view with respect to gay marriage and they can hold that in the sanctity in the place of their religion and not bless them or solemnize them,” he said.

Speaking of the religious community, there is one group of African-American pastors that has not let up on its criticisms of the president’s decision. The Coalition of African American Pastors, based in Tennessee, has launched a petition expressing its opposition to the president’s position. The group is hoping to collect more than 100,000 signatures and present the petition to the president.


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