How Much Will President Obama's Gay Marriage Endorsement Matter Come November?

Now that President Obama supports same sex marriage, will the gay pride rainbow be used against him?

Newsweek called Barack Obama our "first gay president." The New Yorker magazine envisions a "gay" rainbow-colored White House. And Rick Santorum is advising Mitt Romney that gay marriage is a "tool" he can use to win the presidency. What's next in the ongoing political debate surrounding gay marriage?

President Obama's announcement (finally) that he supports same-sex marriage has become the latest cause for political celebration for one group of voters, yet something of a Defcon Four situation for others. As the story unfolded about the president's announcement last week that he personally supports gay marriage rights, it has become clear that he was hoping to hold that card closer to his vest until this summer. But now that has gone public, many are scrambling to get their heads around what that really means.

The POTUS, of course, hopes that this will appease and energize his group of wealthy LGBT campaign donors. Some supporters of the president are having their misgivings, including churches in the black community, but others think his announcement will give him a boost in those all-important swing states.

And what will it mean for the Romney camp? How is the rest of the nation viewing the recent passage of a gay marriage ban in North Carolina? And will voters care about the Washington Post story about Romney reportedly bullying a gay student in high school over his appearance? What about the recent controversial comments made by Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, son of presidential candidate Ron Paul, who said he didn't think President Obama's views on marriage "could get any gayer." (Ron Paul, meanwhile, said the government should stay out of the debate. The libertarian view, he told Fox News, is, "I would like the state to stay out of marriage.... Let two people define marriage.")

No doubt this issue isn’t going away anytime soon but how much weight will it have come November?

You can read more from iVillage iVote Editor and Correspondent Joanne Bamberger at her blog, PunditMom. Joanne is also the author of the Amazon bestseller Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America. Follow her on Twitter @PunditMom and Facebook!

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