Empowerment Temple Rev. Jamal-Harrison Bryant on how black voters will view President Obama’s gay marriage backing.
FULL TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW FROM CNN/EARLY START
BANFIELD: And while the nation is nearly evenly split on this issue with 50 percent supporting same-sex marriage and 48 percent opposing it, some analysts say that his support might lose him vote in a key demographic that has supported him for years, African-American voters. While fewer African-Americans oppose the issue than before, just 39 percent of African-Americans support same-sex marriage, 49 percent oppose it. Reverend Jamal Harrison Bryant is the pastor of the Endowment Temple in Baltimore, Maryland, and he joins me live this morning. Reverend, thanks for being with me on this topic. This is such a critical story and such a critical issue with regard to how this is going to play out politically.
Some people are saying that the president is essentially going to be swapping one demographic for another. He’ll have the support of gay Americans, but he may lose a lot of support of Black Americans.
REV. JAMAL HARRISON BRYANT, PASTOR, EMPOWERMENT TEMPLE: A lot of African-American leaders right now are really dazed by this because we didn’t see it coming. For the last four years, the African-American clergy have really supported, covered, and prayed for President Obama, and it really came without any warning.
Sunday is going to be a real great divide in Black churches and churches across America discussing the issue. African-Americans are, by and large, sexually conservative and socially more aggressive. And so, pastors on Sunday morning are going to be really walking a balancing act. How now do we juxtapose this issue up against a president that we have supported over the last four years?
BANFIELD: Is it a deal breaker, though?
BRYANT: I think that’s the larger question that’s yet to be discovered. And I would say by and large, African-Americans are going to support President Obama. I don’t think that this is going to be a deal breaker because there’s so many issues at stake when you deal with Pell Grants, when you deal with predatory lending, when you deal with job preparedness and you see the economy on the surge of rebound.
I think African-Americans are going to stand with the president, with his presidency, but not on this policy.
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