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Will Obama's same-sex marriage stance help or hurt him in the election?

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When U.S. President Barack Obama endorsed same-sex marriage on ABC News yesterday afternoon, reaction was split not only on the issue itself, but on whether his announcement would help or hurt his chances at getting re-elected in November.

ObamaIn morning analyses, opinion pieces and tweets, even some who agree with Obama about same-sex marriage question whether his stance will win him any new votes on Election Day.

Some analysts believed that Obama would remain silent on the issue or would adopt the stance he had in the 2008 campaign, that marriage is reserved for a men and a woman but that a gay couple could be recognized as having a civil union.

"One suspects - and most of the gays that I know here do suspect - that he was always for it, but chose the civil union option for political expediency," says Washington correspondent Neil Macdonald.

Some Republicans are accusing the president of having flip-flopped on the issue.

In 1996, when he was running for the Illinois state senate, Obama supported same-sex marriage. He distanced himself from that opinion when he ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004 and was able largely to avoid taking a stance when he ran for president in 2008.

Some are also now accusing Obama of coming out in favour of same-sex marriage now as a way to secure votes and galvanize his Democratic base.

And many opponents of same-sex marriage are suggesting Obama's declaration will solidify support for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney among social conservatives.

"This could definitely get them riled up ... hopefully," Caryl Scales, a member of Hampton Road Baptist Church in DeSoto, Texas, told Reuters. "I'm not happy with it. I believe scripture. God's word says gay marriage is wrong."

Do you think Obama's support of same-sex marriage will help or harm his chances of getting re-elected in November? Let us know what you think.

(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)

Tags: Barack Obama, U.S.

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