Gay-marriage rivals see gains from Obama's remarks

By DAVID CRARY | May 9, 2012 | 6:45 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — From the left and the right, rival sides in the gay-marriage debate claimed they would reap Election Day benefits from President Barack Obama's long-awaited declaration that he supports same-sex couples' right to wed.

Gay-marriage supporters said Obama's pronouncement on Wednesday would galvanize legions of progressive voters who had grown impatient with the president's self-described "evolving" on one of the nation's most divisive social issues.

Opponents of gay marriage depicted Obama as bowing to pressure from gay-rights activists, and predicted that his new stance on marriage would jeopardize his re-election chances. They said the issue could be particularly troublesome for him in some pivotal swing states such as Ohio and Florida.

Said one conservative, "President Obama has now made the definition of marriage a defining issue in the presidential contest."