Groups question timing of gay marriage statement
President Barack Obama interviewed by ABC's Robin Roberts at the White House, May 9, 2012.
May 10th, 2012
02:47 PM ET

Groups question timing of gay marriage statement

By Steve Kastenbaum, CNN

(CNN) - The President’s endorsement of same-sex marriage is a turning point in the effort to legalize unions between gay and lesbian couples. But at the moment it is still a states rights issue.

Today, same-sex marriage is not legal in 44 states. Freedom to Marry founder Evan Wolfson is hopeful that President Obama’s words will help them change minds in many of those states. “I think the President’s very powerful, heartfelt words will be an ingredient in the conversation and they will resonate,’ said Wolfson.

But it's raised questions about President Obama’s motivation for his support of same-sex marriage. “There was Democrat, gay Democrat money that was on the sidelines essentially on hold until such an announcement was made,” said R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director of Log Cabin Republicans, a gay organization.

If the intention was to increase campaign donations, Vivica Novak said it was a success. Her organization, Center for Responsive Politics, tracks campaign donations.” From what I hear the money has been pouring in ever since the President’s announcement yesterday,” said Novak. She said within a day, over $2 million went to the super Pac supporting President Obama and to his re-election campaign.

Both could use the money. Novak said several big donors from Wall Street who supported the Obama campaign in 2008 have switched to Mitt Romney. “They’ve really come out for him and that’s reflected in the numbers,” said Novak as she went over Romney’s donations. “He’s raised about $86 million total and they’ve put in about $18 million of that.”

While donations to the Obama campaign are on the rise it’s not clear whether the gay and lesbian community has the potential to match that $18 million.

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