Obama's take on gay marriage electrifies Oak Lawn rally

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by TERESA WOODARD

WFAA

Posted on May 9, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 26 at 4:01 AM

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DALLAS — President Obama's support of gay marriage is proving to be divisive in North Texas.

A Wednesday night rally drew a feisty, supportive crowd in Oak Lawn, while some conservative preachers denounced Obama's views.

At one point Wednesday night, the crowd in Oak Lawn swelled to about 100 people at the Legacy of Love statue. They were there to thank President Obama for his support of gay marriage — but they said they want more than just a stance.

"Gay, straight, black, white — all unite for human rights!" they chanted.

The rally was organized in the hours after voters in North Carolina voted to permanently ban gay marriage. Hours before the protest was to begin, Obama announced his support of same-sex marriage.

"Today, the arc of history bent toward justice," said Senior Pastor Jo Hudson of Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ.

Rally organizer Daniel Scott Cates of GetEQUAL TX, a gay rights advocacy group, said he watched President Obama's interview on ABC with a tear in his eye.

"For the last 18 months, we've been waiting on the president — who said he was evolving — and we watched a number of anti-gay measures pass is a number of states," he said. "There has been frustration waiting on him to come out in support."

Hudson said the president's announcement was historic and a game-changer.

"Game-changer" is perhaps how Dr. Tony Evans of Oak Cliff Fellowship Bible Church would describe it, too — but from a very different perspective.

"I was disappointed," Evans said. "To have his support as commander-in-chief and say you are a Christian is contradictory. The Bible is clear on this."

Hudson disagrees.

"I stand in a long line of Christians who take the Bible seriously, but not literally," she said. "When civil rights are recognized and honored, the country's better for it."

Evans stood by his position.

"God has spoken on this matter, and he has not stuttered," Evans said. "Old Testament, New Testament... marriage is between a man and a woman."

Cates told the crowd at the rally he believes there is more work to do. He wants President Obama to consider moving the Democratic National Convention from Charlotte, North Carolina to protest the state's Tuesday vote.

E-mail twoodard@wfaa.com

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