How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Will Obama's support of same-sex marriage cost him Latino votes?

Photo by darcyandkat/Flickr (Creative Commons)

That's become one of the burning questions since yesterday's announcement by President Obama that he believes same-sex couples should have the right to marry, made a day after North Carolina legislators voted to outlaw same-sex marriage in their state.

Obama's announcement itself wasn't tied to any particular legislation, but it's been characterized as a political gamble in an election year. And some of the speculation has since moved to how such a statement from Obama will resonate in November with Latino voters, whose votes helped propel him to victory in 2008 - and who tend, at least as far as first-generation immigrants go, to be on the socially conservative side.

In the end, Obama's announcement may have less of an effect on Latino voters (and on black voters, also divided on same-sex marriage) than some might think now. The election is six months away, and recent polls suggest that Latinos are far more concerned with issues like the economy and jobs than with same-sex marriage, birth control, even immigration. Still, it's worth digging into some of the recent data.