Ever since President Obama announced his support of same-sex marriage this week, there has been a lot of discussion about how much political risk the President has assumed, especially among swing state voters.
During the exclusive interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts, President Obama alluded to potential backlash when he said, "The politics, it's not clear how they cut in some places that are going to be pretty important in this electoral map. It may hurt me."
And the consequences, if any, of this Wednesday’s announcement from the much-coveted Latino voting block are yet to be seen.
“I think you’re gonna get mixed reactions,” says Daniel Shoer Roth, an award-winning journalist and writer behind the Gay Latino guia for About.com en español. “It’s no different than the mainstream and across the board.”
A recent survey by the Social Science Research Solutions firm found that U.S. Hispanic support of same-sex marriage is on par the general population. But could Obama’s announcement alienate his Latino base and jeopardize his reelection?
“Hardly,” writes Gary Segura, the principal pollster of Latino Decisions. “For starters, Latinos are far more liberal on marriage equality than stereotypes might suggest.”
Segura points out that “In our November, 2011, benchmark poll for Univision News, we found a plurality of Latinos supporting marriage equality — 43%, and another 13% supporting civil unions. Opposition to government recognition of lesbian and gay relationships was only about a quarter, at 26%."
For Shoer, an openly gay man, the announcement was a surprise.
“At first I thought it was a joke,” he told The Huffington Post. “I was trying not to overreact in the middle of the newsroom. My reaction has been a feeling of fullness, joy and bliss that [President Obama] is recognizing a right that I might enjoy in the future -- and in the midst of all of this homophobia.”
But google “gay latino,” and the majority of results, including the top three links, are to pornographic websites.
The dearth of resources for gay Latinos online was a personal challenge for Shoer. Having experienced bullying as a young man growing up in his native Venezuela, Shoer writes about a range of topics on About.com to change the search results for gay Latinos browsing for support.
“Sometimes, integrity costs and who knows if it’s gonna help [Obama]. I’m an independent, I don’t put my name to any party, but I really like what he did. Even if it doesn’t get anywhere, it boosts the self esteem of the gay community,” said Shoer.