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May 10, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Serenading the president at the Paramount

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Outside the Paramount Theatre this afternoon, a small but devoted crowd of supporters basked in the afternoon sun along the police barricade at Eighth Avenue and Pine Street.

Kept so far from the action at the Paramount, they mainly entertained each other.

Willie Dixon, a homeless man, nonetheless put on a tie and wingtip shoes to meet the president. He brought his acoustic guitar to serenade Obama, too.

He didn’t seem to mind playing for him at such a distance.  “The president is coming,” he said. “This is the place to be.”

The president’s acknowledgement that he supports gay marriage was on the mind of Rodney Upchurch, 37, who was also among those in the crowd.

He said he suspected Obama embraced gay marriage “for the votes.”

“I don’t think it’s in his heart,” Upchurch said. “He’s from a Christian background. I don’t feel he’s 100 percent behind it.”

But Upchurch, who is black, said the issue was not a deal breaker for him.

“I’m supporting him because he’s black,” he said. “But I don’t like what he said.”

Holly Teige, 37, from Monroe, and her partner,  Nefanton (who uses only one name), brought four of their six children to the Paramount to thank the president for supporting gay marriage.

“We are so grateful,” Teige said, as her children held a glitter-encrusted sign that said “Thank you Obama.”

Teige said she knew it was difficult for the president to take that stance, and didn’t hold any bitterness about how long it took him to arrive at that position.

“I would rather he stay in office in support of our cause,” she said. “If this keeps him out of office, that would be unfortunate.”

 

Comments | More in General news, Politics | Topics: Barack Obama, gay marriage, Obama May 10

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