President Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage is energizing Christian conservative support for Mitt Romney in a way that the likely GOP nominee has so far not been able to do on his own, according to religious leaders and activists.
Pastors in Ohio, North Carolina, Florida and other swing states are readying Sunday sermons inveighing against same-sex unions, while activist groups have begun laying plans for social media campaigns, leafleting drives and other get-out-the-vote efforts centered on the issue. Romney could benefit from a strong turnout among evangelicals and other social conservatives, many of whom have been skeptical of his commitment to their causes.
"So many people were rather lukewarm toward Governor Romney and were really looking for some more tangible reasons to support him," said Phil Burress, president of the Cincinnati-based Citizens for Community Values, who led the ballot drive that banned gay marriage in Ohio in 2004. "Then lo and behold, it just fell out of the sky."