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President Barack Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage Wednesday afternoon, and local leaders are speaking out.

While some may consider the president’s election year announcement risky, some say they weren’t surprised.

“Many people feel President Obama has done a great job but should have taken a stronger stance and been more forceful on certain issues,” said James Robinson, Executive Director of GLBT Advocacy and Youth Services in Huntsville. “I think the timing was very appropriate.”

Even Greg Gillman, Pastor of the Rock Family Church – who disagrees with President Obama’s stance – says he admires the president taking a clear stance.

“I think for a politician to reveal his character is important in an election year, even though it is sometimes uncommon,” said Gillman.

A Gallup poll released Wednesday found that now 53% of Americans think same-sex marriage should be legal. However, only 28% of Republicans agree.

As part of his announcement President Obama said he believes decisions on same-sex marriage should be made by the states. Still, Robinson thinks his announcement packs a punch.

“He’s our leader. He’s the most powerful single man in the world,” said Robinson. “Of course it’s going to make a difference.”

Later in the day presidential candidate Mitt Romney affirmed his stance that marriage should be defined as between one man and one woman.

Gillman agrees.

“It’s very important we all understand the issue and vote our conscience” said Gillman. “We value every life that is out there, but we also can’t run away from the fact that a family and the liberty of a family is the core central structure our country’s been founded on since its inception.”