It's hardly unusual for black Christians in Utah to oppose same-sex marriage. To them, such unions run counter to the faiths they follow, the sermons they hear and the Bibles they read.
But don't expect all those believers to abandon President Barack Obama this fall now that he has come out for gay marriage.
"He's not speaking as a theologian or a pastor or so much as an individual Christian," said the Rev. Nurjhan B. Govan, pastor of Salt Lake City's Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church. "He's speaking regarding the state of the country and what is right in terms of civil law."
So while Govan balks at same-sex marriage "biblical texts â¦ suggest that it's problematic" and believes the president will lose some African-American backing because of his new stance, she still plans to do what she did in 2008 and vote for Obama.
Same goes for Kenneth Hamilton, a member of Salt Lake City's Calvary Baptist Church.
"I don't support [same-sex marriage]," Hamilton said. "I have no problem with gays, but my faith states that marriage should be between a man and a woman. That is what I believe."
But he's sticking with the president.
"He's for the average, middle-class guy," Hamilton said. "And that's most of us out here."
The Rev. Corey Hodges of Kearns' New Pilgrim Baptist Church said Obama's pronouncement had little impact on his political bent.
"I'm a Republican," Hodges said, "so for me it really wasn't an issue."
Hodges, a part-time columnist for The Salt Lake Tribune, opposes same-sex marriage because of his religion but said he has no problem with civil unions.
A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll shows 59 percent of black Americans support same-sex marriage, up from an average of 41 percent before Obama proclaimed his new position in early May.
The Rev. France Davis, longtime leader of Calvary Baptist, said he remains unsure whether he agrees with same-sex marriage, but added that Obama's policy switch represents a "political belief, not a religious one."
One of Davis' congregants, Abi Olufeko, believes many African-Americans are "steeped" in the church and tend to oppose gay marriage. But he argues such unions like mixed racial marriages should be welcomed.
"It's not entirely within the will of God," Olufeko said, "but it's such a gray area that it's preposterous not to accept them."
Tevin Lawson, another Calvary congregant, believes the black community will continue to overwhelmingly support Obama because he has been an effective president.
"And he's black," said Lawson, who believes in marriage equality.
"I have a lot of gay friends, and they're the best people I know," he said. "They're better than a lot of heterosexual people I know."
Lawson plans to weigh various issues before deciding whether to vote for Obama or Republican candidate Mitt Romney. But he knows which way he is leaning.
"I'll listen to what Romney has to say," Lawson said. "But I'll probably vote for Obama."
As will Tanisha Anderson for the first time (but only because the 19-year-old was too young to do so in 2008).
"I have no problem with what he said [about same-sex marriage]," Anderson added, "just as long as everyone has the opportunity to be happy."
Of course, such African-American support isn't expected to tip Utah in Obama's favor. The Beehive State's Democratic troops are small and its black population even smaller, while its Republican ranks are large and its Mormon bloc even larger.
Last week's Washington Post/ABC News poll shows 59 percent of African-Americans support same-sex marriage, up from 41 percent before President Barack Obama announced his new stance in favor of such unions. Overall, 53 percent of Americans say gay marriage should be legal. The nationwide survey of adults had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.