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  |   May 12, 2012 at 6:00 PM
Poll gauges Obama gay marriage stand, vote

PRINCETON, N.J., May 12 (UPI) -- Six in 10 Americans say President Obama's public support for legalizing gay marriage will not influence their vote in the presidential election, a poll showed.

The USA Today/Gallup found 26 percent said they would be less likely to vote for Obama after his Wednesday announcement that he supports legalizing gay marriage, compared with 13 percent who said the announcement would make them more likely to vote for him.

The poll found 51 percent of respondents said they supported the president's position on gay marriage to 45 percent who disapproved of it.

Among Democrats, 65 percent said Obama's position would not influence whether they would vote for him, compared with 24 percent who said his position would make them more likely to vote for him and 10 percent who said it'd make them less likely to vote for him.

Among Republicans, 46 percent said the president's stance would have no influence on whether they vote for him, while 52 percent said it would make them less likely to do so and 2 percent more likely to do so.

Among independents, 63 percent said Obama's position would have no influence on whether they vote for him, while 23 percent said it would make them less likely to do so and 11 percent more likely to do so.

Poll results are based on May 10 telephone interviews with a random sample of 1,013 adults 18 and over. The poll has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.


Pilot violates Obama airspace in L.A.

LOS ANGELES, May 12 (UPI) -- Authorities Saturday said they were investigating a pilot who violated U.S. President Barack Obama's airspace Friday in Los Angeles.

Sources told the Los Angeles Times the pilot had been arrested, Secret Service agents had interviewed him and the incident appears to have been unintentional.

It was uncertain whether the pilot, who was not identified, would face any criminal charges.

Two F-16 military fighter jets intercepted the Piper 28 aircraft and guided it to El Monte Airport.

Obama arrived at Los Angeles International Airport from the west Los Angeles community of Cheviot Hills by helicopter, then left the airport at 9:53 a.m. on Air Force One.

Much of Los Angeles' airspace was under flight restrictions because of the president's trip.

In February, another small plane was intercepted after entering Los Angeles airspace closed because of a presidential visit.

Police said the pilot of that plane, a Cessna four-seater, was arrested after he landed in Long Beach, the Times reported at the time.

The newspaper said Friday as much as 10 kilograms of marijuana that was aboard the plane was seized.


Romney speaks of gay marriage at Liberty

LYNCHBURG, Va., May 12 (UPI) -- Mitt Romney said in a commencement speech at Liberty University in Virginia Saturday marriage is a "relationship between one man and one woman."

But days after President Barack Obama publicly expressed support for legalizing same-sex marriage, Romney referred to the subject only briefly and devoted much of his speech to extolling Judeo-Christian values, family and hard work.

He said "fundamental" principles "may become topics of democratic debate. So it is today with the enduring institution of marriage. Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman."

The comment drew loud applause for the likely Republican presidential nominee at the world's largest Christian college, Fox News reported.

"Central to America's rise to global leadership is our Judeo-Christian tradition, with its vision of the goodness and possibilities of every life," Romney said at the Lynchburg college. "The American culture promotes personal responsibility, the dignity of work, the value of education, the merit of service, devotion to a purpose greater than self, and, at the foundation, the preeminence of the family."

The choice of Romney, a Mormon, as a commencement speaker stirred debate at the Liberty, CBS News reported.

"I think there's a lot of mixed emotions," Liberty student Jamie Goss said. "Some people are, like, 'Oh, I wish we would have had, like, a Christian speaker come.'"

Romney has struggled to win the support of some evangelical voters, partly because of his Mormon faith.

But National Journal White House Correspondent Major Garrett said on "CBS This Morning: Saturday" the former Massachusetts governor has no reason to be concerned.

Garrett noted a recent Pew Research Center poll showed Romney was running 53 percentage points ahead of Obama among evangelicals who intend to vote in November.

In his speech, Romney said: "People of different faiths, like yours and mine, sometimes wonder where we can meet in common purpose, when there are so many differences in creed and theology. Surely, the answer is that we can meet in service, in shared moral convictions about our nation stemming from a common worldview."


No tech problems reported before jet crash

JAKARTA, May 12 (UPI) -- A Russian jet that crashed into a steep mountainside in Indonesia, killing 45 people, had no technical problems before the flight, an airline official said.

United Aircraft Corp. head Mikhail Pogosyan also said it would be premature to say pilot error caused the crash, RIA Novosti reported.

The Sukhoi Superjet 100 disappeared from radar Wednesday, and the wreckage was found along the side of Mount Salak, a volcano south of Jakarta.

The plane, Russia's first new commercial plane since the fall of the Soviet Union two decades ago, had been on a demonstration flight for potential customers. Pogosyan said the plane was on its second flight of the day when it crashed.

Most of those aboard were representatives of Indonesian airlines.

Pogosyan said the search for the aircraft's two black boxes would begin after all the bodies were evacuated from the scene, which he said should be completed within 24 hours.

"Both the Russian and the Indonesian sides are interested in the earliest, as well as most objective investigation of the tragedy," Pogosyan said.

If the black boxes cannot be found quickly in the remote area where the plane crashed in rugged terrain, Pogosyan said "we will use other sources of objective information."

The Jakarta Post reported relatives of those killed gathered at a hospital in Jakarta Saturday to observe identification of the victims' bodies.

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