Obama Nets $15 Million after Gay Announcement

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Barely 24 hours after announcing his support for same-sex marriage, President Obama raked in the cash at a Hollywood fundraiser.

Actor George Clooney hosted Thursday night's event and Hollywood turned out in force, showing their support by opening their pocketbooks and raising nearly $15 million.

Celebrities like Billy Crystal, Robert Downey Jr., and Salma Hayek all paid $40,000 apiece for tickets.

"I would suspect the story coming out of it is going to be a sky-high level of enthusiasm, driven as much as anything by this decision and the timing of the decision," political analyst Norm Ornstein predicted.

"The president is going to come in as a conquering hero to this group and that probably will make a difference in terms of other fundraising," he said.

But while Hollywood's A-list may be a receptive audience, Obama's announcement is drawing criticism from the religious community. The president's own religious adviser said he's disappointed in Obama's decision.

And Rev. Franklin Graham said in a statement that by changing his position on same-sex marriage, "President Obama has, in my view, shaken his fist at the same God who created and defined marriage."

"It grieves me that our president would now affirm same-sex marriage, though I believe it grieves God even more," Graham added.

Meanwhile, the buzz around Obama's announcement isn't hurting his re-election campaign.

Still, experts say gay marriage will not be one of the deciding factors in the 2012 election.

"The president and the Democrats can talk about this all they want. But the fact is, the American people are focused on the economy and they're asking the question, 'Where are the jobs?'" House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said.

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is also ready to shift the focus back to the economy, but his schedule may be complicating that task.

On Saturday, Romney will deliver the commencement address at Liberty University, the nation's largest evangelical university.

**CBN News will be there. You can see our report on Romney's speech on Monday's edition of "The 700 Club."

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Efrem Graham

Efrem Graham

News Anchor & Reporter

Efrem Graham is an award-winning journalist, who comes to CBN News from the ABC owned and operated station in Toledo, Ohio.  He received his master's degree from the Columbia University Journalism School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Follow Efrem on Twitter @EfremGraham and "like" him at Facebook.com/EfremGrahamCBN.