Support for gay marriage among African Americans in Pennsylvania has increased 8 percentage points since President Barack Obama announced two weeks ago that he supports such unions.

According to a Public Policy Polling survey taken last fall, only 34 percent of black voters in the state favored gay marriage. Forty-two percent of respondents to a poll taken this week said they approve of such unions.

A similar poll in North Carolina found a 7 percent increase in support among blacks.

“We've now found in both North Carolina and Pennsylvania that black voters have moved more toward support of gay marriage in the wake of Barack Obama's announcement,” Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said in releasing the poll data. “The media's been asking the wrong question – the big issues isn't how Obama's stance will affect his reelection hopes. It's how Obama's stance will move public opinion on gay marriage.”

Thirty-nine percent of Pennsylvania voters now support equal marriage rights, while 48 percent remain opposed, a 4 percent decrease from last fall. Only 28 percent of respondents said there should be no legal recognition of a gay couple's relationship.