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Gay marriage spawns big spike in online videos
Obama's gay marriage announcement leads to big surge in online videos
By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) ' President Barack Obama's re-election campaign didn't produce a video publicizing his endorsement of gay marriage. But Obama's announcement last week has resulted in a record number of searches on YouTube for gay marriage and a rush of the site's users uploading videos on the subject. Gay marriage was also the most popular topic on YouTube's news and politics category this week.

Gay rights issues have a history of sparking online viral videos. University of Iowa student Zach Wahls' plea for marriage rights for his lesbian parents was YouTube's most-watched political video of 2011. It was followed closely by "Strong," an ad from Texas Gov. Rick Perry's since-abandoned bid for the Republican presidential nomination, in which Perry laments the fact that "gays can serve openly in the military." The Perry video drew more than 760,000 "dislikes" on YouTube and spun off numerous parody videos.

Obama's announcement led to more videos uploaded on YouTube with the key words "gay marriage" than previously. The videos so far have drawn more than 3 million views and 100,000 comments.

The first major surge of interest in videos related to gay marriage came in 2009, when Miss USA contestant Carrie Prejean told a pageant judge on national television that she believed marriage should be between a man and a woman. Prejean said publicity around her answer cost her the Miss USA title.

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