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Gay marriage has divided the black community, with many religious leaders opposing it. In California, exit polls showed about 70 percent of blacks opposed same-sex marriage in 2008. In Maryland, black religious leaders helped derail a gay marriage bill last year. But state lawmakers passed a gay marriage bill this year.


Michelle Obama hosts G-8 spouses for tour

While President Obama hosted world leaders Saturday for high-level economic talks at Camp David, Michelle Obama engaged in some soft diplomacy with their spouses.

The first lady hosted a tour of the White House on Saturday for the spouses of the Group of Eight leaders. White House curator Bill Allman led the tour, which included stops in the East Room, where the visitors viewed portraits of George and Martha Washington, and the State Dining Room.

Mrs. Obama, wearing a purple sundress, explained how the president walks through the long hallway into the East Room for news conferences and other events.

Following the tour, Mrs. Obama and the G-8 spouses gathered in the White House Blue Room for a lunch prepared by renowned chef Jose Andres.

On the menu: gazpacho; Maryland rockfish with asparagus, grapefruit, Virginia berries, greens from the White House garden and caramelized olive oil; and tangerine sorbet with Virginia strawberries.

Mrs. Obama was joined by several new faces on the international political stage, including Elsa Antonioli Monti, whose husband, Mario, took over as Italy’s prime minister late last year, and Valerie Trierweiler, the partner of newly sworn-in French President Francois Hollande. Italy and France are among the countries where economic turmoil has led to political shake-ups.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports