Few issues mobilize religious voters more than same-sex marriage, a trend that many political observers expect to continue between now and November, when a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex unions will go to the ballot.
Jason Pettus, Senior Pastor at Living Hope Baptist Church says his church strives to welcome homosexuals, but doesn't condone their lifestyle.
"God loves them. And we want anyone who wants to experience God's love here, and that's what we tell anybody - homosexuals, heterosexuals, whomever. We want them here to hear the gospel," Pettus said.
Pettus admits many churches struggle within their denomination over how to include homosexuals in the congregation, a struggle highlighted by the recent controversy in the Episcopalian church over ordaining gay bishops.
"I don't know if it's the Bible Belt or what exactly it's due to, but there's a whole lot of people hiding," said one local gay woman who asked to remain anonymous.
"I'm ready to fight. And I know a whole lot of other people who are ready to step up to the plate, and it's time for the gay community to step up to the plate and be heard."
She says she and other members of the local gay community will step up their efforts to oppose the proposed amendment in the coming months.
The amendment received overwhelming support in both the House and Senate, and is expected to easily pass in November.