U.S. President Barack Obama waves as he walks out from the Oval Office of the White House in Washington May 10, 2012. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Some rejoiced in the U.S. president’s courage. Others predicted hellfire at the polls. One pastor said he would reflect on the matter in prayer.

President Barack Obama’s announcement on Wednesday that he supported same-sex marriage stirred impassioned responses at places of worship across the United States, underscoring the risk he took in coming out in favor of such a controversial measure.

Gay and liberal Christians found renewed enthusiasm for Obama, who had disappointed many on the left when his 2008 message of hope and change ran into the realities of governing.

“It just makes me giddy with joy. I have been bouncing around all day,” said the Reverend Annie Steinberg-Behrman, a United Church of Christ pastor in Berkeley, California, who married her partner in 2004.