Admittedly, I wasn't actually invited

My, my, my. Talk about your bad timing. Apparently hoping to rake in what Ben Smith amusingly refers to as "gay cash," the DNC scheduled a fundraiser hosted by gay leaders for June 25. Then that pesky, homophobic DOMA brief was filed on behalf of the administration, and the mood among prominent gay folks is now, shall we say, less than giving? From Smith's blog:
Two prominent gay figures, activist David Mixner and widely read blogger Andy Towle, have pulled out of a Democratic National Committee fundraiser later this month amid growing calls to confront the administration at what was supposed to be its first large scale opportunity to bring in gay cash.
You can recognize gay cash by the rakish way it arranges itself in your wallet.

Since Smith's posting, the number of people bowing out of the fundraiser has increased to three.

Apparently aware that the administration has alienated an incredibly loyal voting bloc, the DNC is doing damage control. From a newer Smith post:
DNC Treasurer Andrew Tobias is defending a gay and lesbian fundraiser with Vice President Joe Biden, which is under attack by the movement's grass roots over the administration's legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act.

"If this debacle of a brief represented the president's views, I'd boycott too," Tobias, who is organizing the fundraiser and has been one of the White House's most vocal gay defenders, said in an e-mail. "[I] [t]otally understand all the hurt and anger, thought Joe Solmonese['s] letter to the president was spot on. Still personally totally believe in the president. His Pride Proclamation, and his call to repeal DOMA, are genuine."

Organizers, I'm told, are scrambling to get visible White House action on gay issues in advance of the June 25 dinner to prevent it from becoming a protest stage.

Yes, well, they had best get to scrambling then, hadn't they? You'll excuse me if I don't hold my breath.

I think it bears repeating that this is not one big hissy fit because we're not getting what we want quickly enough. I can understand that the President has a lot going on right now, and that we may need to be patient as we wait for things to get better. But we have every right to be angry at, and certainly to withhold financial support from, an administration that has seen fit to actually make things worse. As the Times says in an editorial from yesterday:
The Obama administration, which came to office promising to protect gay rights but so far has not done much, actually struck a blow for the other side last week. It submitted a disturbing brief in support of the Defense of Marriage Act, which is the law that protects the right of states to not recognize same-sex marriages and denies same-sex married couples federal benefits. The administration needs a new direction on gay rights.


If the administration does feel compelled to defend the act, it should do so in a less hurtful way. It could have crafted its legal arguments in general terms, as a simple description of where it believes the law now stands. There was no need to resort to specious arguments and inflammatory language to impugn same-sex marriage as an institution.
There was no need to file the brief in the first place, much less to put forth the arguments they did. I salute gay donors who are refusing to contribute to the DNC while the administration talks out both sides of its mouth on gay issues, and would be doing so myself were I important enough to have been invited in the first place.


  1. Well, now that Mr. Obama's money supply is being threatened, he's decided that it is time to stop walking over the gay community. Charming, isn't it? Mr. Obama doesn't care about gay issues, he doesn't care about you, and he doesn't care about me. He's a Chicago pol. He cares about two things; money and power. If you pay up, he'll do you a favor. Fail to pay up and pay up often, he's not interested in your problems.

  2. Needless to say, John, I don't share your blisteringly cynical view of the President. I think he cares, which I think his Senate record supports. I appreciated that he took the time to discuss gay issues on the campaign trail at all. But I think he is taking us awfully for granted, which I frankly resent.