UPDATE: Alan Van Capelle, Executive Director of the Empire State Pride Agenda and Foundation, has confirmed to me that he has pulled out of the DNC gay fundraiser as a result of the DOMA brief flap. Kudos to Alan.
I just received word that another big-name gay politico – that makes three – who was listed on a leaked email as being among those confirmed to attend next week’s $1,000 a person posh DNC gay fundraiser, has pulled out. It’s confirmed.
In the meantime, Ben Smith at Politico got the following statement from Andy Tobias, the DNC’s openly gay treasurer, about the upcoming fundraiser and the anti-gay DOMA brief:
“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 email. “[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.”
Andy is a friend and I take him at his word. But the problem is that on Sunday, the president’s own director of OPM said that these were in fact Obama’s words, and those of us asking Obama to defend DOMA were asking him to “lie.” And on Saturday, we proved that the president had the power to oppose DOMA in the brief, as the NYT has since confirmed – he simply didn’t think we were important enough to defend.
Ben also writes that “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.” Well, if the White House can lift the ban, repeal DOMA, pass ENDA, fire the lawyer who wrote the homophobic brief, and publicly apologize for comparing us to child molesters, all by next week, more power to them. But hate crimes and federal employee benefits will no longer cut it after the incest and peodphilia crap of last week.
Pam Spaulding has a larger list of the big-name gays who have said they’re attending the DNC’s incredibly ill-timed fundraiser. Have a look and see if you know any of them.
Feel free to call the fundraiser co-hosts – gay elected leaders Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin, and Jared Polis – and ask them why they continue to host this fundraiser, and why none of them bothered saying a word about the hateful DOMA brief – it’s been 5 days.
Rep. Barney Frank:
2252 Rayburn Building
Washington, DC 20515
tel: (202) 225-5931
fax: (202) 225-0182
Rep. Tammy Baldwin
2446 Rayburn Building
Washington DC 20515
(202) 225-6942 Fax
Rep. Jared Polis
Washington, DC Office
501 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515