Guess who’s coming to dinner? White House invites power gays to end-of-month party

Joe and I will have more on this tomorrow and through the week. But the rumor we heard last week is apparently true. We found out today that the White House has decided to throw a big gay party at the end of the month. It’s clear that the purpose is two-fold. First, the White House is trying, again, to surround the president with A-list gays in order to show how “gay friendly” he is – he’s even willing to give a speech in a room full of them for a full 8 minutes! And second, the White House hopes that a little champagne and fancy food will convince the A-listers to throw the rest of you overboard. Because, after all, what’s two gay service members discharged a day and an ongoing effort to legally label you as akin to pedophila and incest, when there’s champagne to be served.

I think it’s fair to say that, unless the White House shows significant action on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and DOMA by the time of this party, any representative of a gay organization attending this event is going to met with a swift community-wide boycott of their organization.

HRC managed to get away with attending this week’s faux-benefits signing, which was, i believe, a bit mistake. The organization’s president, Joe Solmonese, was on the Michelangelo Signorile Show earlier this week, and Joe said to Mike, I’m told, something to the effect of “When the president calls, you come.”

No you don’t.

You don’t permit yourself to be used by a politician against your own community unless and until you extract something huge in return for your community. And there’s been no action on DADT or DOMA or any others of the president’s campaign promises since HRC accepted the invite. The president desperately needs our leaders to give him cover. Then get something in return, something huge, something we’ve been demanding as one of our top priorities. And that does not mean changing our married name on our passports.

I don’t think the community is going to be as kind in the future if any group, or individual, chooses to party at the White House with the people who continue to stab us in the back.

And lest anyone think they’re going to the White House for a “teaching moment” to educate the president on how upset we all are. You go to the party, you mingle for an hour with 150 people. The president comes in, you applaud. He speaks for 8 minutes, he then shakes about 75 hands, each one for 1 second, and then leaves. You will get 1 second to explain how upset you are.

Now sure, the big poobah leaders get a bit more time with the prez before he gives his speech. But I have a hard time believing that any of our leaders are going to be in a small room with the president, in the White House, and that they’re going to lecture him about what he’s done wrong. Please. He who lectures gets no more champagne.

One final point. It’s getting more than a tad offensive that the White House keeps pulling these non-DOMA and non-DADT related bennies out of their hate to woo us back into the fold. First we got benefits that weren’t really benefits (and which already existed anyway), then we got the passport last name thing (didn’t make a lot of news because, well, it wasn’t exactly near the top of our agenda), then we got the census thing on Friday night, and now we’re getting a party!

All of that is swell. But none of it responds to the top two or three demands of our community (ENDA, DADT and DOMA), and none of it addresses what caused the blow up last week, the DOMA brief and the White House’s ongoing insistence that it is going to defend DOMA in court even though it doesn’t have to.

The White House isn’t stupid. They know that a lot of our leaders would rather die than turn down cocktails at the big House, regardless of how many gay service members’ lives are destroyed, regardless of how many marriages are compared to incest. But we’re not stupid either. And leaders who sell out for a cocktail don’t remain leaders for long.

Much more to come.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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