Thursday, June 18, 2009

UPDATE: More Donors Cancel on the LGBT Democratic Fundraiser

UPDATE: The list of cancellations keeps growing, this time with the Stonewall Democrats and Former co-chair of the Obama LGBT Leadership Council.

Despite Obama's memorandum signing Wednesday, extending very limited benefits to gay federal employees who may already have access to them, many would-be donors to the Democratic Party are still upset over the offensive DOMA brief filed by the DOJ. As a result, they're pulling out of the LGBT fundraiser.

First, Vermont Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin has canceled. "This memo from the Justice Department is more Bush than Bush. It takes the only minority group left in America that national politicians can publicly discriminate against and still see their numbers go up in the polls and it reinforces the horrible stereotypes about our friends and neighbors."

He wrote in an email to one of the organizers,"As an early and strong supporter of Barack Obama I am shocked and disappointed at the level of insensitivity that the Department of Justice has shown towards gay and lesbian couples and their families."

Another cancellation comes from Bruce Bastian, a gay Utah businessman who has been a large donor to the DNC. He claims he will no longer donate to the Democratic party. In an email to the DNC, he stated he would not attend the event due to the DOMA brief which he found "very offensive."

"I will continue to support certain congressmen, congresswomen and senators whom I believe will continue to fight for our rights, but I don't think blanket donations to the Democratic Party right now are justified, at least not in my book," he said.

"The LGBT community raised a lot of money in support for Obama, and, I think he has to have the courage — well, not just him — but, I think the Democratic Party now has to have the courage to fight back, and when they do, they'll have my support," he said.

Bastian will change his mind once he sees more action on federal legislation for LGBT rights.


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