Tuesday, June 16, 2009

UPDATE: DNC LGBT Fundraiser Attendees Cancel in Response to DOJ DOMA Brief, Calls For Protests

UPDATE: HRC, former top Clinton aide Richard Socaride and Empire State Agenda head Alan Van Cappelle have all pulled out of the fundraiser.
A Democratic National Committee fundraiser organized to bring in donations from the LGBT population, is facing calls of boycott in response to the Obama Administration's lack of support for LGBT rights, and specifically its hurtful and discriminatory brief filed by the Department of Justice in defense of DOMA.

Already activist David Mixner and well-known blogger Andy Towle of Towleroad have canceled their attendance.

"I will not attend a fundraiser for the National Democratic Party in Washington next week when the current administration is responsible for these kind of actions, " Mixner wrote. "How will they ever take us seriously if we keep forking out money while they harm us. For now on, my money is going to battles within the community such as the fight in Maine or the March on Washington! I am so tired of being told by Democratic operatives to 'suck it up' because so many other profound issues are at stake."

Andy Towle told Politico, "I've had concerns about the lack of movement from the administration on LGBT issues for some time now but I wasn't comfortable attending after that DOMA brief came out."

Dan Savage on the SLOG has eloquently titled his rant, "Democrats To Gay Americans: Fuck You. Now Write Us a Check."

This wouldn't be the first DNC fundraiser to face protests and calls for boycott. In May, protesters gathered outside a Beverly Hills fundraiser where President Obama spoke. The demonstration at the time was in reaction to Obama's refusal to use his presidential power of stop-loss to keep LGBT service men and women from being discharged from the armed forces under Don't Ask Don't Tell.

But this is the 10th Annual LGBT Leadership Council Dinner, a fundraiser extending a grasping hand for LGBT dollars.

According to Ben Smith at Politico, "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."

With the recent DOJ brief defending DOMA using discriminatory, Bush-era arguments, such as comparing same-sex marriage to incestuous relationships, the LGBT population is growing even more and more impatient and angry, and many are offended at the thought of donating shortly after being slapped in the face by the Democrats. Yet it does have its defenders.

Pam's House Blend has given a call to action to contact Reps. Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin and Jared Polis and ask them why they're still attending.

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
(202) 225-2906
Email Form

Rep. Jared Polis
Washington, DC Office
501 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
p. 202.225.2161
f. 202.226.7840

What's annoying to me are comments such as this being made on Politico:

"I'm all for gay rights but come on, with health care, two wars and an economy that is fubar don't we have more important things to worry about right now?"

So health care has nothing to do with marriage? Aren't there insurance benefits bestowed on married couples and their children when one of them has a employer provided health insurance? And if they're unemployed, wouldn't a public policy be helpful? As for the wars, don't they even know what DADT is even about? And the economy - do LGBT families not matter in this economy? The tax breaks afforded married heterosexual couples could be very useful for LGBT families during this time of need.

All these issues are related! But we're again being sidelined as if our issues are separate and unto themselves. Are we not citizens of this country, facing the same crisis issues as everyone else? Are we not entitled to receive the benefits that our fellow citizens receive? Don't we have the right to defend our country in wars, fighting alongside our fellow soldiers?

So don't we have the right to close our wallets and NOT donate our hard earned cash to a political party that keeps dangling the carrot in front of our noses only to tear it away and run for cover when they must actual stand behind their promises to us?

This isn't the first time this has happened. But I'll be damned if I can't do anything to make it the last time. My wallet is closed.

A Facebook Group, "Democratic Party Boycott Until DOMA or DADT Are Repealed" has formed.

1 comment:

  1. My wallet is also closed. Like anyone who donated to the Obama campaign and worked for it, I get e-mail messages and letters almost daily asking me to contribute money to further Obama initiatives on health care and other issues. I have never gotten anything remotely related to gay issues. Like Mixner, from now on I will donate only to further gay causes.