Two More Drop Out of LGBT DNC Fundraiser Over DOMA Brief

Two more high profile gay figures have decided not to attend next week's Democratic Party LGBT fundaiser, joining those who opted out earlier this week.

Shumlin Vermont Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin has said no, protesting the DOMA brief: "One thing I have learned dealing with marriage equality in Vermont is
that we all have a responsibility to stand up for the civil rights of
all Americans. 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."

Replied DNC Treasurer Andy Tobias, who's organizing the event: "I think Pete Shumlin is terrific. I totally get why he feels the way he does. If I thought that the Department of Justice brief reflected the Obama
position and vision of America, I would be boycotting or not going to
the dinner either. But it doesn't."

Bastian Prominent donor Bruce Bastian went a step further, saying he'll no longer be donating to the DNC, at least for now:

"'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. Bastian, a major donor to many LGBT groups, said he sent an
e-mail to the DNC on Wednesday saying he wouldn't attend the event 'because of the remarks on DOMA.' He found the filing 'very offensive.' … Bastian said the brief was the "tipping point" for him in his perception for how the Democratic Party supports LGBT issues. '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."

(via slog)

Previously…
Democratic Party LGBT Fundraiser Tainted by DOMA Brief [tr]

Comments

  1. christopher says

    GIVING money to the dems year after year, decade after decade has gotten us exactly nowhere. The only way to get their attention is to STOP giving to the DNC. Bastian is exactly right; continue to give only to state candidates and races where our real champions are on the line. Fuck the DNC. No responsible gay advocate, activist, lawmaker or fundraiser should show up at this event. Let them throw a party without us.

  2. says

    Does Tobias know something we don’t? Or is he on crack?

    The DOMA brief may not reflect Obama’s personal opinion, which I’m starting to doubt, but it says a lot about his administration’s opinion.

  3. David says

    “If I thought that the Department of Justice brief reflected the Obama position and vision of America, I would be boycotting or not going to the dinner either. But it doesn’t.”

    Then why hasnt obama come out and say that he doesnt agree with the language used in the brief? that is my issue

  4. says

    I’m so proud of my fellow VTer, Peter Shumlin. On the VT marriage equality bill this past winter, he–a straight man who gets it–was totally with us, one of the main players in making sure it happened now, not later. And now he’s taking a stand that matters. Bravo, Peter, and the others who are making the DNC think twice. $ talks–lack thereof talks even louder.

  5. steve says

    I expect a public retraction re DOMA from OBAMA and nothing less! I am outraged and will not give any $$ to the DNC or OBAMA!! I will support all politicians that support LGBT issues.

  6. jack says

    well spoken gentlemen!

    i have great respect for tobias and berry, and even barney frank, but it would appear they believe the ends justify the means. they might want to take a look at how well that worked for colin powell.

    in the meantime, bastian and shumlin have spoken truth to power.

  7. rhydderch says

    So I’m not sure if it’s wishful thinking or not but I’m hearing talk on liberal radio and on other blogs that this is all apart of a larger plan to force the Federal Courts to rule (so that the SCOTUS does not kick it back to lower court) then it forces the SCOTUS to rule on the constitutionality. Sounds like an incredible reach but lets keep our fingers crossed.

  8. says

    “If I thought that the Department of Justice brief reflected the Obama position and vision of America, I would be boycotting or not going to the dinner either. But it doesn’t.”

    Mr. Tobais: Clearly, it is the belief. The brief came from his Justice Department and let us say he did not know it was being released, why he has not denounced it? His silence is plain and simply put; homophobic, towards the gay community. I believe hate groups use this argument all the time, I do one thing, then when caught say I did not mean it, it is not what I feel. Why my very best friend is gay.

    You are blinded by the power and tied by the puppet strings of this administration. Can you please do your Pinocchio dance for us? You do it so well.

  9. Bruno says

    Having Bastian pull his funding from the DNC is actually the biggest news yet on the LGBT fundraising backlash front. That makes it official we mean business…and it’s significant that it comes after Obama’s memorandum.

  10. Rick says

    Andy Tobias: How about asking Obama about ending federal taxes imposed on same-sex couples’ health care benefits from states where actual LEADERSHIP on marriage equality has already taken place?

  11. says

    Well, my thoughts have already been mentioned in this thread, but I’m gonna say them again…

    Replied DNC Treasurer Andy Tobias, who’s organizing the event: […] “If I thought that the Department of Justice brief reflected the Obama position and vision of America, I would be boycotting or not going to the dinner either. But it doesn’t.”

    1) Sorry, Tobias, you can protest Obama’s ignorance of the DOMA Brief as loud and long as you want. That brief was presented on Obama’s Administrations’ behalf. Your comments are akin to the Bush Admin claiming ignorance of torture, outing CIA agents, and any number of other crimes that couldn’t have been committed without the president’s knowledge.

    2) If that brief truly doesn’t reflect the views of the president – THEN YOUR FUCKING PRESIDENT NEEDS TO MAN UP AND SAY SO. And the douche who Obama trusted so completely to make this huge blunder (the Bush-era anti-gay Mormon leftover) should be sent to Abu Ghraib.

    …We now return to our regularly scheduled program.

  12. mcquaidLA says

    Mr. Tobias,

    If you’re sure the DOJ DOMA brief doesn’t reflect Obama’s real vision of America, then the fact that it was filed means he is either incompetent or willfully misrepresenting his beliefs in some way.

    Either way, Obama looks bad, the DNC looks bad, and you look bad. As I see it, your choice is whether to continue on as Swish’n’Fetchit of Finance for the DNC or grow a spine and tell them what they can do with their outstretched hands and empty promises.

  13. rhydderch says

    So I’m not sure if it’s wishful thinking or not but I’m hearing talk on liberal radio and on other blogs that this is all apart of a larger plan to force the Federal Courts to rule (so that the SCOTUS does not kick it back to lower court) then it forces the SCOTUS to rule on the constitutionality. Sounds like an incredible reach but lets keep our fingers crossed.

  14. Pender says

    This is awesome news. I really think this civil rights struggle is at a tipping point. Every time we win something, the ratchet clicks another notch towards equality. And every time we suffer a setback, our energy and commitment clicks up a notch and we become more insistent on getting our rights. Soon the Democrats will realize that they can’t keep taking us as useful idiots forever, because we really will stop being Democrats and wish a pox on both of their houses.

  15. says

    I just read what Barney said. So his position is, because the DNC doesn’t hurt us as bad as the GOP, we should continue to support blindly? Don’t let him fool anyone, Obama had a choice to speak against this brief, even today, to admit the wording used was at the least, wrong. The longer he waits, the more it shows he does NOT have our best interest at hand. Neither does Barney or puppet Tobias. Feed the fox, not the bears. Great idea!

    I agree Wolfie: HRC, NGLTF and all those others who think boycotting the administration and DNC are not a good idea, are wrong. They finally are getting the activisim they want from they gay community. They just don’t like they are now too the focus of our ire.

    Less words and more actions speak for me.

    At least I will look you in the eye before I screw you. Cheney slogan – 2012

  16. says

    I found a couple of updates on this story at AmericaBlog.com

    UPDATED: Corey Johnson is out too.

    UPDATED and bumped @ 12:49 PM: We just got word that Rea Carey from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has pulled out of the DNC fundraiser next week.

  17. Jim says

    I’m not giving Obama or the DNC a CENT until they do away with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, the HIV-Tourist Ban, enact the Matthew Shephard Hate Crimes Bill. Granted, DOMA is a “stickier” nut to crack, but even if that takes longer, he needs to do a HELL of a better job ending it than he has! As long as Obama supports or does not VIGOROUSLY work to end discrimination to the LGBT community he will get NO money from me! We may only be 10% of the population, but we have a hell of a lot more disposable income, so WAKE UP Obama and DNC!

  18. alex in boston says

    Replied Andy Tobias, “I think Pete Shumlin is terrific. I totally get why he feels the way he does. If I thought that the Department of Justice brief reflected the Obama position and vision of America, I would be boycotting or not going to the dinner either. But it doesn’t.”…. THEN WHY DID THE OBAMA ADMIN. ALLOW SUCH A POSITION TO PRINTED LET ALONE DISEMINATED IF IT DID AGREE WITH ITS’ CONTENTS!! Totally bogus and BS!!!!! I’ve pulled out of the dinner and i believe every GLBT person, regardless of their position, should do the same…

  19. Jersey says

    Both of these statements are awesome. I already sent my emails to Obama’s fundraising site and the DNC explaining why they need to take me off the donor list until i see some real action. This is what will get us equality. Cut off the funds.

  20. MikeMick says

    @ JERSEY
    I did the same thing, and put them on my SPAM list, but their shit still gets through. I send every one back with a caustic note. Maybe they’ll get the message sooner or later.

  21. Dan Wentzel says

    I’m hoping that whoever attends the protest outside the DNC-LGBT fundraiser on Thursday, June 25th, at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, will note who actually attends this event and will take pics so we can all know who the scabs are.

  22. John says

    I’m fully supportive of stopping donations to Obama and the DNC in protest over the recent brief and inaction(and have done so myself). But all the posters who continually criticize HRC and anyone else who tries to maintain contact with the administration is a bit ridiculous. ANY progress that is going to happen is because of work with the Democrats, and we need people talking to them and letting them know what they need to do. I think HRC, in particular, has been doing a balancing act between criticism and keeping communication open. All this anger, legit as it is, doesn’t make progress happen – and it turns off those who might otherwise support us.

    By the way, Bruce Bastian is a huge HRC supporter (and I think on HRC’s Board of Directors) – and everyone here seems to love him because of what he’s done on this fundraiser. Believe me, there’s a lot more reasons to love and respect that man – he’s a huge donor to LGBT causes and truly puts his money where his mouth is (as does Tim Gill). Point being: he’s a smart guy and wouldn’t be supporting and woring with HRC if he didn’t think they knew what they were doing. Maybe some more posters here should give them the benefit of the doubt rather than make ad hominem personal attacks.

  23. Colin says

    Dear Governor Kaine,

    Thank you for your recent invitation to become one of President Obama’s Presidential Partners. Bad timing!

    Rather than receive regular briefing updates, a personalized certificate and a copy of the Inauguration Speech I would prefer to have EQUAL RIGHTS. I would prefer to have at the very least a “fierce advocate for gay rights,” in the White House.

    Right now it appears that I have neither.

    I wish that could write you the check for $1,000 to help you to fight for the many causes and positions that we both believe in. However, I realize that I need to divert those dollars to organizations that will truly advocate and fight for my civil rights. What a waste and huge disappointment that I need to expend my dollars and efforts lobbying a Democratic President who has so far let me down and not lived up to his word, rather than supporting him.

    Please tell the President that if and when he acts in way that shows he recognizes that providing ALL Americans with equal rights is a “need to do” not just a “nice to do,” I will be happy to once again provide him and his party with my financial support.

    Sincerely, Colin Pearce

  24. patrick nyc says

    Good job Colin. I too am not doing a thing for Obama or the DNC until that liar keeps his word. It seems, as ANDY has posted the link to Rex Wockner post today(http://wockner.blogspot.com/2009/06/gay-tsunami-slams-obama.html) That many agree with us ‘shrill’ fags.

    By the way, to those Obama heads who mock us and ask what have we done, I’ve been doing work for the community since ’83, GMHC, up to today, Gods Love We Deliver. I, unlike Obama, keep my word and do the job I say I am going to.

  25. Oscar in Miami Beach says

    Face it people Obama like 99.5% of american blacks is extremely homophobic.They were the ones that help Prop 8 pass.He and the White House does only what is absolutely necessary not to appear highly homophobic but he is.It is his upbringing and chiseled in his soul.As a great speaker Obama will convince you that he is with you but not really.The way his White House defended DOMA is obnoxious and highly offensive to gays.Now that Obama is in office with help from the gay community he doesn’t have to do anything to help us.Wait and do not expect much from him.His rethoric will change in 3 years when he needs gay votes again.Then he will be gays greater friend.Hypocracy and lies are Obama’s trade mark.By the way I was also taken in by him during campain time.He dubbed me but now I can see his true self.Homophobic to the core.

  26. chris p says

    I hope every single one of them pulls out and sends the DNC and the President a strong message that their inaction on EVERYTHING thus far is unconscionable.

    Get off your asses Democrats and Mr. President and make something happen..on ENDA, DADT, DOMA, something. It is unbelievable that you guys can’t even get the Matthew Shepard Act passed. I am starting to see why so many people can’t stand Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Reid.

    We are waiting, but we are growing increasinly pissed.

    I sent the President $1200 in the last election cycle and want my money back. I will not send the DNC another dime, ever.

    And for all you wealthy GL folks who plan to attend this fundraiser and have me as a customer, don’t expect to keep me as a customer. I will not support you if you support those who do not support US.

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