White House Stonewall Reception to Be Streamed Live Today

As you may know, there's an LGBT reception celebrating Stonewall today at the White House. It has been criticized by some bloggers as a photo-op meant to gloss over the lack of inaction by the President on campaign promises he made to the gay community. It will be streamed live HERE at 4:25 EDT, according to the White House blog.

Whitehouse Americablog has likely been the loudest detractor: "Now, we keep hearing that the noble people who are going on Monday are
planning to talk about issues and really let the White House know we've
got problems. That's BS. Many of them had a chance two weeks ago in the
Oval Office to tell the president what they thought, and how many of
those groups let him have it? This is a show-off event for the
star-f*ckers, and it's a chance for the Obama administration to use our
community's 'leaders' for some much-needed CYA. They'll show the world
how much they really do love the gays, after all, they gave them
champagne! The White House is taking full advantage of this."

Bond Brian Bond, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, blogs about today's event:

"To me, today’s event is more than just a reception honoring LGBT
Pride month.  It is an opportunity for the Administration to provide
the world with a snap shot  of the real heroes across the country that
do the day-to-day work fighting for equality. People like State
Representative Patricia Todd in Alabama to Sheriff Lupe Valdez in
Dallas, and may other local LGBT elected officials that will be here
today.  And it’s people – ordinary families – that by simply living
their lives openly are changing hearts and minds.  It is also an
opportunity to welcome the people upon whom shoulders we stand, people
like Frank Kameny, as well as Phil Wilson, Bishop Robinson and
Ambassador Hormel, who I know personally, and those who stood up to
bigotry at Stonewall.  I really wish people like Bayard Rustin could be
standing here with us today.  He would be up for the fight ahead of us
and proud of the place we now stand. People may not know this, but there hasn’t been a significant event
since the President took office that hasn’t included the LGBT community
— discussions on the economy and the recovery, or health care — but
this event is special to me and to many of the people that haven’t been
here for many years."

David Mixner had some good advice last week for those attending the event.

On a personal note: I was invited late last week as a 'plus one' one of the invited guests to this event, and received a late request over the weekend from someone else to reconsider. After some thinking about it and discussion with close friends about whether it would be proper to attend with the attitude of "bringing the message to Obama," I decided against it. While I would love nothing more than to go to the White House and meet the President for a celebration of LGBT people, I'll look forward to the day that happens when we aren't still relegated to the back of the bus.


  1. The Phoenix says

    “While I would love nothing more than to go to the White House and meet the President for a celebration of LGBT people, I’ll look forward to the day that happens when we aren’t still relegated to the back of the bus.”

    Thanks Andy, for being someone supportive who “gets it” and not choosing to be another one of those champagne-suckas’ drooling over the prez’s impotent dick for their own foto-op!

  2. Bryan says

    Thanks, Andy! I appreciate the fact that you resisted temptation, and stood by your principles! My best friend is going and when he texted me with the news, I simply replied: “I need a new china pattern…see what you can do.” I’m nonplussed, but I value our friendship.

    I was at the NYC Pride parade. I was able to get Cleve Jone’s attention and we talked about the March. Today, I signed up to help organize at the grassroots level in Connecticut, and set up a facebook account. The time is now!

  3. Dan says

    Just a thought – Considering these receptions are more or less a meet and greet photo-op with president making speeches and small talks niceties – it could be a “loud” (yet-silent) message, if those attending would wear t-shirt (or a photos/written message hanging off lanyards) with pictures and messages on them that illustrates the obstacles GLBTQ community is facing since Obama gotten into office. (i.e. pictures of gay bashed victims, the Texas Bar raid, Evangelical protest against the community, the children who suicide due to homophobic bully and facts about DADT, LGBT youth homelessness, Hate crimes, etc.)

  4. says

    Hmmm Guess I should have said 700 Dollar.

    But you know what. I actually blame them all for this mess.

    Obama and the Administration for being so calloused and chicken to think that our rights are not impoirtant enough to get to at the beginning and had the nerve to push it off afraid of making it his legacy

    I blame Frank, Polis, and Baldin and Polis and other Politicos for being Democrats first and Gay Second

    And I blame the HRCm and all the other Organizations who have been meeting with them because they are so far removed that they they are not connected to the REAL community and ignored our anger and desperation and they are too busy cashing their paychecks.

  5. Johnny says

    these people need to say the issues as bluntly as they can to obama.

    dont just say “we want equality” – go into detail. we want marriage equality and civil unions are NOT equal. they also need to say why we’re angry at the DOMA briefing..being compared to incest. we’re not screwing our relatives, so that argument won’t fly.

    and DADT…if obama has the power to sign the executive order, then he needs to do it. fierce advocate? ACT LIKE ONE. even if he can’t take action, he CAN speak out and he hasn’t.

  6. Joe in SF says

    grow up, people. engage. press your point. put pressure on the democrats. talk with obama. hold him accountable. educate this administration just like MLK did with JFK and RFK. and show up at the white house and complain. (yeah, i, too, am pissed at the DOJ memo and the lack of a stop-loss order for DODT)

    or do you just throw up your hands, quit, stomp off, feel smug and runaway from emotional intimacy and respectful confrontation like many do in romantic relationships.

    the only way to build a relationship, with boyfriend or this administration, is to engage and talk out your differences. time to forget the childish antics of the past.

    engage: bitch, complain, listen, educate and find common ground. and be a grown up!

  7. David says

    They are all tools to make the Dems feel like they are doing something for us. Still no more dollars to any organziation, the DNC or Obama until substational legislation is introduced and passed in the House and Senate.

  8. Nathan says

    I was hoping that someone articulate would go and press our point. I guess instead only the ones who are the problem will be there.

    Doesn’t seem like we’ve won this battle. Just more champagne and face time with the prez for those who won’t fight for our rights. *golf clap

  9. Pekemo says

    I’ve actually been wondering about this. For everyone who’s been saying “FUCK OBAMA” what are you going to do then? Who will you have left? I’m past saying “grow up” because most of you are just unwilling to. Your anger is completely and totally justified but your really letting it manifest in an impratical way.

    Andy, I think you made a real mistake. You had the opportunity to do what few people do, the chance to speak with the prez face to face and make him see the faces of the people that he’s effecting and instead you basically decided to sit hum cross your arms, puff you cheeks and pout your lips.

    Your intentions are honorable but your actions are impractical.

  10. says

    When are all these gay activists and bloggers going to get off there fucking soapbox and stop bitching and moaning. If you want President Obama to hear you, YOU NEED TO BE IN THE ROOM regadless of the situation that got you there. Your message can be heard loud and clear when you have his attention because these opportunities are not going to come often.

  11. adamblast says

    I am fifty. I voted for Obama. And in everything he has said since his election, I hear one message loud and clear– No equality in your lifetime, sorry. I’d rather use my leadership for more important things.

    I’m starting to understand in my own gut how feelings of powerlessness and betrayal can shift toward mental illness and lone-wolf terrorism. I’d have defaced the local Mormon church months ago if I was just a smidgeon less… what–responsible? cowardly?

    Since Obama cannot, it appears, be shamed into action, my dream for today’s meeting is more along the lines of Ferhenbach punching Obama in the face. I know I need a chill pill. But damn.

  12. styleboy says

    I have to agree, Andy, you made a mistake in not going. First of all, I would very much to like what you had written about being there and the general tenor of the event which I doubt we’ll get from the MSM. Second, it’s obvious to me that Obama just doesn’t get it and we don’t help our cause by staying out of his sight…in any venue. In most ways, the entire Democratic Party has been as big a disappointment as far as leadership on gay issues since the election but I think the only answer is to make ourselves heard both in political circles and in the streets.

  13. JeffRob says

    I agree with Joe in SF.

    Andy, I’m disappointed that you won’t be there. Your absence, and the absence of our other leaders, is not anywhere near as loud or as effective a statement as you could actually make in person, standing there.

    I think this little boycott of the democratic party is childish, short-sighted, self-centered, and destructive.

    Barack Obama knows none of us will vote for him in 2012 if DADT or DOMA are still standing. He has given me no reason not to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    Americablog does not speak for this gay man whatsoever.

  14. says

    I respect both Andy for not going … and our mutual friend who invited him for going [on his way there as I write for early security check in] as one of those attempting to build a bridge NOT sip champagne.

    Every “war” needs “go betweens”…and this is, make no mistake, a war…with second class LGBT citizens on one side, brainwashed too long into investing trust and hope in a false god….and the most powerful man in the world on the other who has chosen to sacrifice us on the altar of his own power perpetuation; trade-offs for issues he considers more important.

    That he is so demonstrably wrong about the “pragmatic” need to do that only adds the proverbial insult to injury.

    Anyone LGBT who believes that today’s event [the day AFTER the Stonewall 40 anniversary/announced two weeks AFTER O’s “Pride” proctomation (sic)] was planned BEFORE the natives became restless is a fool when the membership in Rainbow Fools for Obama can’t even get a quorum.

    It’s a desperate attempt at a tourniquet on the bleeding of lavender money from DNC coffers when the tourniquet WE really need is one on gay military discharges under Obama. Yes He Can, But He Won’t!

    She was missing from every Pride Parade, but lovely Michelle will apparently be there today …. to soften his “Pharaoh’s Heart Has Hardened” image. But all the smiles and hugs and “trussssssst usssssss” cooing in reaction to all the urgent, tearstained entreaties, the pictures of children holding “I love my 2 Dads/Mommies” signs, the medals for bravery, from those attending will not melt that stone.

    Only more blood er money letting will…AND amplifying the decibel level of mainstream media’s calling out the President on his needlessly betraying his promises.

    But today’s attendees can say “we tried”…and that will increase the burden of shame on HIM…and in the end be a part of the solution.

  15. Steve says

    So stereotypically gay to have a hissy fit, hold a grudge and not show up until you get your way. Sheesh.

    Andy, I’m a big fan, but you are a journalist/blogger first and foremost and this would have given you prime access. Huge lost opportunity. Huge.

  16. says

    hard not to feel cynical about much of anything at this point

    i guess this is their form of damage control, but trust has already been broken with both the administration & the Democratic party in general

    i’m not sure i’m anxious to hear some Uncle Tom/gay apologist telling me what a great day of celebration this is

    if Stonewall happened today, i have no doubt our leaders would all turn a blind eye

    now they can “celebrate” Stonewall from a safe distance


  17. rickwla says

    I have to say that while I was initially glad that you held to your principles and decided not to go, after reading the comments here, I’m leaning to thinking you should have gone.

    It’s clear that you get it and that you understand why and how angry the community is. Your attendance would have been invaluable to make sure that the power centers (Obama, HRC, etc.) understand how to fix the problem and to report back how you read the tea leaves.

  18. says

    Dear Andy,

    Thanks for continuing to make careful choices about how you use the influence that you have. I appreciate your decision to stay away, and I think it would have been just fine if you have gone. I am disappointed that some readers are so ready to criticize a decision that could very reasonably have gone either way and that you have expressed, as usual, in the least emotional of ways.

    Obama gave a good speech. It was a historic speech. Thanks for making it possible for me to watch the live cast.


  19. Dan says

    I doubt you would have been invited to such an event for the prior 8 years because I’m sure it wasn’t held. Some of us may not see the change we want in our lifetime. But,
    it seems it’s difficult to make your point
    to the President by sitting in your office on your hands.

  20. Rev. Donna Tara Lee says

    To me full equality means full protection under the law. The freedom to be employed, to have insurance for housing and public accomodations and to live safely where we want to, to adopt, to serve our country as want, and to legally marry. Why can’t the president go before Congress and ask for whatever legally can be granted at the federal level to be passed by congress.

  21. says

    It was a trite speech; a collage of primary campaign hollowness and present day excuse making whose words contradicted actions.

    “…must enforce all laws”? No, he doesn’t. “but not in a way that makes things worse”? No, he hasn’t. Class, can you all say, “DADT and DOMA briefs”?

    Neither was it historic except that it was live-streamed on the Net…..and 99.99999999999999999999999% of Americans neither watched nor knew about it. If it gets an evening news mention, good, but a blip on a vital signs monitor in which he has placed his promises to us in suspended animation.

    Gays met with Clinton at the White House in 1993….while he did do some good things, it prevented neither DADT nor DOMA from happening. He spoke at an HRC banquet in 1997. No ENDA or hate crimes bill came out of it.

    I was wrong about one thing…from the screams for his mere appearance and every syllable there are clearly more Rainbow Fools for Obama left than one imagined. Mass comas for the past six months perhaps?

  22. MikeMick says

    Anyone who thinks an event like this was an opportunity to make a statement or get in Obama’s face about our issues is either kidding themselves or has never been to one. They’re dog and pony shows. The only way to make a statement is not to go.

  23. Darrien says

    I’m with Andy on this one. He made a principled decision, but I also think he made a sensible strategic decision. The only reason anything at all is happening is because people like Andy are expressing their discontent. There are more than enough people at that party to tell the President what the issues are and why they’re so important. But the DNC is beginning to understand that HRC and similar organisations aren’t the ones they have to convince. Andy might not have gone to the White House, but his absence will increase the pressure on the White House to come to him (and every other person pissed off by the lack of gay equality). Well done Mr Towle.

  24. Cory says

    Bingo Mikemick.

    Does anyone really believe that Obama would allow dissenting opinion at that charade? No way, because then it wouldn’t have been a charade. Thank you Andy for seeing this for what it was and sticking to your guns.

    Side note: the applause after every obama-syllable? Disgusting. If you’re going to kiss presidential ass, do it with some class.

  25. lodenmuse says

    I tried viewing the livecast, but got nothing. The healthcare questions following streamed with perfection though. Go figure.

    Will this video be posted on the White House site? (laughter) No, really. (more laughter) I mean, I like catching all the videos of “Obama Grilling with Bobby Flay,” but please, really.

    And how long did it last? The livecast was only alloted 35 minutes… I spent more time than that this weekend mourning Michael Jackson.

    Courage, all.

    Don’t stop ’til you get enough.

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