Barack Obama | Chris Hughes | David Geffen | Fred Hochberg | India | News

At Least 8 Out Gays Among 338 Guests at White House State Dinner


Last night, Obama held his first state dinner for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India and his wife, Gursharan Kaur.

NYT: "Mr. Obama greeted his guests in Hindi and hailed the contributions of Mohandas K. Gandhi and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., saying that such “giants” are “the reason why both of us can stand here tonight.” Mr. Singh responded, “Your journey to the White House has captured the imaginations of millions and millions of Indians.” The evening was a potent mix of politics, diplomacy and glamour, with the administration’s favored donors mingling with lawmakers from Congress, cabinet secretaries, Indian dignitaries and Hollywood celebrities decked out in tuxedos and designer dresses. The first lady wore a golden sleeveless gown created by Naeem Khan, an Indian-American designer. For Mr. Obama, it was also a rare break from the bruising business of governance, allowing him to showcase his role as a world leader (and a gracious host) at a time when he is managing battles over health care legislation and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — all while watching his standing falling in the polls."

Among the gays and lesbians attending the dinner were U.S. Export-Import Bank Chair Fred Hochberg and partner Thomas Healy, activist and author Urvashi Vaid and comedian Kate Clinton, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes and partner Sean Eldridge, and David Geffen and partner Jeremy Lingvall.

Here's the full guest list.

AC360's report on the event, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. So, is this proof that we are less than 3% of the population afterall?

    Sorry, it was silly of you to report this at all, let alone as a standalone item. It would have been news twenty years ago but there is some truth to the expression "act like you expect to be treated" -- and that ain't just getting invited to the parties.

    Posted by: Alice Roosevelt Longworth | Nov 25, 2009 7:57:07 AM

  2. I'm silly sometimes.

    Posted by: andy | Nov 25, 2009 8:02:32 AM

  3. I hope this isn't cited by Obama as proof of being our "fierce advocate." I hope each out person there would rather have traded his/her seat for the repeal of DOMA and DADT. Stop with the crumbs. Let's have some substance.

    Posted by: Tim | Nov 25, 2009 8:30:41 AM

  4. Obama: I'd like to praise the bravery and perseverance of Gandhi and MLK who stood up for what was right despite tremendous obstacles and opposition and also welcome our gay and lesbian guests, whom I'll probably get around to helping maybe sometime, like after the next elections, or the ones after that or,anyway, maybe I'll do something vaguely significant sometime in the future, perhaps when its more convenient for me, or when it won't pose any political risk. Did I mention how great Gandhi and MLK were?

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Nov 25, 2009 9:18:24 AM

  5. The increasingly homophobic washington post calls Mr. Lingvall Mr Geffen's "boyfriend." Apparently, there were no "girlfriends" present and none of the female guests had "boyfriends."

    Posted by: rad | Nov 25, 2009 9:30:06 AM

  6. When was the last time any gays were mentioned with their partners/boyfriends/girlfriends at a Bush state dinner? We have more important things to worry about right now like the economy, healthcare, wars on two fronts. Worrying about my friends and family's health and keeping food on the table is a little more pressing than being concerned that 10% of us are at the table for a state dinner!

    Posted by: DaveFL | Nov 25, 2009 9:37:23 AM

  7. The White House did specific outreach to South Asian and other Asian Pacific American LGBT organizations to the earlier Arrival Ceremony with Prime Minister Singh. Unfortunately, it was rained out and the majority of folks weren't able to attend because the public outdoor portion was cancelled. It would have been nice to see more openly gay Indians/ South Asians at the state dinner though- but Urvashi is imho a great person to have there.

    Posted by: bentot | Nov 25, 2009 10:28:07 AM

  8. I know I'll probably get flamed for saying this, but I think it was gross and tacky for Geffen to parade his vacuous A&F boy toy around at a state dinner. At least have the shame, dignity (yes, both), and self-awareness to keep that stuff poolside or in WeHo.

    Posted by: Bastian | Nov 25, 2009 10:32:24 AM

  9. Ok, Bastian, I'll bite. Heaven forbid a person attend a ceremony with someone who you, and only you, don't approve of. Is there an application we all need to fill out to get your express approval to attend a WH function? Do we need three forms of ID? Is Simon Cowell a co-judge?

    Posted by: Vince | Nov 25, 2009 1:51:22 PM

  10. i thought David Geffen was married to Keanu Reeves.

    Posted by: chris | Nov 25, 2009 2:55:44 PM

  11. Vince, he's fully entitled to bring his trick and I'm fully entitled to my opinion.

    Posted by: Bastian | Nov 25, 2009 3:07:46 PM

  12. Mr. Geffen has the reputation for being quite mean and impolite to his paid escorts, so I hope he is nicer to the kept Sir Jeremy. Straight rich men have been collecting trophy wives for generations, so let this rich man have his fun. Speaking of rich, where were the common folks? I thought we got fed-up with royalty back in 1776, so why are we taxpayers paying for these fancy palace (a/k/a white house) dinners? Let me know when Obama starts to deliver on his promises and turning hope into courage.

    Posted by: Don Lakeside | Nov 25, 2009 3:53:59 PM

  13. Alice Roosevelt Longworth, WTF are you talking about?? Mr. Towleroad, thanks for reporting on this, your website is a beacon for worthy news. So my thoughts on this .. Geffen should be ashamed of himself ... he can spend hundreds of millions on art, but nothing to gay charities such as Lambda Legal or GLAAD. I guess he's just too old to understand ... and then to go to a state dinner with a boy toy??? geeze louise, you'd think he knows something about image/politics. Hey, I don't know what your relationship is with your date Mr. Geffen, but who does? Speculation says he's a boy toy, and ... duh, you're in the entertainment business and should know better ... you give a bad name to the GLBT community, please give your billions to someone who knows what to do with it.

    Posted by: Hyacinth | Nov 25, 2009 10:29:23 PM

  14. I just hope everyone of them took the time to explain to people of power about equality issues. Eartha Kitt did in the 60's re: the war and they should have as well. I hope they did.

    As far as Mr. Geffen is concerned, he is the worst type of A-List fag. His fight to keep the citizens of California off of "HIS" beach are legendary. I have met most of the top tier Homos and a lot have twinks with attitude, no big, straight guys have former swimsuit models.THe difference is that the ladies get nice settlements, the twinks go back to the perfume counter or folding T's on the second level.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Nov 26, 2009 4:21:58 PM

  15. Oooh, 8 out of 338. Whoopee!

    Posted by: SheQuon | Nov 29, 2009 4:51:15 PM

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