Bill clinton | Bryan Rafanelli | Chelsea Clinton | DOMA | Gay Marriage | New York | News

DOMA-Signer Bill Clinton Hired Gay Man to Plan Chelsea's Wedding

The President who instituted the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) hired a gay man to plan his daughter's wedding:

Rafanelli "The Boston-based event planner chosen by Bill and Hillary Clinton to oversee the super-secret nuptials of their only child, Chelsea, isn’t returning calls. Even if the former president and his wife, the secretary of state, hadn’t imposed a news blackout, [Bryan] Rafanelli has been unavailable for weeks, engrossed in the details of a wedding that’s drawing interest around the world...Though he planned a breakfast, concert, and three dinners as part of President Obama’s inauguration, Rafanelli was a Hillary Clinton supporter, contributing $4,600 to her campaign. In addition, Rafanelli’s partner, Mark Walsh, was on Clinton’s staff, serving as her director of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender outreach during the campaign. (Walsh also declined to be interviewed for this story.) Rafanelli and Walsh live in the South End with their dog, Henry, listed on the company website as “love czar.’’

Rafanelli can't marry in New York himself, but can marry in the more evolved state of Massachusetts, where he lives, and where DOMA was recently found unconstitutional in U.S. District Court. More on Rafanelli here.

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  1. well who are you blaming for this? why did the gay man accept the job?

    "Gay Man ACCEPTED to plan DOMA-Signer Bill Clinton's daughter wedding"

    Posted by: johnosahon | Aug 2, 2010 11:46:06 AM

  2. It's true the Clinton did sign DOMA, and bragged about it during his subsequent campaign for re-election, BUT it's important to note that he has stated publicly that he has changed his mind about marriage equality and now supports it.

    Yes, it's a little late but it is still worth mentioning when pointing out that he hired a gay man to plan his daughter's wedding.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Aug 2, 2010 11:52:36 AM

  3. NO! You mean all wedding planners aren't straight? Does this threaten the institutional of heterosexual marriage?

    Posted by: Steve | Aug 2, 2010 11:53:32 AM

  4. That's what homosexual means to heterosexuals isn't it? As wedding planners and decorators deserving of our relegation to mere second class citizens of servitude.

    Posted by: SSCHIEFRSHA | Aug 2, 2010 12:10:57 PM

  5. That's abominable! Especially since I heard J-Lo was available.

    Posted by: Keith | Aug 2, 2010 12:25:05 PM

  6. get over it and stop trying to be offended at every turn. live your life and advocate for equality, but don't let extreme ideological purity lead you to being, well, a brat.

    Posted by: wacowaco | Aug 2, 2010 12:34:14 PM

  7. Of course Bill Clinton hired a gay man to plan Chelsea's wedding. Otherwise, doritos and beer would have been the entire menu.

    I'd say both men, Clinton and the wedding planner, are both deserving of a slap across the face.

    Posted by: Bill | Aug 2, 2010 1:13:21 PM

  8. Hello Bill Clinton,

    You signed the Defense of Marriage Act, codifying "marriage" as between one man and one woman, into Federal law September 21, 1996.

    I wonder if you would explain exactly how Chelsea's marriage to Mezvinsky was under threat and attack from The Gays?

    Because...if "marriage" between one man and one woman has been under attack for (at least) the 15 years since DOMA became Federal law seems to me The Gays could have easily sabotaged a wedding in a least two important ways:

    1. Who did Chelsea hire as the wedding planner? Brian Rafanelli. A Gay.
    2. Who did Chelsea hire as the wedding florist? Jeff Leatham. A Gay.

    Seems to me at least two Gays had ample opportunity to ruin these nuptials.

    I'm waiting Bill. Your response?

    [crickets chirping]

    Posted by: MarkDC | Aug 2, 2010 1:37:21 PM

  9. Okay seriously folks, I believe it might be against the law to say to a person, "Look, your credentials are fantastic and you come highly recommended. But because I signed into law DOMA, before I hire you I must ask you: Are you gay?" If that happened, we'd be reading about a lawsuit this morning rather than a wedding. (And not for nothing, but I'm official over reading about this "royal wedding".)

    Posted by: Stephen | Aug 2, 2010 2:10:26 PM

  10. Hello Andy Towle:

    Who's writing your headlines now? or rejects?

    Hello MarkDC:

    1. Even if you are one of those who stupidly refuse to read previous thread comments such as that which pointed out the fact that Clinton now supports marriage equality before making an ass of yourself, you made an ass of yourself for not noting that on your own.

    2. WHEN did CLINTON personally EVER say DOMA was about stopping the "threat and attack from The Gays" on straight marriage?

    3. You're disappointed those two Gays didn't use their "ample opportunity to ruin these nuptials"? Yeah, THAT's bright! Punish Chelsea and her husband for what you IMAGINE her father did. The school officials that harass the kids of gays would be SO proud of you.

    4. Please find me ONE gay couple who was "married" anywhere in the United States prior to 1996 when DOMA was passed, AND whose "marriage" would have been recognized by the federal government before then. FACT: our federal government [backed up by the courts until recently] ALWAYS refused to recognize same gender couples.

    5. The Obama Kool Aid Syndrome doesn't just apply to Obama himself. It's a pity how well the Obama Nostra managed to rewrite history during their sexist fight with his wife for the nomination, such that the mere mention of her husband's name still causes some easily fooled queens to have the equivalent of an epileptic grand mal seizure, forgetting that, before the 2007 primaries, ADULT gays remembered both the good [see below] Bill Clinton did for gays as well as his part in DOMA and DADT. But, then, some people don't mind being played, as exhibited by the queens who STILL think Barry's their Messiah.

    Yes, Clinton was wrong to sign the DADT and DOMA bills but he did not "give them" to us, and his signing them was IRRELEVANT legally. Sam Nunn gave us DADT and Bob Barr gave us DOMA because both of them hated gays AND Bill Clinton. Though I agree he should have on principle, his vetoes would have been erased the moment Congress overrode him BOTH times.

    DADT [within the '94 DEFAUTH bill] passed in the Senate by NINETY-TWO to 7. In the House, it passed THREE HUNDRED & ONE to 134. DOMA passed by a vote of EIGHTY-FIVE to 14 in the Senate and a vote of THREE HUNDRED & FORTY-TWO to 67 in the House of Representatives.

    Just as DOMA functionally changed nothing; gays had been kicked out of the military for 60 years before anyone ever heard of DADT [and may be again after its gone, thanks to Obama Wan Kenobi's betrayal.] Those laws were just further codification of what already existed. Their harm was in the antigay MESSAGE they reinforced [not created].

    At the risk of causing more seizures, the fact is that, contrary to all the uninformed or intentional Obama Borg propaganda, Obama has STILL not surpassed Clinton's variety and reach of advances for gays. [Merely signing the hate crimes bill??? Mary, PLEASE!] And, he's faced nothing like the opposition to lifting the military ban that Clinton did in '92 & '93. Clinton came into office genuinely intending to lift the ban then caved to an overwhelming coalition of military, Congressional, and Antigay Industry bigots. Obama came into office ALREADY having caved to ONE bigot: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

    Clinton issued an Executive Order reversing one from Eisenhower over 50 years before that had banned gay federal employees. He was the first President to fill his admin with open gays [many of which Obama simply rehired], and the first to appoint a gay person to a position that had to be approved by the US Senate. He issued an Executive Order increasing penalties for gay hate crimes in the military and banned discharges of anyone whose gay identity was discovered in a security clearance investigation. In addition, his administration totally revamped the security clearance process for civilians, too, ending the “special procedures” under which gays were frequently delayed for or denied on security clearances, previously a serious problem in technology occupations with government contractors. For the first time, gays were included in the category of “distinct social group” for purposes of analyzing eligibility for political asylum in the US for people from oppressive countries. Clinton appointed the first gay federal judges and the first gay US Ambassador & US Envoy. He was the first President to meet with gays in the White House, address a gay political group's event, and the first to declare June "Gay Pride Month."

    And, oh yeah: still waiting for Michelle to show up in a gay pride parade!

    Also awaiting intelligent response, Mark.

    Crickets chirping....

    Posted by: Michael @ | Aug 2, 2010 2:27:24 PM

  11. Michael Bedwell is a figment of Leland Francis' warped, bitter, crotchety old mind........

    Michael Bedwell = Leland Francis, Leland Francis = Michael Bedwell.

    Posted by: Derek | Aug 2, 2010 2:34:15 PM

  12. Bill Clinton has never done anything that wasn't good for Bill Clinton. So where is this any different?

    Posted by: Bob R | Aug 2, 2010 2:47:25 PM

  13. Ok, so Leland Francis is Michael Bedwell and Michael Bedwell is Leland Francis.

    What's your point?

    It doesn't change the fact that what he said is 100% accurate.

    I say that as a person who might once have been accurately called an "Obamabot". I was certainly no fan of Hillary. I've been disappointed by both Clinton and Obama. However, my disappointment doesn't change the facts.

    The one thing that I would point out to Michael is that Bob Barr, nor Sam Nunn, nor Newt Gingrich nor any of Clinton's political enemies forced him to brag about his agreement with, and support of, DOMA in one of his reelection campaign robocalls. THAT is where I think he went from being somewhat of a victim of the nasty political game to a voluntary player in it.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Aug 2, 2010 3:27:47 PM

  14. Oh, and just in case anyone feels that I'm being dishonest or conspiratorial in my current screen name let me fully disclose here and now that I used to be known here simply as "Zeke". When others started posting under the same name I added the modifier.

    I hope the fact that I didn't call a press conference to announce this change didn't confuse anyone or cause them distress. If so, please accept my sincere apology.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Aug 2, 2010 3:34:07 PM

  15. This is absurd. Bill Clinton said he supported legalizing same sex marriage a few years ago and has addressed some of the policies he now regrets.

    What is an abominable hypocrisy is that this was probably written by Towleroad political "reporter" Corey Johnson whose best friend is Richard Socarides, the gay man who was the architect for the Clinton White House DOMA policy. Socarides has lied to the LGBT community claiming he fought DOMA internally and had nothing to do with the policy for the past 15 years. However this year a real political reporter, Duncan Osborn dug up the internal White House DOMA policy and it was authored by Corey Johnson's best friend, Richard Socarides, along with George Stephanopolis. Socarides will not comment on this finding or explain his lies for the past 15 years.

    Is this not more newsworthy than a story about a party planner? You know that Bryan's husband, Mark Walsh, organized groundbreaking outreach and inclusion for Hillary Clinton in the primary. Mark is an activist who has been doing great things for us.

    Write a story about Richard Socarides. Hopefully he will give his best friend an interview and finally comment truthfully on his role in DOMA.

    Posted by: Jon Winkleman | Aug 2, 2010 3:53:14 PM

  16. @TAMPAZEKE: If (and it is still an "if" in my mind since I do not have personal knowledge either way) Michael is not "Michael", it is the hypocrisy of that screen name calling out others in the past for hiding behind anonymous screen names. If he is "Michael" good for him for being out there, whether I agree with him or not. But if he is actually "Leland"...well, then hypocrisy is worth calling out. Just holding him to the same standard he holds the rest of the posters to is the point.

    Posted by: HawaiiBill | Aug 2, 2010 4:09:40 PM

  17. @ HawaiiBill aka ObamaZombie aka, well, we don't know, because there are no "identifying markers" many Bills ARE there in Hawaii.

    If you genuinely cared about OBJECTIVE truth, instead of just flaming someone who disagrees with you about boyfriend Barack, you'd check out where you and anyone else can easily learn that I am, indeed, Michael Bedwell.

    That I choose not to write "Michael Bedwell @" is not any attempt to hide my identity but for brevity's sake.

    As for "Leland Frances," that was a Nom de Net I used a couple of years ago....not because I was trying to hide MYSELF but because, at the time, I was involved with others in the gay activist community and I didn't want THEM tagged with my opinions.

    So step off, Bitch....after you publish YOUR real name and other Obamacockroaches like "Band" aka "24Play" aka "Derek publish theirs.

    Shoot the messenger all you want. The message that Bill Clinton is not the AntiChrist and Obama is not the Messiah remains objective fact. E.g., Clinton recorded robocalls opposing Prop H8TE and robocalls using a recording of Obama declaring that he STILL opposes marriage equality because, puke, "GOD is in the mix" drowned them out.

    Posted by: Michael @ | Aug 2, 2010 4:20:39 PM

  18. Oh are an angry man. Sad. And not a clue.

    I asked a question AND gave you a compliment for being out there. But then again, I guess I should've known better. You don't discuss, you browbeat. As for my politics, you've never bothered to find out. You don't know who I've voted for, worked for nor supported, yet you stoop to your typical crap. You just rant, you rave, you call names and you expect the world to bow down.

    And for the record, when I used to use my full name for posts, I received death threats to me, my husband and my children...including on my front door.

    So keep your holier than thou bullshit to yourself.

    Posted by: HawaiiBill | Aug 2, 2010 4:36:39 PM

  19. Michael bedwell=tragic, tired, and touched hillary worshipper.

    Derek=red devi=angry black.

    There are way too many cliche gays. But cliches exist for reason, and that's because there's some truth to them.

    Posted by: TANK | Aug 2, 2010 4:46:03 PM

  20. Tank=irredeemable bully unliked by anyone

    Posted by: You forgot... | Aug 2, 2010 4:54:38 PM

  21. attack of the sock puppets! see, you fucking losers are so goddamn stupid that I don't even hafta change my name when you use it to post whatever inane bullshit you think is offensive (, angry black).

    Posted by: TANK | Aug 2, 2010 5:05:33 PM

  22. I remember Michael disclosing his cyber name change from Leland, on this and other sites, about two years ago. He shouldn't have to disclose it with every comment for the rest of his life.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Aug 2, 2010 5:31:43 PM

  23. The clintonhate bias of tower load is sickening and sad. Why making such enemies out of the clintons? You'd sooner support hrc with it's glossy propaganda. What have they done lately? You're misdirecting your disgust towers the clintons. Naive and dangerous and does nothing for the cause.

    Posted by: Tofer david | Aug 2, 2010 6:30:04 PM

  24. While Bill Clinton paid the bills, I honestly doubt he spent 5 minutes planning this wedding or choosing the people who did. (I've never met a father of the bride who did, much less one with his schedule.) Hillary might have had a bit more input but I doubt she spent the past few months obsessing over every detail.

    I suppose they could have found a straight women to do the planning (finding a straight man would have been a challenge), but maybe they just decided to hire a guy they'd worked with before and trusted. I know, crazy huh?

    Posted by: Paul R | Aug 2, 2010 7:13:48 PM

  25. RE: michael@leonardmatlovich

    1. The entire point is The Gays are NOT a threat to heterosexual "marriage".

    2. It was called The DEFENSE of Marriage Act by the bigots who wrote, passed and signed it. What part of "defense" do you not understand? Who do you think these bigots are "defending" marriage from?!

    I await another spaztic Gaytarded rant.

    Posted by: MarkDC | Aug 2, 2010 7:51:11 PM

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