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.


  1. johnosahon says

    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”

  2. TampaZeke says

    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.

  3. Steve says

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


    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.

  5. wacowaco says

    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.

  6. Bill says

    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.

  7. MarkDC says

    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]

  8. says

    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”.)

  9. Michael @ says

    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….

  10. Derek says

    Michael Bedwell is a figment of Leland Francis’ warped, bitter, crotchety old mind……..

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

  11. Bob R says

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

  12. TampaZeke says

    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.

  13. TampaZeke says

    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.

  14. Jon Winkleman says

    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.

  15. HawaiiBill says

    @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.

  16. Michael @ says

    @ HawaiiBill aka ObamaZombie aka, well, we don’t know, because there are no “identifying markers”…how 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.

  17. HawaiiBill says

    Oh my…you 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.

  18. TANK says

    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.

  19. TANK says

    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 (derek…er, angry black).

  20. TampaZeke says

    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.

  21. Tofer david says

    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.

  22. Paul R says

    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?

  23. MarkDC says

    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.

  24. Tofer david says

    God forbid they hired any gay people. With your logic you’re advocating that straights discriminate and not hire any gays. Great. Do you think for a moment that the gay men involved were proud and happy to earn an income as a result. Self-hating douche. God bless the clintons.

    If Obama had any cajones he could draft several executive orders making legalese possible for gays in the military and with regard to marriage he could cause attention to be focused, but his win are is in a bind and he will be lucky to get a second term so he won’t venture out on the limb for us. Let’s blame Clinton for his acts in 1996 and ignore those who have the power to bring change today.

  25. MarkDC says

    @ Tofer David

    What? I’m advocating straights not hire The Gays? What the fuck are you talking about you dumb faggot?

    MY POINT IS they forbid The Gays to marry BUT can’t get married themselves WITHOUT US. So stop the hypocrisy. We’re good enough to serve them but NOT good enough for the same rights.

    It’s called DE JURE SEGREGATION. Ever heard of douchetard?

    Yes, “god bless the Clintons” for hiring some “House Niggas”.

    Faggot please.

  26. TANK says

    You’re interfering with tofer’s justifcation of his existence…he thinks of it as valiant…and progressive, even…giving fashion tips to heterosexual women and planning their weddings while being denied the right to even not get fired from a job for being gay’s…well, it’s not valiant…and it’s not progressive…it’s pretty much exactly where they wantcha. House faggots abound. They get so used to it that they can’t discern the difference after a while. Very sad. Program people…like religionists!

  27. Jon Winkleman says

    As your only response to critics to to call them “douchetard” and call them “House Niggas” I will assume we have made cogent arguments and you are only able to respond with insults. Also I am comfortable signing my real name and am comfortable with my weight. Obviously you know me but are too cowardly to sign your real name. I have been called worse and could care less.

    Still the real story about DOMA would be to get Corey’s best friend, Richard Socarides, to finally go on record and honestly speak to his role in DOMA.

    Mark: if you feel the need to respond to this please spend a few minutes and construct a cogent argument instead of throwing 3rd grade insults.

  28. Derek says

    Sorry stank but that’s something I’ve never been called before, LOL, an angry black man. Been told I have junk in the trunk like a black chick but sorry FUCKWAD, I am as white as you are unlikeable.

    So……how about you get a fucking clue and just do the world a favor and kill yourself.

  29. Pinky Pumps says

    I think the problem here is this. Michael Bedwell, Or Leland or whatever is a Clinton lover to the end.

    But while I’m hearing all of this Bill is NOW a friend of the gays. Obviously within some of you guys beautiful caucasian hearts you forgive him and we still have no equality.

    But we all know that Black guy who said he was a fierce advocate is full of shit and we’ll NEVER forgive him.

    So it’s true once again RACE matters!

    But it will NOT advance this community it will only destroy it. You’d think Obama signed D.O.M.A and D.A.D.T the way some of you folks literally hate this guy.

    Maybe Hillary will run in 2012 and then alot of you will feel much better with her saying “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman” because I damn sure won’t

    To Thine ownself be true!

    Unapologetically Yours!

  30. says

    Boy stank you sure told me didntcha?

    Sock puppets? Really stank? Puppets?

    What a fucking tool you are dude.

    Maybe someday you’ll grow some BALLS and step out from behind the safety and anonymity of the net……ya know like actually have your hateful, nasty, caustic, jerky comments attributed to the worthless POS that consistently offers them.

    LOL. Yeah. Right. Who am I kidding? Eunuch bridge loving trolls always seem to wither and die when brought out into the open.


  31. MarkDC says

    @ Jon Winkleman

    My “ONLY response” is to hurl insults? Go back and read my comments again. Your fragile ego has eclipsed your intellect.

    “Obviously you know me…”? Are you admitting you’re a fat Gaytard douchebag?

    Well, Jon, you obviously do not know me since I am not that Corey person, whoever the hell that is. Have you apologized to Corey, Andy and myself yet?

    And I now digress…

    Like a good complacent fag you’re saturated in the Urban Gay Fantasy of Official Gay Culture.

    I believe it was Richard Goldstein in the Village Voice 15 years ago who wrote Gay Identity has never been formed outside of oppression. Think about that for a few minutes…

    While all “Gays” are homosexual, not all avowed homosexuals identify as “Gay”.

    The fantasy of “Gay” identity is dysfunctional: the post-traumatic-stress-disorder of sexual apartheid. “Official Gay Culture” is a massive exercise in behavior modification. Nothing more than a compromised reaction-formation desperately constructed only in the last few decades to mitigate centuries of consistent persecution, disenfranchisement and extermination of same-sex love.

    Still so few even acknowledge the grotesque personal, psychological damage such universal persecution produces in an entire class of people. Celebrating the resultant dysfunctional “cultural identity” is neither deferential nor transformative.

    The truth is heterosexuals today freely embrace the comforting predictability of homophobic stereotypes they created long ago mistaking such “acceptance” as “progressive”. Unwittingly becoming stereotypes themselves. Whether all this is unconscious or self-conscious it is misguided.

    Another uncomfortable truth: The Gays just accept it, and the lazy stereotypes that are imposed on them, as “progressive”. The genius of perpetuating oppression is getting the marginalized to embrace the categorized identity designed for them. However, there are plenty of men who reject that specially categorized identity. Men smart enough to realize no one is born with a Gay Accent, Gay Face, loving Lady GaGa and musical theatre that feel completely out of place in contemporary “Official Gay Culture”.

    Being “Gay” today is like being in a cult: Heaven’s Gate or Scientology. You’re all desperately clinging to each other and “Gay Identity” waiting for something amazing to happen, a rapture or a ridiculously end-of-the-world climactic event which will change everything. Like marriage, military service or the removal of de jure segregation for The Gays from Federal law. Then, and only then, everything will be ok.

    Just stop. Stop swallowing their bigoted stereotypes. Stop indulging their christianist fantasy framework for transformation “some day”. Life is happening right now.

    So here we are. The daughter of the President who signed DOMA into Federal law is married 15 years later in a spectacular $3,000,000 wedding created by The Gays?

    And we’re supposed to ignore the grotesque irony? Pretend everything is OK because that President said DOMA was wrong a few years ago after he left office?

    Signing DOMA was politically expedient for Bill Clinton in 1996. Disowning that act was equally expedient AFTER he left office.

    Believing Clinton’s “regret” now is to ignore the hegemonic pattern of appeasement and to miss the larger more relevant point ENTIRELY.

    But I guess those homosexuals who feel awkward with Official Gay Culture are just crazy? Self-loathing morons who just need to lock themselves in a bathroom and pray?

  32. MarkDC says

    @ Tank

    Agreed: “they can’t discern the difference” after a while…making life hell for themselves and rest of us who must endure their pretense.

    Typical House Faggotry:
    Accepting de jure segregation cuz Bill Clinton said he was sorry for DOMA, which he’s now conveniently powerless to change.

    Manipulate The Gays with apology. Preserve hegemony with calculated timing – apologize when you can do anything about it.

    Did it every occur to these stupid faggots that Clinton’s regret was calculated? That he publically regretted DOMA for Hillary’s benefit? Because he and Hillary KNEW she would run for President and wanted the popular support of The Gays?

    Bet they believe Obama will “save” them too. Maybe after he speaks at one more HRC party?

    Stupid fuckwad Gaytards.

  33. tofer david says

    House gays?

    I don’t know about you, but I am confident that I work for the mighty dollar, I could give a shit if it is coming from a gay or straight. You and I are more held back by our social-economic status than we are by our gay status. Get a grip.

  34. MarkDC says

    @ Tofer David

    “You and I are more held back by our social-economic status than we are by our gay status. Get a grip.” -Tofer David

    Yeah. Cuz poor people can’t get married, serve in the military, visit a hospitalized lover, teach in certain schools or rent property in certain states.

    Wake up. What kind of fucked up world do you live in? The poorest, homeless, drug addicted, alcoholic, sex offending, criminal scum have every “right” to do ALL of the above…AS LONG AS THEY ARE HETEROSEXUAL.

    The Gays have no such rights…NO MATTER HOW MUCH MONEY THEY HAVE.

    But nevermind. Just anesthetize yourself with the fantasy that money will make you feel better.

    We live in a capitalist-democracy. That means EVERYTHING (from fingernails to Facebook Friends) has “value” and “worth” attached to it. The value placed on equal rights for The Gays is so prohibitively high you couldn’t buy a “marriage” if you were Bill Gates.

    Get a “grip” on this, you stupid Gaytard.

  35. MarkDC says

    @ Jon Winkleman

    “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.” –Jon Winkleman

    I see.

    So, President Clinton signed into Federal law the worst piece of de jure segregation since the Jim Crow Laws…but it’s all ok because he now regrets it?

    I guess it would also be equally ok for President Obama to do absolutely nothing for The Gays as long as he “regrets” it later?

    I guess it would also be ok if, like Bill Clinton, Obama did worse than nothing – like signing some equally grotesque bill (a Defense of Military Act?) into Federal Law – as long as he “regrets” it later when he’s powerless to change anything?

    I guess ALL of that is just fine…as long as Obama says he’s sorry YEARS after he leaves office? Seems to be a powerful precedent. Do you see a pattern here?

    And I guess it’s not at all ironic or hypocritical if each of Obama’s daughters grow up and get married in multi-million-dollar weddings produced entirely by The Gays?

    I guess we’ll all be just thrilled for them because the President who promised The Gays everything but gave them nothing conveniently “regrets” his politial complacency?

    You know Bill Clinton spends a lot of time making TV commercials for earthquake victims in Haiti. He won’t advocate similarly for The Gays and Gay Marriage. Why? It would damage his position and Hilary’s political career.

    Wake the fuck up.