Barack Obama | David Cameron | News

Gay and Lesbian Guests Have Sizable Place at White House State Dinner Table: VIDEO


There was a huge gay presence at last night's White Houst State dinner for British Prime Minister David Cameron. Many of them high-profile fundraisers, along with newly-named HRC head Chad Griffin, and British blogger Andrew Sullivan and his husband Aaron (above).

UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan dishes on the evening here.

Among the gay and lesbian guests I was able to glean from the list:

John Berry, Office of Personnel Management director, and Curtis Yee, philanthropist and GeoCities founder David Bohnett, Wally Brewster and Robert Satawake, Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart and Nicholas Schmit IV, Joseph Falk and Mark Scott, philanthropist Timothy E. Gill and Scott C. Miller, Chad Griffin and Jerome Fallon, Barry Karas and Bruce Green, Bradley Kiley and James M. Coley, Hilary Rosen, Randi Weingarten and Louise Anne Rogers, and Andrew Sullivan and Aaron Tone. I'm sure I've missed a few.

The Washington Post adds:

The 362 guests — the largest state dinner of this administration — demonstrated the reciprocal relationship the United States and the U.K. have with each other’s pretty celebrities.

And more from the NYT:

More than two dozen of Mr. Obama’s fund-raisers were on the list, including Mr. Clooney; Anna Wintour, the editor in chief of Vogue; and the investor Warren Buffett.

Some of the Obamas’ old Chicago friends are in town for the dinner, too, including Martin Nesbitt and Dr. Eric Whitaker.

Several guests hail from across the Atlantic, including Hugh Bonneville, the earl of Grantham on the popular PBS series “Downton Abbey”; Rory McIlroy, the Irish top-ranked golfer; Richard Branson, an English businessman who has supported Mr. Obama’s Mideast policies; Denise Lewis, an Olympic gold medalist from England; and Jony Ive, the British designer and senior vice president of Apple.

The full guest list is here.

Watch a report on the dinner from the UK Telegraph, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. This was all about fund-raising and getting people to cough up for Obama's re-election campaign. I ain't buying it. Obama's record on gay rights has been poor. He does not deserve to be re-elected.

    As for the guests, Anna Wintour? What the heck? She of the photo-shopping magaazine Vogue that treats women like objects to be altered? She's an insult to women in my view.

    Posted by: jason | Mar 15, 2012 8:04:55 AM

  2. @JASON
    You are a bite of a contrarian I get that but just the fact that gays and lesbian can attend openly is just great at least admit to that point!
    I hope if Obama gets reelected he will become even more enlighten this is a good step in that direction. My belief is that he has our backs...patience.

    Posted by: Vern Dufford | Mar 15, 2012 8:24:48 AM

  3. Anna Wintour was in the White House. Omg, I'm gonna vote for Romney now!

    Posted by: Ernie | Mar 15, 2012 8:26:28 AM

  4. Is Andrew looking a bit fat?

    Posted by: Jerry | Mar 15, 2012 8:39:03 AM

  5. The fact that this is just a normal state dinner and not a LGBT event, it is cool to see how many influential LGBT people were invited. I wonder if any of them thought to point out that David Cameron has evolved on same-sex marriage but Obama hasn't. (Just an observation, not a real knock on Obama - he's had my vote locked up since Day One. I just wish he wouldn't have to be prodded so much with LGBT rights)

    Posted by: KP | Mar 15, 2012 8:42:05 AM

  6. Obama hasn't done much for gay right? Huh??? Gee, I'm guessing the same people that utter this bullshite think Bush did a hell of a lot more or maybe Santorum would be our bread winner. WTF?

    Posted by: Michael | Mar 15, 2012 9:11:49 AM

  7. "Obama's record on gay rights has been poor."


    Posted by: jersey | Mar 15, 2012 9:16:29 AM

  8. I think Sullivan is a US citizen now, but it has made him no less insufferable.

    Posted by: Karl | Mar 15, 2012 9:21:28 AM

  9. How many LGBT folk do you think would be invited to a Santorum White House ? Yep. Zero.

    It'd likely be the same for a Romney White House. Also notable are the number of LGBT attendees who are members of the administration.

    Could Obama have done more for us ? Absolutely. But to say he has done nothing is just trolling. I suspect our LGBT service members would beg to disagree with you.

    Posted by: Alex | Mar 15, 2012 9:32:52 AM

  10. President Obama has been a true friend of the LGBT community. Anyone who thinks differently (@Jason) is not really thinking at all.

    OBAMA 2012!

    Posted by: John | Mar 15, 2012 9:41:35 AM

  11. While Conservatives in Britain are noticeably different than many American Conservatives, it's sad to see that David Cameron's public stance is more progressive and supportive of gay rights than Obama's.

    Obama is like SO many other politicians. You KNOW he supports gay marriage, but is a pu$$y and must bow down to political pressure and can't actually say that.

    Posted by: Artie | Mar 15, 2012 10:12:09 AM

  12. I have to agree with most of the comments. The President may not overdone all we would like (and to be fair, there is only so much the President can do without support in Congress) but he's gotten an amazing amount done for us. I personally don't think it is better to be Bill Clinton. Yes, he took a big public stand on a gay rights issue early on and proceeded to get his as handed to him, forcing him to enter into an unsatisfactory compromise (DADT) instead and causing him to use up all of his political capital on the issue, leaving him unable to pursue major gay rights initiatives for the next 7 years. He also got Newt and a highly conservative congress in the backlash.

    President Obama moves slowly and deliberately and calculates the political chances of success and failure--not just for himself, but for us--and has fought the battles he can win in his first term in a way and order that minimizes the kind of blowback that stops progress on gay rights issues. DADT was masterful and worked because we gave the military all the time to get used to the inevitability of the idea and then produced data that took away their excuses and gave cover to those who needed it. But gay activists screamed for more than a year that the study group and survey were just delaying tactics and proof Obama didn't care about us. They were proof that he did and that he understood how NOT to make the mistakes Bill Clinton did...and the result speaks for itself. Same with new anti-discrimination rules and the refusal to defend DOMA ... all strategically brilliant long-game strategies that also maximize his chance for reelection by those who don't agree. That is not cynical, it is to be applauded. Because if he doesn't get reelected we get President Romney or Santorum, most likely with one or two Republican houses of congress, and a right leaning Supreme Court with several old and sick liberal justices who would be replaced with right wingers by a Republican president. That should be the only priority of any interest group with more support from Obama and Democrats that Republicans: Get the President re-elected. (And speaking of interest groups...every single one complains Obama hasn't. Done enough and gives other groups more preference...some, like Hispanics seeking immigration reform, have much stronger cases than we do. A presidents world doesn't revolve around any group or interest, especially in times of war and financial crisis and, yes, re-election.)

    Posted by: LuckyLinden | Mar 15, 2012 10:15:44 AM

  13. Conservatives, who once defended Bush's positively abysmal record on gay rights and who now talk about Obama's record on gay rights being poor, are ridiculous. By every measure, big and small, the LGBT community has fared better under the current administration than any other in history.

    We have more political appointments than ever. Our community has great visibility, and we are a part of the policy discussion. And we have gotten incredible traction on our core issues. The repeal of DOMA at a time of war, at a time of economic upheaval and with a completely adversarial Congress was a masterful accomplishment, and it will have impacts that reverberate through our society for years to come. The repeal of the HIV travel ban and the passage of the Matthew Sheppard Act were also historic goals of LGBT advocates. It seems likely that remaining goals such as passage of ENDA and repeal of DOMA will be possible during a second Obama term...Whereas a Romney or Santorum presidency not only could endanger of our recent gains, mean many fewer or no appointments, but also could make a national anti-marriage-equality amendment a possibility again.

    Posted by: Guy from DC | Mar 15, 2012 10:16:41 AM

  14. I wonder if they sat all the people who came by themselves at the same table...

    Posted by: Rusty | Mar 15, 2012 10:24:36 AM

  15. Gays complaining about Liberals is like Anne Frank complaining about attics.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Mar 15, 2012 10:25:20 AM

  16. jason

    You do know Andrew Sullivan is a british citizen right?

    I think he has either gotten his dual citizenship by now or soon will....I'm feeling too lazy to google it

    The gay invites were not just to invite gay was a state dinner hosting the british PM so logic dictates british citizens (who just happen to be gay) like Andrew Sullivan should be invited. Though it doesn't hurt sullivan wrote an awesome piece about how crazy repubs like you are with obama derangement syndrome

    Posted by: say what | Mar 15, 2012 10:30:16 AM

  17. Cameron is interesting because he has transformed the UK's Conservative Party into a gay-supportive party, reversing the stance of the odious Margaret Thatcher. He has said that he is in support of marriage equality not despite the fact that he is a Conservative, but because he is a Conservative. Would that our stupid Republicans had the same good sense. Alas, they do not. In contrast, President Obama has finally become the fierce advocate he promised to be. I love Obama.

    Posted by: Jay | Mar 15, 2012 10:43:53 AM

  18. More people need to read the Art of War. What Obama has done is exactly what is needed to win another election, thus enabling him to make much more needed changes in policy.

    Obama 2012!

    Posted by: zeddy | Mar 15, 2012 12:09:34 PM

  19. FACT CHECK: First one must say that, yes, Obama must be reelected because the alternatives are terrible, not just for LGBT equality, but in every area that any Progressive American cares about. But point by point, an objective person can only say that Obama qualifies as "great" on LGBT rights in terms of rhetoric alone. In terms of action, the record is very mixed, even, at times, contradictory. The best example is not the two years his DOJ fought in the most homophobic terms to defend DOMA before deciding not to, but what too many think is an unequivocal accomplishment: DADT repeal. The "Party Line" is that he "fought for repeal" or, simply, "repealed" it, when the only unarguable facts are that Congress repealed it and he signed the bill.

    How much he "fought for repeal" is very debatable, with more evidence [versus undocumented assertion]—from people in Congress including Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Carl Levin and gay Rep. Barney Frank—that it wasn't that much. It is a LIKELY fact, however, that it wouldn't have happened had he not told the Pentagon that's what he wanted, thus, giving repeal advocates the argument that most military leaders backed it, too.

    AT THE SAME TIME, there is NO proof that it needed to take as long as it did, including shitcanning some 800 more gay troops along the way. Nor is there any proof that he had to betray his explicit promise to fight for the original repeal bill and back the Pentagon's demand that it be gutted of any mandate against gay discrimination IN the military leaving a ticking time tomb of when we hear, e.g., the first charges of gays being denied promotions by recalitrant homophobic commanders. Even now, the Pentagon is CHOOSING to refuse to extend to gay military couples benefits NOT banned by DOMA.

    Most ironic, as well as inexplicable and indefensible, is that the only reason a Santorum could bring back the ban is because [AFTER repeal was implemented] Obama let his DOJ succeed in overturning the Log Cabin ruling that such discrimination is unconstitutional.

    YES, reelect him. But following History's pattern, a Repug is likely to be reelected in 2016, so it's all the more important to hold his feet closer to the proverbial fire in the next four years.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Mar 15, 2012 1:09:19 PM

  20. I'm surprised there was enough room for all those egos.

    AS has been a US citizen for years.

    Posted by: anon | Mar 15, 2012 1:35:14 PM

  21. Unfortunately the noted couple Rick and KIWI were unable to attend due to domestic difficulties.

    Posted by: uffda | Mar 15, 2012 1:56:00 PM

  22. Andrew's husband.... Grrrrr.

    Posted by: Dr.Theopolis | Mar 15, 2012 2:32:05 PM

  23. at anon: andrew sullivan is not a u.s. citizen. he only recently received a green card once the 22-year-old ban on hiv-positive immigrants was lifted in 2010. thankfully, he now has the opportunity to become a naturalized citizen. fyi.

    Posted by: peter | Mar 15, 2012 3:52:09 PM

  24. Andrew's husband Aaron is HOT! Nothing personal Andrew, but, mismatch!

    Posted by: Jake | Mar 15, 2012 6:18:58 PM

  25. Am I the only one to question Andrew's poignant little feet? I feel so bad for them. They would like to have been shown in a bigger, more important light.

    Posted by: scotsyank | Mar 15, 2012 7:46:21 PM

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