Democratic Donor Withholds Funds Over Immigration, ENDA

Prominent Democratic donor and AFER Board Member Jonathan Lewis is cutting off donations to the party over the exclusion of gay binational couples from the immigration reform bill, the Washington Blade reports:

LewisIn a statement provided to the Washington Blade on Tuesday, the Miami-based philanthropist said he’s turning off the tap for Democrats and urging others to do the same over the immigration issue and President Obama’s reluctance to issue an executive order barring LGBT workplace discrimination.

“During the immigration reform debate Senate Democrats had the opportunity to reverse some of the harm caused by DOMA and they buckled under pressure, essentially taking LGBT families for granted,” Lewis said. “With the president failing to deliver on his promised federal contractor executive order and with Senate Democrats caving to Republican threats, now is the time to stop investing in Democratic cowardice and stand proud by withholding donations until we see our friends’ actions and deeds align with their rhetoric — I will be withholding my donation and asking all of my friends and family members to do the same until such time.”

Lewis accompanied his annnouncement with a blog post called No More Excuses, Mr. President in which he expresses frustration over Obama's unfulfilled LGBT promises.

Writes Lewis:

Last week we saw Democratic senators cave to the threats of Republicans rather than stand up for LGBT bi-national couples on immigration reform. And almost five years into his administration, President Obama still refuses to take the single most effective step he can take to ensure equality of opportunity for millions of LGBT Americans: signing a promised executive order that would require federal contractors to add sexual orientation and gender identity to their existing nondiscrimination policies.

…We've done our part — over and over and over. Now we need to see concrete steps from the president and Democrats in Congress to address these issues. And we won't accept any more excuses.

The DNC LGBT Leadership Council is holding a major fundraiser tonight in New York City, headlined by recently-out basketball player Jason Collins and Michelle Obama and hsoted by Andy Cohen, asking donors for at least $1,250 and up to $32,400 per person.