Following hot on the heels of last week’s controversial Democratic National Committee fundraiser, President Obama tried to smooth ruffled feathers over his administration’s support for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) at a White House reception marking the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riot. Several prominent LGBT and Ally leaders, including former DNC Chair Gov. Howard Dean, boycotted the fundraiser to protest a brief issued by the Justice Department supporting DOMA.
I’ve called on Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act to help end discrimination against same-sex couples in this country. Now, I want to add we have a duty to uphold existing law, but I believe we must do so in a way that does not exacerbate old divides. And fulfilling this duty in upholding the law in no way lessens my commitment to reversing this law. I’ve made that clear.
The fundraiser reportedly netted $1 million, according to DNC officials, but Pam at Pam’s House Blend quotes an unnamed source that it only garnered $250,000 in donations, if they’re “lucky” lucky.
Elsewhere in his speech, Obama promised action on some major LGBT legislative agenda items – the Employee Non-discrimination Act, a comprehensive hate crimes bill, and a repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. Towleroad has the full guest list here.