Thursday, June 18, 2009


Maybe now people will pay attention!

Gay Dems complain DNC cut off funding, drop support for Biden event

Theboard of directors of the National Stonewall Democrats are dropping their support for a June 25 DNC fundraiser with Vice President Joe Biden over, they wrote in an email obtained by POLITICO, a combination of policy slights and the claim that they've been cut off from traditional party funding.

In the email to Tom Petrillo, who runs the party's substantial gay fundraising operation, the board members write:

[W]e are incredibly disappointed that the DNC has made a decision to withhold any financial support to National Stonewall Democrats this year but is in turn asking us to help raise money for the DNC in a difficult financial environment. The DNC has historically supported National Stonewall through sponsorship of the annual Capitol Champions event. This year, we did not receive any support. The DNC has traditionally provided materials for the many Pride parades and festivals around the country to help educate the LGBT community about why the Democratic Party is the Party for full LGBT equality. This year we were informed that we would not be receiving any materials or support for producing materials for the various nationwide Pride activities. These decisions were very disappointing.

We'd be remiss to also not mention that the recent legal brief of the Obama Administration defending DOMA is incredibly hurtful. The members of the Board and our membership put our hopes, our dollars and our time into ensuring the election of Barack Obama because we believed that he supported us. To now have his Administration refer to our relationships in the same terms used by our long time enemies such as Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and James Dobson hurts on so many levels. To have our committed and loving relationships referred to as the moral equivalent of incest and pedophilia is not something that any of us ever expected from this Administration considering how hard we worked to be seen and respected. For that reason alone, advocating for attendance at a fundraiser to support the Administration and the DNC, while they have not condemned this hurtful language, is not something our membership will receive positively.

The group says it's not "boycotting" the June 25 fundraiser with Joe Biden; it just won't encourage its members to attend.

Gay money is, historically, of outsized importance to the Democratic Party. Howard Dean, in particular, launched his presidential campaign in part on enthusiasm from gay donors about his support for civil unions, and maintained those relationships as chairman.

UPDATE: A source forwards over Petrillo's conciliatory response to Stonewall's Shane Larson:

While the DNC was unable to help with Pride materials this year, I did, in a recent conversation with Kyle Bailey, express that the DNC would be able to sponsor a project with Stonewall this year. He mentioned a Young Democrat guide that Stonewall is working on and I asked for him to send a proposal for possible assistance with funding. I am sorry if that was not communicated.

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