Gay Lobbyists And Donors Pack Bags For Top-Secret Pow-Wow In DC

The first robin of spring brings something extra this year: Lobbyists and activists gearing up in earnest for the November elections.

According to the Washington Post, hundreds of top LGBT Democratic Party donors are heading to Washington, D.C., in late April, “to plan strategies and marshal financial commitments for state and federal elections around the country.”

Details about the conference, organized by the Gill Fund, are still sketchy—intentionally so, it would seem, to protect attendees “from unwanted scrutiny or attacks from opponents.”

Gays and lesbians are a key fundraising demographic for President Obama, who has seen other sources prove less bountiful. Though many in the LGBT community feel frustrated with the President’s continuing “evolution” on gay marriage, they appreciate his work on DADT and DOMA—and realize an almost-there Obama is a far better option than a miles-away Romney or Santorum:

A growing number of the top “bundlers”—volunteers who gather checks from friends and business associates — to President Obama are gay men or women, a constituency Mr. Obama has avidly courted in recent months as he seeks to find new sources of large donations to finance his re-election campaign. A “super PAC” supporting Mr. Obama, Priorities USA Action, is also avidly courting gay donors, as traditional sources of large checks, including Wall Street, prove more resistant to appeals.

Anyone going to this clandestine confab? Let us know in the comments!

Photos: Marc Geller, David Iliff


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  • jason

    I certainly won’t be going to this confab of useful idiots. The sad thing is that these gay twits don’t realize that we in the rank and file have completely turned off Obama. These gay twits have become ivory-tower dwellers who think they represent ordinary gay men and women when they actually don’t.

    All I can say to these gay twits is this: you’re in for a rude shock when you find out that most of us intend to vote Republican.

  • Kurt

    I’m voting for the President and all evidence is that most LGBT Americans will as well.

  • Jim Hlavac

    Obama is certainly not “Almost there.” He was pulled and pushed into the repeal of DADT by a GOProud lawsuit that already declared DADT dead. Meanwhile he comports with the not-so-gay friendly Al Sharpton and many in the African-American churches, which are very anti-gay.He’s a follower, not a leader. He’s also bankrupting the nation — the accumulated debt of the nation at the beginning of his term was $10 Trillion. In three years he’s added $5 trillion more. His proposed budgets for the next 10 years will add nearly $15 trillion more in debt. As any gay man out for the evening with $100 bucks in his pocket knows, you can’t spend $200 and make it through the rest of the month. It’s impossible to keep spending more than you take in — it’s called “bankrupt.”

    And if the Democrats gave a damn they could have simply repealed DOMA with a simple up or down vote when they had veto-proof majorities — they did not. Instead, they waited until they had no chance of passage, and then of a sudden were “maybe we’ll include it in the platform” — which they will not.

    Meanwhile, gay folks have nothing to fear from the blather of Santorum, and the “Evolving” Romney. Mr. Santorum lives in a fantasy world. His plans to rid us from the nation are doomed to failure. We’re not going anywhere, and the nation is not going to tolerate his efforts to round us all up and incarcerate us all.

    And strategically, gay-wise, it’s far better to have a virulently anti-gay president, to showcase the utter stupidity of it all, then to have some waffling “wait and see which way the winds are blowing” “evolution.”

    Romney will blather a bit on the hustings, then as president simply ignore the issue and let the courts decide. Just like he did in Massachusetts, which was the first state with gay marriage, after all, while he was governor.

    But if the inflation rate spikes upwards beyond the 6% it is, if the nation goes bankrupt, then gay marriage ain’t going to make a difference anyway — we’ll have far bigger problems to worry about.

  • Ted Baldwin

    The real reason for the secrecy is that the DNC, the WitecHouse, and Barry are ashamed that they have to turn to the gay voter for help when all of their other bid donors have cooled off. They also do not want middle America thinking they are pro-gay by openly welcoming gays, since it looks like there is yet apparently anti gay traction left for this election. This is also why the did NOT pass our legislation when they had control. As long as we are worried about rights, we will spend whatever we have to to get them, and they could not afford to lose the gay money. Gay people are being abused by democrats for financial gain.

  • WillBFair

    Cough it up, you Marys. And you’re smart to keep quiet about it. We don’t want to make a big production during the campaign, when a gay whisper could push the brainless millions to vote republican.

  • So much BS from both sides

    Nobody’s voting Republican, unless they’re idiots.

    And the Democrats’ reticence to do what’s right simply makes my vote for Gary Johnson and other Libertarians that much easier in November.

    Want my vote, Barry? Earn it.

  • doug105

    @jason: I would remind you that the front two Republicans
    signed NOM’s pledge but trying to reason with you looks pointless.

  • Ted B. (Charging Rhino)

    The “almost-evolved” Obama money-machine isn’t going to change. The President’s position is very-carefully calibrated to cynically-shake the GLT ATM “money tree” again and again with the “promise” of further evolution ….IF… enough money is contributed. SSM and ENDA are perpetual-annuities for the DNC and the Democrats on the Hill, why kill the gay-goose that lays the golden eggs? Salvation is always, “…just-around-the-corner, we just need YOUR money”.

  • Bob M

    I wonder if any of the authors of the comments so far has done anything beyond complain over the past 3+ years; did you even vote in 2008? Work with any campaign? Meet with any of your Members of Congress? Contribute time or money to any of the marriage equality efforts in states where we have gotten marriage rights? I would guess not. The 1% LGBT people could spend their time jetsetting around the world and shopping instead of being engaged in a campaign to do good for the community. You think holding on to marriage equality in WA and Maryland is going to be cheap and easy? Bet none of you would even be willing to give up a night of drinking and partying to support a campaign somewhere in the country. And no, I’m not invited to the comfab in April. I’m retired on disability, but I do volunteer my time to make a difference. How many of you and your friends engage in anything beyond complaining on blogs?

  • Darrell

    @Jim Hlavac: The lawsuit was filed by the Log Cabin Republicans, which are 1000x more reasonable than stupid-ass GOProud. You’d be surprised how many people in America would not only tolerate Santorum, but actively support. People should not underestimate him or anyone for that matter, that’s one of the worst mistakes we can make. I will definitely be voting for Obama.

  • Jim

    @jason: Your usage of the word “idiot” may be more personal reflection/projection than observation since you don’t know anyone going.

    I have been an attendee and will attend again this year. The conference is centered around advancing equality at the states, very little discussion about federal politics occurs (though it seems some will be inevitable). Tim Gill, the organizer, is perhaps the most strategic mind we have in the movement. He’s pumped more money, both philanthropically and politically than any other LGBT individual. His work with Republicans in New York and the network of donors attending this conference are the reason why marriage is in place here.

    While I agree Obama’s stance on marriage is less than ideal. You need to look at the makeup of the Supreme Court. Ginsberg is sick, Breyer and Kennedy are old. Having a republican president appoint those more progressive seats to tilt right would be devastating. It would ensure the Prop 8 case would fail and LGBT rights would be set back decades.

    Jason, you come across a bit self hating. Think about the bigger picture. Politics and politicians are not perfect.

  • I'll Be Attending

    Ummm….your link points to the NY Times, not the Washington Post. And that error pretty much sums up the “accuracy” of this post & many of the comments.

  • LittIe,Kiwi

    the cowardice in here is typical from Gay Republicans.

    of course they hate Obama. He’s done more for LGBT people, and will continue to do more, than their own white Christian Republican family ever has, or will do.

    it’s really hard to gay conservatives to accept. that a liberal black man fights more strongly for them than their own white conservative parents.

    it’s no secret that Gay Republicans are the most pathetic wimps in America.

  • J Stratford

    If Ron Paul is the nominee, I will vote Republican. He is more pro-gay rights than Obama. Otherwise, I think will sit this one out.

  • mudgeboy

    Obama has done a great job as president and he has done more to further gay rights than any previous president, including Clinton, who passed DOMA and DADT. Gays can now serve openly in the military, a huge break through. We have to realize that many people hate us, for many different reasons: because we’re different, because they want to compensate for their own deficiencies, because they want to hide their own sexuality, and on and on. Many Queerty readers, I believe, fit into these “hate” categories and many of them are vocal on these forums – spreading their hate for Obama and LGBT rights. I grew up in a time when it was illegal to be gay, and I fully appreciate a president who has consistently stuck his neck out to recognize gay people. He has my vote and my full cooperation in an effort to help him get re-elected. Romney’s policies are as fickle as the current constituency and Santorum hates gay people, for whatever reason. The fact is that many of the PSAs about “It gets better” are negated when people like Santorum, or some religious leader, spew hatred for gay people on public television and on local news stations! I can’t imagine any self respecting gay person endorsing these opportunistic politicians or religious leaders, yet they do…

  • Zack

    Why on earth would I support a homophobe like Obama? A black kid gets shot in Florida and he makes a statement that “if he had a son he would be just like Trayvon”. Has he ever shown an ounce of compassion for gay kids bullied, killed, or those that attempt suicide? I’d rather vote Republican, at least I will pay less taxes.

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