National Stonewall Democrats Closes DC Offices, Go On “Hiatus”

800px-1325_Massachusetts_Avenue,_N.W.The National Stonewall Democrats (NSD), a federation of local LGBT Democratic clubs, has closed it’s Washington, DC, offices and gone on an indefinite “hiatus.”

While regional chapters will continue to function independently, The Dallas Voice reports the headquarters ceased operations on New Year’s Day

Heading into 2013, NSD was $30,000 in the red. Jeramie Davis,  director since 2011, inherited the group’s debt.

“We’ve never raised enough money out of dues alone to keep the organization going,” he said.

Most memberships come from the local Stonewall organizations. When a member pays dues to the local group, $10 is passed along to national. Davis said some groups are not passing along membership money.

Ironically, as NSD close their door, at least temporarily, the Log Cabin Republicans have taken big leaps—even taking out a full-page ad in the New York Times. But Davis says homophobia in the GOP is part of the problem: “The Republican Party has made it so easy for LGBT people to not be Republican, we’re not seen as important,” he says.

A plea for donations was made in December, but many members were tapped out from campaign season. Because it is a political group, not a charity, the Stonewall Democrats are not eligible for tax-exempt status.

Davis, who will stay on as an unpaid volunteer, hopes to relaunch the national group in 2014.

The National Stonewall Democrats was founded by Rep. Barney Frank in 1998 to unite LGBT Democratic clubs across the U.S. after the disbanding of the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Democratic Clubs in 1987.

With 90 chapters nationwide, NSD describes itself as “a grassroots force” that addresses a variety of issues affecting the LGBT community.