Angry Gay Democrats Pull Support For DNC

(CBS/AP)
The Obama administration's decision to file a controversial brief on behalf of the Defense Of Marriage Act appears to have been the last straw for many gay and lesbians who were once enthusiastic supporters of the administration as well as the Democratic party.

Politico reports that the National Stonewall Democrats is the latest group to pull out of a June 25 Democratic National Committee fundraiser because of the Obama administration's defense of DOMA and lack of action on gay issues.

The group said is "incredibly disappointed" in the party for a variety of reasons, including a perceived lack of 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," National Stonewall wrote in an e-mail, according to Politico. "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."

The e-mail also cited the DOMA brief as a reason to pull out of the fundraiser.

"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," National Stonewall wrote.

The government's pro-DOMA stance has already prompted many other high profile gay rights supporters to boycott the fundraiser.

Among them, as Newsweek reported Wednesday, is Vermont Senate President Peter Shumlin. As an early Obama supporter and leader of the marriage equality bill in Vermont, Shumlin was expected to be an honored guest at the event.

"I am shocked and disappointed at the level of insensitivity that the Department of Justice has shown towards gay and lesbian couples and their families," Shumlin said in an e-mail to Newsweek. "My disappointment in this has led me to the regrettable decision not to be a participant in the DNC event."

Shumlin also said he believes that the Department of Justice and the government's action will not only alienate the LGBT community but perpetuate stereotypes and discrimination as well. He expressed hope that Mr. Obama will "actively support" marriage equality.

The recipient of the National Stonewall Democrats' e-mail, the DNC's Tom Petrillo, responded with a short statement encouraging a continued relationship between the two groups. Petrillo pointed to the fact that the DNC plans to support a Stonewall activity later this year.
  • Prerana Swami

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