Same-sex marriage move may help Obama raise cash

(CBS News) WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama flew to the West Coast Thursday for three campaign fundraisers. The trip comes a day after he said he favors same sex-marriage. CBS News White House correspondent Norah O'Donnell explains what effect that will have on the campaign.

Mr. Obama said his decision to embrace same-sex marriage may hurt him in some important swing states, but CBS News has learned it has helped him rake in a lot of campaign cash.

The audacity of evolution on same-sex marriage
First openly gay member of Congress, "pleased" with Obama
Obama set for George Clooney fundraiser tonight

His campaign won't say how much because they're afraid it makes the president's decision look too political.

Chad Griffin is the incoming president of the Human Rights Campaign, the main lobbying group for the gay and lesbian community.

"It further energized an already enthusiastic base and I expect now you're going to see fundraisers sell out earlier and certainly people that were withholding their support will come out for the president," said Griffin.

He has already raised more than $300,000 for Obama's re-election campaign.

"I immediately sent out an email to my friends and colleagues across the country, encouraging them to now do more," he said. "To now support this president even more and to reach further than they had already gone to support him."

In fact, just hours after Mr. Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage, he released a new video drawing a contrast with Republican rival Mitt Romney.

Obama's finance director, Rufus Gifford, who is openly gay, sent out an email to campaign supporters saying, "I am just so happy ... This is a great time to make a donation to the campaign."

CBS has learned the president had planned to make his announcement public next Monday one day before an important gay and lesbian fundraiser with singer Ricky Martin in New York and then another fundraiser on June 6 in Los Angeles with rock star Pink.

"I expect now you're going to see some of these events selling out more quickly, you certainly see some people that were withholding funds now jumping on in full force supporting this President," Griffin said.

CBS News has learned that Vice President Biden went into the Oval Office Wednesday, prior to the president's announcement and apologized. The president said he knew Biden's comments came from the heart.

Comments