Despite Protests, DNC's LGBT Fundraiser Yields Record $1M
Although protesters outside Washington DC's Mandarin Oriental shouted, "Shame, shame!" and "Don't go in!" last night's DNC fundraiser netted $1M in donations.
A long list of LGBT activists had also registered their discontent by simply declining to attend the dinner: activist David Mixner, former Clinton advisor Richard Socarides, millionaire Bruce Bastian, prominent Obama supporter Stampp Corbin, blogger Andy Towle, and the entire board of the Stonewall Democrats. Despite the controversy, about 180 people showed up to hear Vice President Joe Biden speak for a price tag of $1,000 to $30,400 per plate. The event brought in nearly $1 million, up from about $750,000 last year, according to a Democratic Party source.(Via Kerry Eleveld @ The Advocate, Photo Credit: Bullneck @ Flickr)
But the scene was not one of total discord between inside and outside. Some DNC staffers working the event were also wearing red, white, and blue “265” buttons as a reminder of the number of gay and lesbian service members who have been discharged from the military since President Barack Obama took office. When Vice President Joe Biden took the stage, he told the crowd that he had specifically asked to speak at the event and that his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, had also requested to address a Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network event earlier this month. “I am not unaware of the controversies swirling around this dinner,” Biden said, “swirling around the speed -- or lack thereof -- that we’re moving on issues that are of great importance to you and, quite frankly, to me and to the President and to millions of Americans.”