Democratic LGBT fundraiser brings in almost $1 million

activism, lgbt, politics, video Add comments

Vice President Joe BidenDespite a boycott, protests over the recent DOMA brief and an overall lack of progress on LGBT issues, the 10th annual LGBT Leadership Council fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee raised nearly $1 million yesterday evening, up from the $750k brought in the previous year. While the protestors made their points outside, Vice President Joe Biden gave a speech inside. From the Advocate:

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.”

“More importantly , I want thank you for being a critical – critical – voice for keeping the nation focused on the unfinished business of true equality for all of our people; and I know, and this administration knows, that we have so much more to do,” he said. “I promise you, I promise you, with your help we’ll get there in this administration.”

Biden ticked off a list of priorities for the community, starting with receiving a standing ovation for saying with great gusto, “We will repeal the Defense of Marriage Act with your help!” He touched on “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the Domestic Partner Benefits and Obligations Act, employment nondiscrimination, the HIV travel ban and hate crimes.

“It all is for one purpose and that is, securing equality and dignity – equality and dignity – for all Americans,” Biden declared.

DNC Chairman Tim Kaine also spoke at the fundraiser, but was not so well-received.

“He didn’t really seem to recognize what it meant for the people who were in that room to show up,” said LGBT activist Peter Rosenstein, calling his speech “disappointing.”

Rosenstein said he did speak individually with Kaine about making sure that Congress doesn’t interfere with the District of Columbia’s right to determine whether same-sex marriages would be legal and recognized in the city.

“He said he would work with us on that,” Rosenstein said. “But he didn’t run down the litany of issues that the vice president did during his speech – it lacked a real commitment to showing what the DNC is going to do on our issues.”

Video of the protest below, courtesy of The Washington Blade.

Among those who boycotted the event: David Mixner, Richard Socarides, HRC’s Marty Rouse, GLAAD’s Mary Bonauto, Towleroad’s Andy Towle, Hilary Rosen and the Victory Fund’s Chuck Wolfe.

Post by ILO on 06/26/09 at 1:49 am