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Two More Boycotting DNC Fundraiser

Jim Burroway

June 18th, 2009

Two more LGBT advocates have announced that they will be skipping the Democratic Party fundraiser in protest of the Justice Department’s brief defending the “Defense of Marriage Act.” The first yesterday to pull out was Bruce Bastion, a Utah businessman and a major DNC donor. He announced that not only would he not attend next week’s fundraiser, but he won’t be donating anymore to the DNC as a whole:

“I will continue to support certain congressmen, congresswomen and senators whom I believe will continue to fight for our rights, but I don’t think blanket donations to the Democratic Party right now are justified, at least not in my book,” he said. Bastian, a major donor to many LGBT groups, said he sent an e-mail to the DNC on Wednesday saying he wouldn’t attend the event “because of the remarks on DOMA.” He found the filing “very offensive.”

That was followed by another announcement earlier this morning that Vermont Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin has also decided to forgo the fundraiser:

“One thing I have learned dealing with marriage equality in Vermont is that we all have a responsibility to stand up for the civil rights of all Americans,” Shumlin said Wednesday.

“This memo from the Justice Department is more Bush than Bush,” he added. “It takes the only minority group left in America that national politicians can publicly discriminate against and still see their numbers go up in the polls and it reinforces the horrible stereotypes about our friends and neighbors.”

…As an early and strong supporter of Barack Obama 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 wrote to [DNC Treasurer Andrew] Tobias.

This brings to seven the number of advocates who have announced they are pulling out of the fundraiser. The others are political strategist David Mixer, blogger Andy Towle, Executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda Alan Van Capelle, former Clinton administration aide Richard Socarides, and HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse.



June 18th, 2009 | LINK

FYI, Americablog is reporting that Rea Carey from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has also pulled out, and Corey Johnson, the high school football player who came out to his team while still in school in the 90s, and who now works with Andy Towle, is also reportedly not going (although that information is through Towle).

Lindoro Almaviva
June 18th, 2009 | LINK

what about Solmonese? What about the rank and file in the HRC? How much longer will they behave like Obama’s bitches?

Scott Spiegel
June 18th, 2009 | LINK

Good for them–I hope even more bow out. The Democratic Party, and most Democratic politicians, are useless on gay issues.

Scott (“L.A. Times: Schwarzenegger Decides Against Defending Prop. 8 in Federal Court”)

June 18th, 2009 | LINK

Good for Bruce Bastian. I just hope this makes some sort of a ripple within the DNC. To give a million of his bucks to try to defeat Proposition 8 in California and who knows how much to the DNC. It’s like losing in gambling. There’s only so much you can afford to lose.

Mike Airhart
June 18th, 2009 | LINK

The Democrats may have made a calculation that they stand to gain far more from antigay churches (especially African-American and Latino churches) than they stood to gain from wealthy gay donors.

None of this should be surprising, I suppose, in hindsight: Obama had previously promised to expand federal taxpayer handouts to antigay churches through Bush’s faith-based initiative program. Despite pleas from some in Congress, Obama has done little or nothing to rein in abuses of those funds to promote vigilantism in the United States and abroad.

I hope that gay folks don’t stop at the mere withholding of donations: If Obama intends to take away our rights as Americans, to promote discrimination, taxation, and exclusion against gays while granting special rights and runaway federal spending for others, then his agenda must be stopped.

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