Here’s something else Obama accomplished with his announcement yesterday: He has basically wiped away whatever tensions existed between him and the gay fundraising community over a range of issues, of which marriage is only one.
The other day I reported here that some angry gay donors were witholding funds from the Obama effort because of the President’s failure to pass the executive order barring same sex discrimination by federal contractors.
The effort to get Obama to reverse course on the executive order was led by Jonathan Lewis, the major gay philanthropist and fundraiser, whose office told me that in some cases, big donations were being held.
But now the money is decidedly flowing again. Lewis’s office sends over this statement from him, which notes that Lewis will still push for the executive order, but that he’s now fully behind Obama’s reelection:
Yesterday, President Obama made history as did LGBT activists who were unrelenting in their advocacy for full-equality.
The President’s moral courage gives LGBT people and their loved ones a remarkable and new spirit of support and confidence, yet there is still much work to be done to provide real legal equality for LGBT Americans — including workplace protections.
Today, I am as proud to stand with President Obama to ensure his re-election as I am to stand with the determined LGBT advocates who will continue their campaign to inspire the President to sign the Executive Order protecting LGBT Americans in the workplace.
During every successful social justice and civil rights battle in American history, progress is made when we celebrate our gains while continuing our push to fully realize the promise of America.
A source familiar with the situation tells me that Lewis maxed out to the Obama campaign within hours of his announcement yesterday. And Lewis is also soliciting funds from many of his colleagues and family.
The thaw with major gay donors and fundraisers is significant. About one in six of Obama’s top bundlers is gay, according to a recent Post analysis. Obama’s announcement yesterday will likely make it signficantly easier for gay bundlers to pull in money from wealthy colleagues in the gay community, not to mention wealthy progressives.
The push for Obama to also move on the executive order will continue, but Obama has bought himself an untold amount of good will and breathing room from this important fundraising constituency. Given that conservative groups are set to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on ads this campaign, and given that the task of waging the air war with those groups will fall largely to the Obama campaign, this is no small thing — another area where Obama’s announcement could have far reaching consequences to his reelection.