UPDATE: President Obama told Wednesday night a group of 600 gay and lesbian donors that he “could not be prouder” to advance LGBT rights.
Since President Obama mustered the courage to become the first American president unequivocally voicing support for LGBT rights, he might as well ripe the benefits of having the support of this constituency.
And that’s exactly what the president intends to do as he heads to the West Coast for a two-day, three-city fundraising tour, which includes a stop at the LGBT Leadership Council Gala in Beverly Hills, with speeches by talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and entertainment by "Glee" star Darren Criss.
Obama was declared “the first gay president” in a controversial Newsweek magazine cover, following his open support for marriage equality in early May, and his promise to push for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) days after. Back in 2011, the administration had announced it would stop defending the Clinto-era law in court as it thought it was “unconstitutional.”
The president is also credited with ending the “Don’t Ask, Don’ Tell” (DADT) policy which barred gay members from serving openly in the United States military, a repeal advocated for by singer, songwriter and gay icon Lady Gaga, a wild VP card for president Obama in 2012 were he to drop Joe Biden and embrace Newsweek’s moniker in an October surprise.
Obama and Gaga met back in 2011, at a Washington D.C. Human Rights Foundation gala, in what the president described as “little intimidating” meeting.
In the meantime, the president keeps taping on the LGBT community fudraising might as the Beverly Hills event comes after two San Francisco fundraisers, and an April one by Florida’s LGBT Leadership Council that raised $125,000. Obama also stopped in New York City back in May where he collected an estimated $1 million at an event co-hosted by openly gay singer Ricky Martin.