Politico reports that gay men are a key element of fundraising for President Obama's re-election campaign, since there are plenty of wealthy gay men who remain enthused by him where others are disaffected. So where are the lesbians?
The administration kept its promise to see Don't Ask, Don't Tell overturned, although there was initial concern among activists that they were dragging their feet. And now the Justice Department has declined to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, also a previous point of contention. Meanwhile, the usual wealthy standbys either find Obama too centrist, too tough on Benjamin Netanyahu, or two chilly, write Ben Smith and Maggie Haberman. They also say that "professional gay men, with a personal stake in politics and less likely to have children or college funds that would consume their disposable income, have long been key to Democratic fundraising." They note that "Obama's finance committee included one gay man in 2008; there are 15 this year, a source said."
Gay women also have a "personal stake" in issues like DADT and marriage equality; in fact, in 2008, women accounted for 34 percent of DADT discharges but were 14 percent of the military. The discharges also disproportionately affected people of color. But just about all of the men named in the piece are white, though Human Rights campaign spokesman Fred Sainz is a first-generation Cuban-American.
There are a handful of high-profile lesbian fundraisers, like Hilary Rosen, but political insiders don't see them as an organized bloc the way they do about gay men. One major factor has to be the concentration of wealth in American society. It's a myth that all gays are affluent, but are all of the affluent, politically involved gay people men?
We asked a few people who might know. So far, we've heard from the Human Rights Campaign's spokesperson, Michael Cole-Schwartz. "I wouldn't have read the Politico story the same way," he said. "I think the piece is generally using 'gay' to mean gay men and lesbians. There are plenty of generous lesbian donors to political campaigns – the president's included."
Gay Donors Fuel Obama's 2012 Campaign [Politico]