Actually, CNN’s headline was Gay Donors Back Obama Big Time. I love it that the vernacular we used as teens (that our parents would correct us about) is now a part of mainstream journalism…
But that’s beside the point! It’s not a shocker that after our President and VP publicly announced their support of same-sex marriage and struck down Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, that LGBT activists like Ellen DeGeneres and Neil Patrick Harris would publicly endorse their candidacy. Things have really changed in the last four years.
According to CNN:
A CNN analysis of President Obama’s biggest fundraisers, known as bundlers, shows that at least 33 — or about one in every 16 bundlers — is openly gay. Together, they have raised at least $8 million for the campaign between January and the end of March.
How did they come upon these numbers?
In CNN’s analysis, only bundlers who have disclosed their orientation in past CNN reporting or in trusted LGBT publications were counted as gay. The Washington Post has reported that as many as one in six bundlers supporting Obama are gay. The Advocate Magazine estimates one in five.
So wait, what’s a “bundler”?
As always, thank God for Wikipedia:
One consequence of the limitation upon personal contributions from any one individual is that campaigns seek out “bundlers”—people who can gather contributions from many individuals in an organization or community and present the sum to the campaign. Campaigns often recognize these bundlers with honorary titles and, in some cases, exclusive events featuring the candidate.
Okay so that makes sense. You can see why things like sexual orientation of a bundler give an indication of the general trends in campaign-backing.
So how much did the DADT and same-sex marriage positions affect the number of LGBT voters who are backing President Obama?
CNN offers a lot of examples, but these two sort of sum it up:
Actor Alan Cumming wrote in 2010, “We keep hearing that Obama is an ally, that DADT [the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy that kept LGBT people from openly serving in the military] will end under his watch, but what do we actually get? Diddly squat.”
Dustin Lance Black, who won a best screenplay Oscar for “Milk,” a movie biography of the gay San Francisco politician Harvey Milk who was gunned down because of his sexual orientation, said last year that he had been an Obama supporter before but might sit out the upcoming election. When President Obama finally signed the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and “evolved” in his position on marriage by saying he was in favor of it for the LGBT community, both Black and Cumming did more than just say they supported the president. They donated money. They also encouraged others to do the same.
What do you think? Should the Obama/Biden ticket receive endorsements from the LGBT community based upon a single issue (or single set of issues)?
What happens if you’re a member of the LGBT community and also a fiscal conservative?