Few details are released and the guest list is not announced, but the White House confirms earlier reports the Administration will host an end-of-month reception for power gays, described to the New York Times as a "celebration akin ... to St. Patrick’s Day or Cinco de Mayo."
As advocates for gays and lesbians intensify their criticism of the White House, President Obama has invited some of their leaders to an East Room reception next Monday to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, the 1969 Greenwich Village demonstrations that gave birth to the modern gay rights movement.
The White House has not publicized the reception, and officials did not respond to e-mail requests for comment. But gay leaders from here and around the country said they had received either telephone calls from the White House or written invitations to the event, and were told Mr. Obama is expected to speak.
Some said it would take more than a reception to change their view that Mr. Obama has not been aggressive enough in pursuing gay rights. ... Whether Mr. Obama will address the complaints at Monday’s reception is unclear. One person who received the invitation said the White House was billing the event as a celebration, akin to the festive affairs the administration holds on St. Patrick’s Day or Cinco de Mayo. Another said the invitation included an offer to bring a guest. “They want people to understand that their partners are welcome,’’ said this person.
White House spokesman Shin Inouye says the event has been "long planned" and is an opportunity "to recognize the accomplishments of LGBT Americans."
In related news: John Aravosis at AMERICAblog reports the White House Deputy Chief of Staff and political director held a conference call earlier today with the "dozen or so" members of the Democratic National Committee's gay caucus. "Judging by the report I got from someone who was on the call, things went pretty much how the White House wanted them to go. 'What a waste of time. They took 3 questions, two of which were uncritical.'
The conference call was scheduled to respond to the growing unrest over the Justice Department's incendiary motion to dismiss a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, and, a highly-publicized boycott of this week's gay Democratic fundraiser.