Reporting Peter Haskell
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – President Barack Obama’s “evolving” stance on gay marriage was headed for a high-profile test Thursday as he prepared for his first-ever fundraiser for gay donors just as New York lawmakers maneuvered toward a historic vote legalizing same-sex marriage.
The President spoke at the LGBT fundraiser at Sheraton on Seventh Avenue and West 53rd Street.
Despite the coincidence of timing and location that put Obama in New York just as lawmakers there weighed the top issue for gay activists and voters, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the president had no plans to change his stance on gay marriage to an outright embrace.
The issue remains a major sore spot for gay activists who’ve otherwise warmed to Obama since he repealed the ban on gays serving openly in the military and instructed the Justice Department to stop defending in court a federal law defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
WCBS 880′s Peter Haskell With Protest Outside The Speech
Saying he believed the Defense of Marriage Act was “wrong” and “unfair,” the president added his voice to the debate still raging in Albany over a bill allowing same-sex marriage.
“We’re going to keep on fighting until the law no longer treats committed partners who’ve been together for decades like they’re strangers,” Obama said to applause.
Obama also urged his supporters to recapture their enthusiasm from his 2008 campaign even though he said he’s “old news.”
Speaking to high-dollar donors Thursday night, Obama said he may not be the new, fresh candidate anymore, but his vision for the country is still the same as it was in 2008. Obama spoke at a fundraiser at the exclusive restaurant Daniel on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
The dinner fundraiser — which reportedly cost over $35,000 per person — is one of three money events Obama held in New York City on Thursday. Money raised goes to the Democratic National Committee and Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign.
The campaign is aiming to raise $60 million in the second quarter, which ends in June.
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