President Obama Speaks At LGBT Fundraiser As NY Weighs Same-Sex Marriage

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The issue remains a major sore spot for gay activists who’ve otherwise warmed to Obama since he repealed the ban on gays serving openly in the military and instructed the Justice Department to stop defending in court a federal law defining marriage as between a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.

SOUND-OFF: Share Your Thoughts On The President’s Remarks In The Comments Section Below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More from Peter Haskell
  • TomNJ

    Just give them what they want so they can stop throwing hissy fits and we can get on with bigger issues. Geez!

    • littlestar

      Appizement !

  • LoreleiP

    @KPMc: mad at you? A bit. But, it comes down to being more sorry for you. You’re promoting “Seperate and not Equal” legislation, even after that sad and typical story you just related about “friends” of yours. It’s about you magnanimously giving us our own drinking fountains, our own bathrooms, which all is SEPERATE and NOT EQUAL.

  • Dale Auburn

    All of us have heard the religious reasons for not allowing gay marriage, and those reasons are fine for churches. However, the State Legislature is part of Government, so I’m still waiting for somebody to present a legitimate GOVERNMENTAL reason.

    The challenge is really very simple. All one has to do is identify…

    – the SPECIFIC ways in which gay marriage increases Government’s costs;

    – the SPECIFIC ways in which gay marriage reduces Government’s revenues (especially with all those additional people paying “marriage penalties” in their taxes);

    – the SPECIFIC ways in which gay marriage impedes governmental administration;

    – a SPECIFIC heterosexual couple whose marriage has suffered SPECIFIC damage caused by a SPECIFIC gay couple getting married. (Please provide names, locations, court docket numbers, and links to media coverage.)

    Any takers?

  • KPMc

    Lets let the FBI look for him… starting in your house. Reported!

    • KPMc

      Well that was quick. Good to see CBS can monitor this forum quickly, at least when the threat of a federal investigation looms over your head. Now how about blocking the IP addresses of the trolls that impersonate others and write vile, hateful, vulgar nonsense and threats?

      • nathan

        KP – it WAS quick because I wrote them and threatened to take that post to the authorities. Threats against public officials apparently made them take me seriously. They still refuse to block his IP which is odd – its common practice in cases like these.

  • Wilhelm Klink

    I see no reason why gays shouldn’t be allowed to get married. They have every right to be as miserable as straight people.

  • No to marriage equality

    No to marriage equality. Yes to civil union. THAT’S ALL YOU CAN GET…
    MARRIAGE IS BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN. If you are gay (which I respect), therefore you should be able to sign a contract, civil union, to protect each other. One of my best friend was gay, he had been living with his long time parter for over 20 yrs. At 50 he passed away of a massive heart attached. I cannot tell you how much his parter (another sweetheart), suffered no only emotionally but also financially. Everything they have TOGETHER worked for was claimed by my friend’s family. Not fair for the remaining party. They should also have the right for some kind of social security benefits, or something. BUT NEVER CONSIDER IT MARRIAGE. Sorry, this is my honest opinion and I hope I don’t make any gay person mad at this comment. I respect your rights, but you also have to respect mine. .

    • No to gay marriage - sorry about the spelling / typo errors

      I am sorry for the spelling mistakes I should have written attack instead of attached….. and also partner, instead of parter

    • KPMc

      How does someone else calling their relationship a marriage affect your rights? How does it affect you at all besides make you uncomfortable due to your upbringing?

      Seriously… tell me how YOUR rights are infringed and maybe I will reconsider my stance but for someone that seems to understand the need for this legislation you are seriously missing the point if you think you will be affected in some negative way.

      The state does not sanctify any relationship or condone it in any spiritual or religious sense. All the state can do is issue, enforce and later break (divorce) a contract.

    • Dale Auburn

      Yes, but your story doesn’t mention the SPECIFIC way in which a SPECIFIC married gay couple has caused SPECIFIC financial harm to YOUR marriage.

      Oh, and please be SPECIFIC – names, dates, locations, court docket numbers.

  • guillen rodriguez padilla

    Thank You CBS

  • pugphan

    Mat: 19: 3-12 Some aren’t meant to marry, they’re born that way. smokersodysseycom

    • KPMc

      Oh… you mean that passage that refers to eunuchs? I’m pretty sure there aren’t too many of those anymore and I think we as a civilized society stopped castrating human beings so they can serve as slaves quite a long time ago.

      I’m not so sure about other societies that follow sharia law or the like but if that’s your preference I’m sure you can find another country that follows the words of scripture and have no problem stoning, enslaving and generally violating every human right imaginable.

      Try Iran… there president says they don’t have any gay people.. that it is just a western anomaly.

      Have fun.

      • littlestar

        Hey KFc….. Not to get off the subject….you mrntioned Iran…. truly don’t you think that this nation has a fundamental right to nuclear equality…. I mean nuclear weapons…. to defend her self …. as she sees fit ?

    • KPMc

      According to the New International Version…

      Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

      But if you go the line Pug starts its very interesting….

      3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

      4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

      7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

      8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

      So… according to your Scripture divorce and re-marry is adultery. How come I don’t hear the bible thumpers shouting to ban the true perversion of the historical/religious meaning of marriage? The one that truly destroys marriage and families? DIVORCE!

      I love when ignorant bigots try to quote a book that contradicts itself over and over yet can’t even get one or two lines correctly.

      • littlestar

        Wow, thank you KFc ! Thank you for the education ! IT realy is so confusing, the bible, old and new. The realy big problem is, I mean, Leviticus, this is clear. If we trash the whole thing, only because it is so confusing, contradictory – unbelievable ! Then all we have left is the natural world… the strong devour the ect. Strenth in size, speed, agility – NUMBERS. Then wouldn’t you agree that your people would be…. I mean if we trash the whole thing…. be the other, other, other white meat ? We can’t have our cake and eat it too, someone said.

  • nathan

    hopefully he’s putting a bullet in YOUR brain.

  • Jinglebell

    My dog and I have been together for half a decade…does that qualify us for marriage. I love him to death. Why must I be discriminated against?

    • gaynproud

      because you’re a moron.

    • no marriage equality


  • Sneaky Pete

    Mr. obama I wish to marry my shoe. Do I have your support?
    Vote no on gay marriage

    • Johannes

      The lack of respect for the humanity of gay couples inherent in comments like this is just staggering.

  • SandyLester

    Keep on fighting? WTH? When Obama was campaigning he said “marriage is between one man and one woman”, “I do not support gay marriage”.
    So he was a liar then or a liar now……..

    • KPMc

      Or he weighed his personal beliefs against the actions our constitution and ideals call for. You know… used his brain to reason. Or maybe you have no idea how that works.

  • jaypee

    Good grief!



blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live