(From the New York Times) 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. (The Rev.: The White House has now publicly confirmed the event.)
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. As a candidate, Mr. Obama campaigned to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law barring gay marriage, and ‘’don’t ask don’t tell,’’ the military policy that bars gays and lesbians from serving openly. But advocates have accused him of dragging his feet.“What’s going to change the way the community is feeling is seeing the introduction of a bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’’ said Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of the Family Equality Council, a Boston-based advocacy group, referring to two policies Mr. Obama pledged to overturn. She said gay rights advocates want to see “a president who is fulfilling the promises he made on the campaign trail.’’
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