Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign is hoping gay donors can fill the holes left by the big-money interests that are deserting it. Gay donors have been showing their gratitude for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and Obama's abandonment of the Defense of Marriage Act, and Obama has taken notice. Whereas his 2008 finance committee had just a single gay man on it, his 2012 one has 15, a source tells Politico.
“It’s ironic—a year ago, there was no constituency more unhappy,” says one long-time gay activist. “There was a sea change.” Other gay activists say that Republican 2012 hopefuls’ rhetoric has reminded them what’s at stake. In just the past week, Tim Pawlenty said he’d block DADT, Rick Santorum said gays and lesbians shouldn’t have the “privilege” of adopting children, and Donald Trump compared gay marriage to…unattractive golf clubs. “Our community has tasted change,” said another activist, “and it’s hard to conceive of going backward.”