Obama Invites Gay Advocates to White House
But angered rights campaigners want more than just talk
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2009 8:28 AM CDT
President Barack Obama will speak to gay and lesbian advocates at the White House on Monday.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – President Obama has invited gay rights leaders to the White House next Monday to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, the New York protests seen as the start of gay liberation. It's unclear whether Obama will address the strong criticism he's recently faced from gay and lesbian advocates. One leader said that while he hoped Obama would lay out a vision for expanded rights, he was afraid the president might be "having people in for shrimp cocktail."

The president has faced growing anger from gay and lesbian advocates for slow progress on campaign promises, including an end to Don't Ask Don't Tell and a repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. Last week he announced a small extension of benefits for gay federal workers, which advocates attacked as insufficient. "Real lives are impacted by his decisions," notes the head of the Family Equality Council.