Obama's Movie Nite
With NGLTF's Carey
(Rea Carey waiting to hand a report to Obama at the White House on June 29, 2009; top photo. The President in front of Carey; bottom photo. Credit for both pictures: NGLTF.)
How important is Rea Carey, the executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force? So important she, and her partner Margaret Conway, attended a private movie screening at the White House, with the President and First Lady on November 5, 2009.
Yep, two days after we lost gay marriage in Maine, during a ballot initiative battle in which Obama refused to publicly stand with gay against the measure, Carey and Conway went to the White House for a very exclusive movie screening. Also there was NGLTF's Julie Childs.
I'm just pointing out the interesting timing of when select gay leaders have been to the White House. I wonder if our leaders expressed any political views that night, or if the event was strictly social.
As I did with the other professional advocacy org in Washington, the Human Rights Campaign, I scoured White House visitor logs to see how many visits were made by former and current NGLTF executives, staff and board members. I believe the logs are current through the end of January 2010.
There were at least 19 White House visits by the NGLTF-affiliated folks:
Name: (Kimberly) Rea Carey
Name: Brad Jacklin, Urvashi Vaid
Name: Darlene Nipper
Name: Marsha Botzer, Julie Childs, Dan Hawes, Andrew Machado, Russell Roybal, Lee H. Rubin,
If we add the 19 NGLTF visits with the number of HRC visits, 104, the total comes to 123 visits. And what do the rest of us gays have to show for it? How have we benefited from the access extended to our professional lobbyists and advocates?
White House access for our leaders is commendable and I hope NGLTF and HRC, and others privileged to spend time at the White House, explain if that access is translating into tangible results for the community.