GetEQUAL Angel Went to the White House;
Benefit to Gays Was . . . ?
President Barack Obama today is opening the White House for a reception for select Gay Inc leaders and others from the community, and the Washington Blade earlier this week made note of criticism from the highest-paid, at $89,000, executive co-director of GetEQUAL about the gathering and who's going to it:
Robin McGehee, co-chair of GetEqual, the group responsible for many recent protests on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and other issues key to the LGBT community, expressed skepticism about the reception and said she saw it as a fundraising effort for the Democratic Party.
McGehee, who wasn’t invited to the reception, said invitees should only go to the White House if they intend to advocate on behalf of LGBT people before the president and shouldn’t take part in the event as recreation.
“In reference to the leadership that’s going in, I hope that it’s not just going in to share tea or cocktails, but it’s actually to go in and come out with answers about when the ['Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell'] discharges are going to stop and when ENDA’s going to get to the floor for a vote,” she said.
Granted, McGehee has a point, however, I'd like to also know if we got any such answers when Paul Yandura went to the White House. He is the DC-based gay Democrat who serves as a consultant to gay millionaire Jonathan Lewis, the benefactor who wrote two very large checks to GetEQUAL. Yandura is the angel responsible for bringing McGehee together.
According to White House visitor logs, Yandura had a one-on-one meeting in September 2009 with Brian Bond. He also was one of 300 people for the Hate Crimes Bill signing by Obama in October 2009. BTW, Yandura's longtime partner, Donald Hitchcock, has been to the White House three times.
This gay power-couple's access to the White House is at a much different level than that of GetEQUAL executive co-director Kip Williams'. As the photo above documents, he was able only to take a tour last summer, and nothing on DADT or ENDA happened.
Over at the ActOnPrinciples.org site, co-founded and championed by Yandura and Hitchcock, they complain that it's disheartening about other gay advocates are going to the White House:
You might find it disheartening that some of our LGBT advocates are going to the Obama Pride reception at the White House. But the game is changing, where this kind of “cocktail party” cozying-up to the White House from our national LGBT “leadership” will no longer be overlooked. Dignity can not be bought, nor should it be sold.
Odd, I don't recall the power-couple making this complaint about their visits to the White House.
But what benefit accrued to the gay community from Yandura and Hitchcock's White House visits anyway? I hope McGehee can tell me how DADT repeal and ENDA movement were advanced by Yandura and Hitchcock through their visits.