Openly gay Representatives Tammy Baldwin and Barney Frank will address a gay group tonight. It is their first appearance before a gay audience since chiding President Obama over his defense of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

Baldwin and Frank will appear at a National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) fundraiser in Washington D.C. where they will be honored for their continued support of the gay and lesbian community.

On Tuesday, the pair joined the growing chorus of anger against the Obama administration's outdated defense of DOMA, the law that allows states to ignore legal gay marriages performed elsewhere and defines marriage as a heterosexual union for federal agencies. The administration defended the law in a brief against a gay couple who have sued the federal government, claiming the law is unconstitutional. Candidate Obama called the law “abhorrent,” and promised the gay and lesbian community he would repeal DOMA.

While the pair have weighed in on the controversy, their five day absence from the scene left many gay bloggers questioning their allegiance.

Baldwin, a Democrat from Wisconsin, issued a reserved statement Tuesday. She said she was “disappointed” by Obama's DOMA defense but gave the president the benefit of the doubt.

“I still take President Obama at his word that he is committed to the repeal of DOMA,” she said.

Frank was more stern, telling the Boston Herald that the brief was a “big mistake.”

“The wording they used was inappropriate,” the sixty-nine-year-old Massachusetts lawmaker said. “I've been in touch with the White House and I'm hoping the president will make clear these were not his views.”

Tonight's event raises funds for the NBJC, a group that lobbies congress on behalf of African-American gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

“[Tonight's event] is a little bit of a celebration of some of the work we've done here in the city [of Washington],” Jason Bartlett, the group's deputy director, told On Top Magazine.

A separate gay and lesbian DNC fundraiser taking place next Thursday and co-chaired by the pair along with openly gay Colorado Representative Jared Polis is under fire by gay bloggers who say it should be boycotted after the DOMA brief.

A leaked email of GLBT dignitaries confirmed for the DNC event includes the name of Alexander Robinson, the NBJC's former executive director who stepped down on June 1. Barlett, who is also a Connecticut state representative, confirmed no NBJC board member would attend the controversial event, but added that was not a formal endorsement of a DNC boycott.

“I don't know of any board members that are intending on going,” Barlett said.

The Obama administration is hoping an extension of federal benefits to unmarried partners that includes gay and lesbian couples will soothe the frayed nerves of the gay community and move the conversation away from the DOMA brief. The president will sign the executive order today and deliver remarks in an Oval Office ceremony at 5:45PM.

The development is certain to be on the minds of attendees at the NBJC event.

On the Net: National Black Justice Coalition is at