A DNC fundraiser under attack by gay activists has instead proved to be a financial windfall for the party.

Thursday's LGBT Leadership Council Dinner banked its largest pot yet: $1 million.

“I don't blame you for your impatience,” Vice President Joe Biden told the crowd. “I hope you don't doubt the president's commitment [on gay rights].”

But the doubt and impatience of the gay and lesbian community was visible outside on the picket line avoided by Biden, who entered the Mandarin Oriental Hotel through a side door to address the crowd.

The vice president, however, did speak directly to the controversy: “I am not unaware of the controversy swirling around this dinner and swirling around the speed or lack thereof that we are moving on issues that are of great importance to you.”

Outside about 50 protesters did their best to dissuade donors from entering the hotel. They heckled participants and held signs that read “Gay Uncle Toms,” Politico reported.

At least a dozen donors kept their distance after their simmering dissatisfaction at President Obama's hesitation to take on the gay rights issues he championed as a candidate boiled over on the news that the administration was defending the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, the 1996 law that defines marriage as a heterosexual union for federal agencies and allows states to ignore legal gay marriages performed elsewhere. Candidate Obama pledged to repeal the law, calling it “abhorrent.”

The brief drew fire from activists who say it draws parallels between gay marriage and incestuous and polygamous relationships, and it relied heavily on outdated and inaccurate gay stereotypes.

“The brief was very troubling to a lot of people and rightfully so,” Richard Socarides, a former special assistant to President Clinton who boycotted the fundraiser, told ABC News. “Supporters of the Democratic Party and others who feel that gay and lesbian equality is an important issue to address are rightly concerned about this brief. Serious issues still need to be clarified.”

So far, however, the administration has remained mum on the brief, saying only that the president has a duty to defend the law.

“[T]he Justice Department is charged with upholding the law of the land, even though the president believes the law should be repealed,” White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

Biden's speech kept to the talking points being distributed by the White House on gay and lesbian rights: The president has appointed 60 openly gay people, has signed an executive order that extends some benefits to gay couples (but not health and pension benefits), and lifted the HIV travel ban. He drew praise as he pledged the repeal of DOMA and the military's ban on open gay service, also known as “don't ask, don't tell.”

“I promise you with your help we'll get there in this administration,” he said. A promise unlikely to quell gay activists already disheartened by the president's promises.