President Obama will celebrate the
birth of the modern gay rights movement with a handful of gay rights
leaders Monday, the New York Times reported.
The reception, to the held in the East
Room, commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall
The uprising began on the evening of
June 28, 1969, when patrons of the Stonewall Inn blocked a police
raid on the establishment. For days thousands joined in protest
against the police who frequently raided gay bars.
White House officials have said little
about the event, but the Times reports that various gay
leaders have confirmed being invited, and were told Obama is expected
When asked about the event Friday
during a press briefing, White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs called it
“an event scheduled around Pride Month,” adding not to expect any
announcements on repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the
federal law that bans gay marriage, or the military's ban on open gay
service, known as “don't ask, don't tell.”
Candidate Obama promised to repeal both
laws, but the Obama administration has signaled it will not tackle
those issues at this time.
“[W]e want to repeal the Defense of
Marriage Act,” John Berry, head of the Office of Personnel
Management and the highest ranking openly gay official in the
administration, told gay monthly The Advocate. “Now, I'm
not going to pledge – nor is the president – that this is going
to be done by some certain date. The pledge and the promise is that
this will be done before the sun sets on this administration.”
On Thursday, furious gay activists
demonstrated outside a gay DNC fundraiser featuring Vice President
Joe Biden. The
protesters said Obama will continue to ignore gay issues so long as
the gay and lesbian community continues to fund the Democratic Party.
the protest, the event raised a record $1 million.