LOS ANGELES — At a gay-rights dinner last year in New York City, when President Barack Obama ticked off the list of gay-friendly policies he had enacted, hecklers shouted, “Marriage!”
At a similar event Wednesday night in Beverly Hills, nearly a month after the president embraced gay marriage, there was no heckling. Instead, 600 supporters at the LGBT Leadership Council event rose to their feet as one, chanting, “Four more years!”
L.A.’s gay community turned out in force to celebrate the man who has been dubbed the nation’s “first gay president.”
The event at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel was part of a two-day fundraising swing through California and Nevada during which Obama was expected to raise more than $15 million for his re-election effort. He started the day in San Francisco and ended with a $25,000-per-person dinner for 70 at the Beverly Hills home of Ryan Murphy, creator of the TV show “Glee.”
Comedian Ellen DeGeneres, whose decision to come out of the closet in 1997 was covered as a major cultural — and potentially career-ending — event, emceed the party. Darren Criss, a heartthrob on “Glee,” provided entertainment, after the singer Pink withdrew, citing illness.
The gathering was a who’s who of gay Hollywood, and included many of the creative minds whose portrayals of gays on screens large and small has nudged society toward accepting gay rights. Max Mutchnik, creator of “Will and Grace,” was a co-host. Dustin Lance Black, Oscar-winning screenwriter of “Milk,” was in the audience, as were Cher and her son, Chaz Bono.
The president, who spoke for 30 minutes, was relaxed as he ticked off his administration’s gay-friendly accomplishments, including the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule. He didn’t mention gay marriage. He didn’t have to.
Recent strides in gay rights, he said, were simply part of the country’s history of civil rights struggles, of “this constant progression to include more and more people in the possibility of the America dream.”
“And so this is just one more step in
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