GWEN IFILL: We come back to politics now with a two-part look at how Democrats and Republicans are raising their money.
First, the key constituency which has come to play an important and lucrative role in the fall election.
NewsHour correspondent Spencer Michels has our report.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
SPENCER MICHELS: When the president told ABC News in May that he now endorses same-sex marriage, the lesbian and gay communities were newly energized.
Bob Michitarian is a San Francisco corporate attorney who volunteered to raise money from gays and lesbians for President Obama’s reelection, a job that became much easier after the announcement.
BOB MICHITARIAN, Volunteer Obama Fund-Raiser: There was some hesitancy about supporting the president earlier in his term. He has been seen — he has seemed to people to be slow to support marriage equality.
SPENCER MICHELS: In the three days after Mr. Obama announced his shift in thinking, the campaign raised almost $9 million in donations over $200. That was triple the amount for the previous three days, according to an NPR study.
BOB MICHITARIAN: The Obama campaign has — is deliberately raising money from the gay community. They have set up a national finance committee focused on fund-raising from that community. And I think that they appreciate every dollar they get.
SPENCER MICHELS: In San Francisco’s Castro district, long one of the major centers of gay political activity in the country, one prominent store celebrated the president’s announcement with a playful depiction in its window of Mr. Obama.
But there was nothing whimsical in the reactions of gay leaders and donors like James Hormel. He’s been an activist and large donor in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender — or LGBT — community for more than 30 years.
JAMES HORMEL, activist: Finally, there was no question that we as an issue had arrived and that — and that this issue from this point forward will be addressed more honestly and directly than it ever has.
SPENCER MICHELS: As a Democrat, Hormel was
This article originally appeared on: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/politics/july-dec12/gayvote_07-16.html