One Equal World

The LGBT community’s political influence is growing!

Posted on: July 10, 2012

In today’s political climate, money means power and many gay and lesbian groups are trying to use their money to influence political parties. Luckily times are changing, and politicians who feared taking money from such groups in the past are now starting to accept these donations- no matter what side of the aisle they are on.

Back in 1988 Michael Dukakis, who was running for president, rejected gay donors who offered him $1 million dollars. He and his campaign advisers thought that taking these contributions would be akin to political suicide. Much the same sort of thing happened in the 1990s.  It wasn’t until recently, especially with Obama’s announcement of his stance on gay equality last May, that donations from gay and lesbian groups have started to grow and be actively accepted.

This is partially because these groups have quite a bit of money to offer to politicians.  After Obama proclaimed his support for same-sex marriage donations spiked for his campaign and his fund-raising efforts grew. Just 72 hours after making that announcement presidents Obama’s campaign donations more than tripled.  The following three days saw the president receive nearly $9 million dollars in donations verse the $3 million he received before.

But the money is going both ways.  Ken Mehlman, former Chairman of the Republican National Committee, is an active fundraiser for gay causes, and one of Mitt Romney’s top supporters is leading a PAC supporting gay marriage.  Alas, there’s still only one Republican in Congress who has actively come out in support of gay marriage,  Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida.

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