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Protesting at Senator Barbara Boxer's Event Was a Step Backwards for Equality

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Yesterday, Obama was heckled at a California fundraiser for Senator Barbara Boxer. Boxer has been holding fundraisers across the country in order to gear up for a heated and difficult race in the upcoming election. If Sarah Palin were in charge of this blog, there'd be a big sign with Senator Boxer's face in the cross hairs -- the conservatives are gunning for her this time around.

Members of Get Equal challenged Obama in the middle of his speech to deal with the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell. Obama encouraged the protesters to target those politicians who don't already support a repeal of the gay military ban.

The thing is, as much as we dislike Obama and his wishy washy approach to gay rights advocacy, we love Senator Boxer. Boxer has, when it comes to gay rights, been a staunch supporter of equality. She received a 100% rating from the Human Rights Campaign, spoken out about gay rights and actually is one of the few politicians to support gay marriage. She is a liberal activist politician in a landscape of conservative values and inaction on both sides of the aisle. She is exactly the kind of candidate we, as a community, should support.

Instead, we decided that a fundraiser where Obama (read, not much of an advocate for gay rights) was doing his best to support Boxer was a perfect opportunity to highlight the President's inaction on LGBT issues. This, when Boxer is praying patrons open their checkbooks and cough up a bit more money for her campaign. It doesn't mean that the hecklers weren't right in their criticism, Obama is hugely problematic when it comes to equality advocacy, but they needed to choose a different time to engage in that discussion.

The night is over and we can only hope that Boxer got some of the funds she needs out of the event. Still, I hope that the people from Get Equal choose a more opportune moment to engage in protest. In the mean time, if they are serious about equality perhaps they should spend time raising a few dollars for Senator Boxer and her progressive agenda.

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