BY STEVE ROTHAUS, srothaus@MiamiHerald.com
Halo owner Babak Movahedi, a national board member of Stonewall Democrats who also sits on the Democratic National Committee’s leadership council, attended Monday’s gay leadership reception at the White House with President Barak Obama.
“There were leaders of different organizations and gay activists. About 300 people, maybe more,” Movahedi said Tuesday. “More than ever, I'm convinced the president is committed to our rights and equality, but I need to see more.”
The White House’s goal: “To calm the rage that the community has, especially over the brief with DOJ,” he said.
Obama’s Justice Department recently defended the Defense of Marriage Act, which forbids the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. Also, the act allows states not to recognize marriages performed elsewhere in the United States.
Gay activists were outraged when Justice Department lawyers invoked incest and other reasons why to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act.
“I find it unacceptable that the DOJ would write a brief so insensitive, and that no one from the Department of Justice or The White House would say this could be written differently and we will do better in the future,” said Movahedi, an attorney who lives in Washington and South Beach.
“I also found out yesterday that the White House council’s office had seen the brief and that makes me more concerned,’’ he said. “We expect more than that from this administration.”
Movahedi said Democratic leaders are asking gay people to be patient with Obama. “We will be patient for so long, but when we have a Democratic Congress and a Democratic president, what are we waiting for?”
Photo of the Obamas by Babak Movahedi
Photo of Babak Movahedi by Steve Rothaus