Metro Weekly

Stonewall Democrats “On Hiatus” in Wake of Budget Shortfall

National Stonewall Democrats has suspended operations until 2014, according to executive director Jerame Davis.

Thumbnail image for stonewall-dems.pngIn an interview with Dallas Voice, Davis said the group of LGBT Democrats is “on hiatus” until next year, when a relaunch is expected. The news comes after Davis warned members in December that the organization faced a $30,000 budget shortfall that threatened to shutdown the group if the necessary funds were not raised. 

Although David told the Dallas Voice that gains had been made in recent weeks, it was not enough to counter the organization’s deficit.

“We hoped an angel would step in,” Davis told the Texas LGBT publication. “That didn’t happen.”

According to Davis, the following non-election year will be a “rebuilding year” and there is a plan to come back after a new board is elected. Meanwhile, Davis will remain as an unpaid volunteer, but said the group’s national D.C. offices will be closed for most of 2013. The more than 90 local and state chapters are expected to continue operations.

Stonewall Democrats was founded in 1998 by former Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts. With LGBT equality becoming more mainstream in the Democratic Party, Davis suggested Stonewall Democrats’ fiscal challenges may be due to some extent by those who support his group’s mission having numerous other options when pledging their donations.

“One thing we didn’t do well was sell ourselves,” Davis told the Dallas Voice. “The Republican Party has made it so easy for LGBT people to not be Republican, we’re not seen as important.”

There was little love lost with Stonewall Democrats’ counterparts in the Republican Party. In a statement provided to Metro Weekly, Gregory Angelo, interim executive director of Log Cabin Republicans, said, “Considering their record of volleying ridiculous attacks at us, you can bet we’re not going to shed any tears over this news.”

Justin Snow is Metro Weekly's former political editor and White House correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @JustinCSnow.