The largest gay money group, the Human Rights Campaign, has now backed down from excluding one of the few Democrats to support gay and lesbian equality forthrightly, Mike Gravel, from their Democratic debate. Here's an email they sent yesterday to a complaining member:

Thank you for taking the time to express your views regarding Senator Gravel and the Presidential Forum on Logo Television. It is a welcome sign to see members of our community so engaged in following the 2008 Presidential campaign and the platform of the various candidates. The goal for the forum has always been to provide our community with a chance to hear from the candidates on issues most important to GLBT Americans.

Although we stand by the notion that having a criteria for candidates is important for a political forum, we also heard an enthusiastic response from a portion of the community who wanted to hear from Senator Gravel. Therefore we extended an invitation for him to participate in this year's forum. It is also worth noting that HRC's original decision is not unique or completely without precedent. Senator Gravel was also not extended an invitation to the CNN Presidential debates but petitioned the decision and was consequently invited by CNN.

"Although we stand by the notion that having a criteria for candidates is important for a political forum..."  A criteria? And what exactly was the unmentionable criterion? Money. The main focus of the Human Rights Campaign.