Raising Money from Gay Donors Just Got a Lot Easier for Obama

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Jon Cooper, a bundler for Barack Obama's re-election campaign, thinks today's announcement on same-sex marriage is going to be very helpful.

"I hadn't seen any diminution in support for Obama among LGBT donors or progressive donors for that over the past few weeks, despite the previous disappointment not to move forward with the executive order banning LGBT discrimination by federal contractors," Cooper said. "That being said, I think that this statement by the president expressing his personal support for same-sex marriage is going to make my life immeasurably easier raising money from LGBT donors and progressives in general."

Cooper, a former Democratic majority leader of the Suffolk County legislature, is gay, and got married to his partner in Connecticut in 2009.

The Washington Post recently estimated that one in six of Obama's top bundlers is gay.

Cooper said he was "just picking myself up off the floor" when I spoke to him a few minutes after ABC News reported the president's shift in position.

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He said he has long believed the president was a supporter of same-sex marriage, owing in part to their first meeting, when Obama met Cooper's husband and children, and told him "we'll get there together."

Unlike many of Obama's LGBT supporters, Cooper said, he was never inclined to push the president to embrace marriage equality, because of the political risk he believed it entailed.

"That's why I'm more impressed than ever," Cooper said. "I think that at the end of the day the president decided to do what his heart and his conscience dictated, despite what the potential political ramifications are. So it was a very gutsy move on his part. I know it was heartfelt. I've never been more proud of President Obama than I am today."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.