September 28, 2011 at 4:13 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Gay physician to host private D.C. Obama fundraiser

The party invitation. (Image courtesy Facebook event page)

President Barack Obama is scheduled to be the guest of honor at an exclusive fundraising dinner for his re-election campaign Friday night at the Georgetown home of gay physician and businessman James D’Orta.

An announcement of the event on Facebook says participants are being asked to contribute $35,800 per person to attend a pre-dinner photo reception, the dinner itself, and a “VIP clutch” with the president.

Those attending the photo reception and dinner only are being asked to contribute $35,800 per couple and those attending just the pre-dinner reception are asked to contribute $10,000 per person, according to the Facebook announcement.

“We were elated to learn that President Barack Obama will once again keynote the Human Rights Campaign Dinner in Washington, D.C.,” said former HRC President Elizabeth Birch and HRC board member Terry Bean in a written message included in the Facebook announcement.

“Many of our closest friends will be in town for the 3,000 person, sold-out event this Saturday, Oct. 1,” Birch and Bean wrote in the announcement. “What is even more exciting, though, is that the president will be attending a small private LGBT-related event on Friday night, September 30, at the beautiful home of Dr. James D’Orta in Washington,” the two said.

“This will be a special moment to thank the president for his continued commitment to achieving full equality for LGBT Americans and to ensure he has the support necessary to make that goal a reality,” said Birch and Bean. “If you are able to attend at any of these levels, please RSVP today.”

Birch, Bean, and former HRC staff member and gay Catholic activist Phil Attey are identified in the announcement as people who created the Facebook page to promote the event.

D’Orta is well known in gay rights circles as a contributor to LGBT- and AIDS-related causes as well as other charitable endeavors. He is founder, CEO and chairman of Consumer Health Services, Inc., a D.C.-based physicians consulting firm. He’s also a longtime supporter of the Democratic Party and Democratic candidates for public office, including gay former D.C. Council candidate Clark Ray.

D’Orta’s upscale townhouse in Georgetown, where he lives with his partner and three kids, was once the home of the late New York governor, diplomat, and Democratic Party leader Averell Harriman.

Gay Democratic activist Peter Rosenstein, who is a friend of D’Orta’s, said the dinner isn’t an exclusively gay event and a number of straight Obama supporters were expected to attend. He said the Obama campaign is organizing the event.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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