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Queer Town: A-List Hollywood Raises Money for No on 8

Last night, billionaire Ron Burkle, best friend of former President Bill Clinton, opened up the wrought iron gates at his landmark Beverly Hills estate, Green Acres, to raise money for the No on 8 campaign, which wants to defeat the ballot measure, Proposition 8, that would ban same sex marriage in California. Burkle has a history of throwing lavish parties for Democratic candidates and liberal causes, and, according to Variety Managing Editor Ted Johnson, the event was definitely a winner for gay marriage supporters. Frontiers news editor Karen Ocamb also blogged about the night, which raised $3.9 million.

Speaking of winners, the No on 8 campaign does seem to have an excellent TV ad on its hands, titled "Unfair." It lays out a solid case for why Proposition 8 should be defeated. Incredibly, there are people in the gay community who are complaining about no gay folks or celebrity supporters in the TV ads.

Watch this local CBS news report with Kate Kendall, a No on 8 spokeswoman, attempting to explain why campaign strategists are doing what they are doing. Kendall treads politely and cautiously, but what she probably would have loved to say is that people need to stop whining. It's a political campaign, after all, and not a time for TV ads that make the gay community feel warm and fuzzy. It's hard ball time, and No on 8 needs to win over certain hearts and minds of the electorate. Those hearts and minds are not gay.

What's becoming increasingly clear in the polls is that the straight public is still skittish about gay marriage, but Californians also don't want to take way people's rights. To help fair-minded, yet uneasy heterosexuals along, and to have this crucial voting block cast a "no" vote on Proposition 8, No on 8's TV ad campaign is reaching out to them and their sense of fair play. It's that simple, and it's not in any way homophobic, as Andy Towle and other gay observers are noting.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.