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The First-Ever LGBT Political Action Committee Looks to Leverage Facebook Into Votes for Obama

Photo by Mathew Scott

Die-hard political junkies who decry the Supreme Court’s 2010 landmark ruling for Citizens United—which lets political action committees raise unlimited amounts of funds for political campaigns—may have something new to smile about. Pride PAC, launched in February by Tiburon resident Marcus Lovingood and SF’s Rose Dawydiak-Rapagnani, is looking to take advantage of the controversial fundraising system with the first federally registered LGBT super PAC in support of President Obama.

“We felt compelled to use the power of the LGBT community and the abilities of these outrageous super PACs to help reelect Obama,” says Lovingood, a 20-something social media entrepreneur (like his PAC partner) who believes Obama has done much for the gay community in his first term—including the 2011 repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. “Those outward expressions show he is interested in moving forward on our issues.”

Pride PAC aims to raise $1 million from LGBT people across the U.S. via Facebook ambassadors and volunteers who will host events and voter registration parties to build support for Obama. Web PSAs and fundraisers on Broadway in New York are also in the works.

So far, Lovingood and Dawydiak-Rapagnani, a native San Franciscan, have a few thousand followers on Facebook and about as much in the bank. But raising money isn’t totally the point, says Dawydiak-Rapagnani, underscoring the irony in Pride PAC, which is actually a demonstration against super PACs. “Our goal is to mobilize the LGBT community and allies online,” she says. “We’re hoping to get 500,000 people to join our movement, to turn likes into votes.”

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