The timing of the president’s address has spurred questions about whether Mr. Obama’s announcement on same-sex marriage was affected by his decision to accept the invitation to speak.
Barnard originally booked New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson, who agreed to step aside when Mr. Obama asked to address the women’s college after a firestorm erupted over new administration mandates on contraception coverage as part of the new health care law.
After his speech, Mr. Obama planned to tape an appearance on ABC’s female-oriented “The View” program and attend two campaign fundraisers. One fundraiser, to thank him for his support for gay marriage, will be held in New York’s heavily gay Chelsea neighborhood and hosted by Ricky Martin and the LGBT Leaders Council. The other will be at the Fifth Avenue home of Hamilton James, president of the Blackstone Group, a private equity firm.