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Fascinating New Take On The Battle Over Same-Sex Marriage


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It seems clear that the social landscape and attitudes towards same-sex marriage is changing, when major funds for it's passage starts coming from major GOP donors...

Donors to G.O.P. Are Backing Gay Marriage Push


As gay rights advocates intensify their campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in New York, the bulk of their money is coming from an unexpected source: a group of conservative financiers and wealthy donors to the Republican Party, most of whom are known for bankrolling right-leaning candidates and causes.

Daniel S. Loeb of Third Point said he hoped to make clear to Republicans that same-sex marriage had a broad coalition of support.

Their behind-the-scenes financial support — about $1 million in donations, delivered in recent weeks to a new coalition of gay rights organizations — could alter the political calculus of Albany lawmakers, especially the Republican state senators in whose hands the fate of gay marriage rests.

The donors represent some of New York’s wealthiest and most politically active figures and include Paul E. Singer, a hedge fund manager and top-tier Republican donor, as well as two other financiers, Steven A. Cohen and Clifford S. Asness.

At the same time, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a billionaire businessman and philanthropist who has been a major contributor to Senate Republicans in New York, plans a significant push for same-sex marriage: giving at least $100,000 of his own money, hosting a fund-raiser at an Upper East Side town house, traveling to Albany to lobby lawmakers and giving a speech on the issue.

The new donations represent roughly two-thirds of the same-sex marriage coalition’s fund-raising, making New York the rare state where a lobbying campaign in favor of legalizing gay unions is not being financed primarily by liberal donors and Democrats. The support is likely to jolt the traditional financial and political backers of gay rights causes, who now find themselves in the unfamiliar position of being outraised and outspent in New York.

The donations are financing an intensive campaign of television advertisements and grass-roots activism coordinated by New Yorkers United for Marriage, a group of same-sex marriage advocates. The campaign is aimed chiefly at persuading several members of the Senate Republican majority to join most Senate Democrats in backing same-sex marriage, which was defeated in the Senate in 2009. The State Assembly, controlled by Democrats, has repeatedly passed same-sex marriage bills.

The newly recruited donors argue that permitting same-sex marriage is consistent with conservative principles of personal liberty and small government.

“I’m a pretty straight-down-the-line small-government guy,” said Mr. Asness, who described himself as a libertarian who favored less government intrusion in both markets and personal affairs. Mr. Asness, a frequent Republican donor, has praised Tea Party activists on his blog and last year attended a conference of right-leaning donors held by Charles and David Koch, among the leading conservative philanthropists in the nation.

“This is an issue of basic freedom,” Mr. Asness said.

Some of those involved have made what might be termed the pro-business argument for same-sex marriage, arguing that the legalization of same-sex marriage would help keep New York economically competitive.

One of the donors, Daniel S. Loeb, who has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican candidates for federal office in the last two years, said he hoped to make clear to Republicans that same-sex marriage had a broad coalition of support.

“I think it is important in particular for Republicans to know this is a bipartisan issue,” Mr. Loeb said. “If they’re Republican, they will not be abandoned by the party for supporting this. On the contrary, I think they will find that there is a whole new world of people who will support them on an ongoing basis if they support this cause.”

Mr. Cohen, who runs SAC Capital Advisers and has become increasingly active in Republican fund-raising, described his views simply: “We believe in social justice for all Americans.”

The involvement of Mr. Singer is the most striking, given his devotion to conservative candidates and philanthropy: He is chairman of the Manhattan Institute, a right-leaning research group, and one of the most generous Republican donors in the country. But he also has a personal stake in the issue: he has a gay son who married his partner in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is legal.

Mr. Singer is coordinating much of the Republican fund-raising for same-sex marriage in New York, according to people familiar with the matter, donating $425,000 of his own money and personally soliciting an additional $500,000 in donations. At the same time, he has hosted private meetings to make the case for legalizing gay weddings in New York to other conservatives.

Bill Smith, deputy executive director of the Gill Action Fund, a political organization that supports gay rights, called the contributions from Republican donors “a sea change.”

Some of the donors were recruited by Ken Mehlman, a contributor to the coalition and a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, who has since announced that he is gay. Some of the new contributors have been active in national politics and presidential fund-raising, but are venturing into state politics for the first time. Their involvement offers Republicans in New York the prospect of help in next year’s legislative elections and a potential source of longer-term support for a party that has struggled to field well-financed candidates for statewide office in recent years.

Mr. Bloomberg, a Republican-turned-independent, is the most politically centrist of the donors. (He is not coordinating his efforts with the other contributors.)

The mayor has long supported same-sex marriage and spoke passionately about the subject in 2009, when the Legislature last tackled the topic. But his donations to state Republicans have occasionally stirred skepticism among gay rights advocates. And until now, the mayor has given little of his personal fortune to the cause — he made a $5,000 donation to the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay rights group, in 2010.

This year, his involvement has deepened considerably. Aides to Mr. Bloomberg said he viewed the marriage issue in a larger context: Freedom, he argues, is New York’s “competitive advantage” and its brand, and he has become committed to vigorously defending it, as he did amid criticism of a proposed Islamic center near ground zero.

“At the core this very rational mayor is somebody who believes that government has no business in getting involved in, taking sides in or making value judgments about who you love,” said John Feinblatt, the mayor’s chief policy adviser.

On Tuesday, Mr. Bloomberg is scheduled to travel to Albany to lobby Republican lawmakers, and on May 25, he plans to hold a high-dollar fund-raiser, featuring the singer Rufus Wainwright, to raise money for the same-sex marriage cause at the Upper East Side headquarters of his foundation. The next day, Mr. Bloomberg plans to deliver a speech on the subject at the Cooper Union.

“This is the moment,” Mr. Feinblatt said of the mayor’s involvement. “If you want your beliefs to count and your voice to count, this is the time.”

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That is very interesting. The tide does seem to be moving in that direction.

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Water always gains speed when it goes down hill.
So what you're saying is that Democrats are all better than Republicans, which clearly means you're better than all Republicans.
It seems clear that the social landscape and attitudes towards same-sex marriage is changing, when major funds for it's passage starts coming from major GOP donors...
Frankly, it's not remotely fascinating that people in the GOP are donating. Republicans have also supported Obamacare and Cap And Trade. This story appears to be propaganda and not a real news story, to trick Republicans into voting for gay marriage dogma.
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