NYT: Conservatives Funding Push For Marriage Equality In New York
May 16, 2011 11:26 am ET by Equality Matters staff
It appears that some on the Right have finally gotten the memo on marriage equality. The New York Times published an article Friday documenting a surprising development in New York’s current marriage equality fight: a large bulk of the money being donated to equality advocates is coming from conservative and Republican donors:
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.
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.
As some have already noted, this is exactly the kind of position that any Tea Party supporter should feel comfortable taking. Conservative proponents of limited government and individual rights should be on the front lines in the fight for full marriage equality. Unfortunately, it appears that many self-identified Tea Party conservatives have taken the opposite approach.