Mitt Romney's opposition to gay
marriage is at odds with several major donors to his campaign.
Romney's opposition to the institution
played a key role in winning over social conservatives during the
early days of the presidential primary.
Republican hedge fund managers Paul
Singer, Dan Loeb and Cliff Asness backed the effort to legalize gay
marriage in New York with six-figure checks. Singer, the head of
Elliott Associates, has donated $8 million to the cause of marriage
equality since 2007, according to the New York Times. He's
also contributed $1 million to the super PAC supporting Romney and
helped raise more than $1 million for his campaign.
The National Organization for Marriage
(NOM), the nation's most vociferous opponent of gay marriage,
Romney for president on Wednesday, the day after Rick Santorum
suspended his campaign.
Gay rights groups quickly called on
Romney to repudiate NOM's endorsement, noting the recent revelations
that the group pursued a strategy to pit minority groups against gay
One Republican insider told
that donors are “often a reflection of where the public attitudes
The issue is increasingly dividing the
For example, it was with the help of
Republican lawmakers that the New Hampshire House recently rejected a
Republican-sponsored measure which would have repealed the state's
2-year-old gay marriage law. And Republican lawmakers in New York
played a key role in approving the state's gay marriage law last
R. Clarke Cooper, the executive
director of gay GOP group Log Cabin Republicans, told POLITICO.com
that he urged Romney to tone down his rhetoric on the issue after he
touted his role in keeping Massachusetts from becoming “the Las
Vegas of gay marriages” during CPAC in February.
“I did say to him, your comments
regarding marriage are not only not helpful but can be distracting
from the campaign,” he said.
But pivoting or softening his stance on
gay marriage would be a mistake, said conservative strategist Keith
Appell, who represents NOM.
“Romney is well aware of the
disastrous, long-lasting impact on the Republican Party that occurs
when Republican presidents break pledges,” he said.