Paul E. Singer, the hedge fund manager
who is leading an effort to increase support for gay marriage among
Republicans, argues that it is a conservative value.
Singer, 68, is the founder of the New
York-based Elliott Management Corporation, and is considered among
the most important Republican donors nationwide.
Last year, he helped launch the
American Unity PAC with an initial $1 million donation. The Super
PAC's mission is to encourage Republican candidates to support
marriage equality by lending financial support.
Its new lobbying organization, American
Unity Fund, has already spent more than $250,000 in Minnesota, where
a marriage bill has cleared House and Senate panels and awaits floor
action in both chambers. In the House, where the measure looks like
a long-shot, no Republican has yet to endorse the effort.
According to an AP report, the group
has spent $50,000 on lobbying since March in Rhode Island, Indiana,
West Virginia and Utah.
Last month, all 5 Republican members of
the Rhode Island Senate endorsed passage of a marriage bill, marking
the first time any state party caucus has been unanimously in support
of marriage equality.
groups cheer Rhode Island gay marriage; And a video, too.)
Singer, who is straight but has a gay
son who married his husband in Massachusetts, the first state to
legalize gay nuptials, told The Washington Post that he
believes the principles behind such unions are based on conservatism.
“Our job is to let them [Republican
politicians] know they have plenty of like-minded friends, activists
and party leaders who will stand with them”on the issue, Singer
said in an email to the paper. “Ultimately, this fight is
about basic equality and individual freedom – both conservative
principles. But for those who remain unconvinced, state-by-state
evidence that marriage equality does no harm and actually strengthens
families and the institution of marriage should put doubts to rest
and pave the way for more conservatives to join this growing