The Democratic Party used the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this week to make a nearly-united statement on LGBT issues, including marriage and military service. There was one dissenter, and he led the gathering’s closing prayer.
Billionaire hedge fund manager Paul E. Singer is one of the Republican Party’s most important money men, raising millions for presidential candidate Mitt Romney and giving even more to a super PAC supporting his campaign.
But Singer is also a longtime backer of marriage rights for gay men and lesbians, putting him in stark conflict with Romney and the Republican establishment
The contrast underscores a growing rift between the main Republican Party — which reiterated its support this week for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage — and a small group of conservative donors who view the issue as a matter of individual civil liberties.
Singer has given $1 million this year to Freedom to Marry, a national bipartisan advocacy group focused on winning state ballot measures on gay marriage in Maine, Minnesota and Washington. The group plans to spend at least $3 million on its efforts.
Singer, founder of the $20 billion Elliott Management fund, also gave $1 million in start-up money to American Unity PAC, a new super PAC focused on supporting Republican congressional candidates who favor marriage equality.
The two groups have received major donations from at least three other Republican hedge fund managers: Cliff Asness of AQR Capital Management, Seth Klarman of Baupost Group and Dan Loeb of Third Point, according to records and officials. Singer and Asness were among the key backers of a successful push last year for same-sex marriage legislation in New York.
Marc Solomon, national campaign director for Freedom to Marry, said the donations from prominent Republicans represent a key development in the marriage debate.
“The strong support that we’re getting from members of both parties indicates that this has become a mainstream American cause,” Solomon said. “This is not the same wedge issue that it was eight years ago.”
Jimmy LaSalvia, executive director of gay GOP group GOProud, has said his group backs Mitt Romney because gay people need jobs before they can marry.
GOProud was the first gay conservative group to endorse Romney for president. The GOP candidate opposes recognizing gay and lesbian couples with either civil unions or marriage.
The group’s Homocon party at the Republican National Convention took place on the same day Republicans ratified a platform which supports a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as a heterosexual union.
During a CNN appearance, Piers Morgan asked, “How can you really support a ticket which is so resolutely opposed not just to gay marriage but to most gay rights?”
“Right. I know, but look, here’s the deal,” LaSalvia explained. “The answer is you gotta have a date before you get married. Everyone knows you can’t get a date without a job. … Gay Americans are living in the Obama economy and that’s the reality that all voters are facing when they go into the voting booth.”
Add T-Mobile to the ever-growing list of companies speaking out in favor of same-sex marriage in Washington state.
Bellevue Patch cites company officials who said that the cell phone network will contribute $25,000 to Washington United For Marriage (WUM), which is currently working to pass the state’s Referendum 74, which would affirm the legislatively-backed law that legalizes same-sex marriage.
“T-Mobile has a long-standing focus on creating an inclusive workplace environment for our employees,” Jim Alling, T-Mobile’s interim chief executive officer and chief operating officer is quoted by Bellevue Patch as saying in a statement. “Our support of this issue is a reflection of our culture, how we do business, and our belief in the fair and equitable treatment of all employees
If elected, Romney-Ryan will maintain DOMA and likely advocate a federal amendment against same-sex marriage. LGBT people could then permanently lose out on the 1,138 benefits, rights and protections provided on the basis of marital status. We are not just talking about the 179 tax provisions that take marital status into account, but limitations affecting Social Security benefits, health benefits, tax credits, estate taxes, residential sale benefits, family medical leave, immigration laws, Cobra benefits, and employee benefits are also at risk.
Romney-Ryan will ensure you are kept a second-class citizen by also denying you protection from discrimination in the workplace, protection from hate crimes, and by keeping you from adopting children. Basically you’ll get screwed, and I very much doubt they’ll call you in the morning.
They will, however, gladly take your tax money, ask you to work as hard as you can — as you always have — and continue to make this amazing country the best that it can be, just as the LGBT community has always done. And in return, they’ll give you a mere fraction of the inalienable rights that you deserve.
Take everything, yet give nothing. That doesn’t sound like the “Christian values” Romney speaks of, but more like a form of bondage — and not the good kind.
A group of young conservatives urged the platform-drafting committee for the Republican National Committee to endorse marriage equality in a letter sent earlier this week.
Young Conservatives for the Freedom to Marry, which is under the umbrella of the national organization Freedom to Marry, wrote that if the Republicans “truly believe in family values, then we must value all families.”
“Giving people more personal freedom is the foundation of the Republican Party, which, as the Party of Lincoln, has a proud tradition of expanding liberties,” the letter continued.
Signed by the leadership committee of the organization, the letter was addressed to Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who is chairing the committee tasked with drafting the Republican Party’s national platform.
Most people don’t know just how bad Romney’s VP choice is. So we made this list of 10 things to know about Paul Ryan. Read it, then share it with everyone. The future of America is on the line—from a woman’s right to choose to our economy
In March of 2011, Speaker John Boehner convened the House of Representative’s Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG), which voted 3-2 to proceed with hiring outside lawyers to defend DOMA in court at considerable taxpayer expense.
The BLAG has already spent nearly $1 million in taxpayer dollars on this effort, and is prepared to spend a great deal more.
Rather than throwing good money after bad, we should accept what is already plainly apparent — that DOMA unconstitutionally discriminates against a particular class of Americans, and should be repealed or struck down by the Courts.
The House can stand in the way of that history, or we can jointly recognize the fundamental right of every American to love, and marry whom they choose.
In these challenging economic times, with millions out of work and our safety net programs at risk, this misuse of precious resources is all the more abhorrent.
We should reserve our tax dollars for a worthy cause that will advance the nation’s interest, not waste them defending a policy of inequality and exclusion.
A new opinion poll suggests almost two-thirds of Australians support same-sex marriage but there’s a clear gender divide with men generally less keen on the idea than women.
The survey, released on Monday, comes just days after the Tasmanian government announced plans to legalise gay marriage.
The Galaxy poll shows 64 per cent of people believe same-sex couples should be allowed to marry – up two percentage points from February.
But only 58 per cent of men back changing the law compared with 70 per cent of women.
The poll was commissioned by lobby group Australian Marriage Equality.
“Support for marriage equality has risen to its highest point ever because Australians are increasingly realising that marriage equality will strengthen relationships, families and marriage,” spokesman Alex Greenwich said in a statement