Meet Romney’s Pro-Marriage Equality Donors

Politico examines Mitt Romney’s campaign donors and discovers that some strongly disagree with the candidate’s opposition to same sex marriage:

Paul Singer, Dan Loeb and Cliff Asness — three hedge fund managers and major players in donor circles — each cut six-figure checks toward the landmark effort to legalize gay marriage in New York. Singer, the intensely-private head of Elliott Associates, has been especially active in donating to groups aimed at legalizing gay marriage in different states over the last five years, concurrent with his rise as one of the Republican party’s mot prominent bundlers and donors to party committees. According to a recent New York Times story, Singer has donated $8 million to pro-gay marriage efforts since 2007.

He’s also helped raise more than $1 million for Romney’s campaign, as well as donated another $1 million to the super PAC supporting the all-but-assured Republican nominee.
The New York moneymen and some other Republican movers-and-shakers — such as former George W. Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman, who came out two years ago and is now raising money from a broad swath of donors to push for gay marriage but who hasn’t made a presidential campaign endorsement — are at odds with Romney, who signed a pledge proffered by the conservative National Organization for Marriage promising to, among other things, support “sending a federal marriage amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman to the states for ratification.”

NOM of course endorsed Romney yesterday and told Politico that Romney enthusiastically signed the pledge “very early” to fight marriage equality in its early stages. “He’s been very clear in the debates of his position on tradition marriage. It’s a strong pledge, a strong statement and it’s time for people who believe that marriage is a union between one man and one woman to unite. Just because some donors may have a different view, doesn’t mean that’s going to have any effect at all.”

That seems to be the case for now, even as some observers predict that Romney may moderate his position as he transitions into the general election. After all, this is the same candidate who in 1994 met with the Log Cabin Republicans and pledged, “I’m with you on this stuff… I’ll be better than Ted Kennedy” and in 2002 told a meeting of gay equality proponents that he would “support everything that it calls for in terms of recognizing unions between people. But just don’t use the M-word.” He should have no trouble walking back to his old position.