Wall Street’s Biggest GOP Backer Also Gay Marriage Supporter
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that prominent New York City hedge-fund manager, Paul Singer, has done all that he can to make sure GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is elected this November. The conservative moneyman, however, is also known for being extremely influential in getting New York to recognize marriage equality last year.
Singer, 68, has donated more than $11 million since 2001 in order to get gay marriage legalized in the state, after he found out his son was gay. But he has been at odds with Romney over the issue since donating millions to his campaign, EDGE reported.
"So many people, including stark conservatives, have family members and close friends who are gay," Singer said. He added that he also supports gay rights because "it's simply the right thing to do."
The difference on the social issue hasn't stopped the Wall Street guru from donating large sums of money to make sure the Republican Party sees victory this November. Singer gave the GOP $2.3 million this election season, which is more than anyone else on Wall Street, according to the Wall Street Journal. His influence has been so prominent that there were even rumors that Romney's campaign offered him a job. Singer, however, has stated he is not interested in a position with a Romney administration.
"As I have gotten to know Mitt, I have become increasingly of the view that he will make a very fine president," Mr. Singer said in an interview.
Despite Singer's support for Romney, there have been reports that the businessman initially wanted Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, now Romney's running mate, to run for president. According to DealBreaker.com, Singer approached Ryan and offered to back him in a presidential bid. The site claims that although Ryan declined, Singer's influence still helped him become Romney's second in command.
Despite his support for the GOP and candidates that do not support same-sex marriage, the Human Rights Campaign recognizes him as an important figure. Chad Griffin, the group's president, says that Singer is responsible for influencing other Republicans to support marriage equality, according the Journal.
Singer has donated to a number of charitable projects geared towards the LGBT community, including the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, EDGE reported.
When the organization was honoring Goldman Sachs' chief executive, Lloyd Blankfein, also a conservative, for his support for marriage equality, Blankfein acknowledged Singer's support for LGBT rights. "As a business person, as a corporate leader, as a recruiter and as a human, it is not something I regard as heavy lifting," Blankfein said.