Wealthy Republicans are joining the fight to legalize same-sex marriage in New York, according to a New York Times article this morning, which says Mayor Bloomberg will also be raising his profile in the push.
Among the newly announced GOP donors who are funding the cause is Paul Singer, the chairman of the Manhattan Institute, the right-of-center think tank.
The focus of this group’s efforts are the five or six Republican State Senators who are needed to join the majority of Senate Democrats in order to pass the bill. The Democratically-controlled Assembly has passed the bill in the past and is not seen as a roadblock.
Cuomo reportedly has not yet begun calling these Republican lawmakers, and advocates are acknowledging that without Republicans, the bill will fail.
The Times describes the GOP donors to the cause as “some of New York’s wealthiest and most politically connected figures.”
Also pressuring this same group of lawmakers is Michael Long, chairman of the New York State Conservative Party, who has threatened to withhold his party’s endorsement from anyone who votes for same-sex marriage.
“I think lawmakers have an obligation to be consistent in their views and not bend to political pressure or financial pressure,” said Long, who first heard of the Times story when reached by cell phone this morning.
Long said opposing same-sex marriage is a litmus test for his party’s support and that he was “cautiously optimistic” that Republicans who ran on his party’s line would keep their commitments.
“If not, it would be a betrayal to the people,” he said. Referring to Republican lawmakers he supported, Long added, “We all understood what we were doing when we started this.”