Their behind-the-scenes financial support totals approximately $1 million in donations, reported The New York Times, and represents a “sea change” within the Republican party on the issue of gay rights.
The new donations represent roughly two-thirds of the same-sex marriage coalition’s fund-raising, making New York the rare state where a lobbying campaign in favor of legalizing gay unions is not being financed primarily by liberal donors and Democrats.
The support is likely to jolt the traditional financial and political backers of gay rights causes, who now find themselves in the unfamiliar position of being outraised and outspent in New York.
The donations are financing an intensive campaign of television advertisements and grass-roots activism coordinated by New Yorkers United for Marriage, a group of same-sex marriage advocates.
The donors represent some of New York’s wealthiest and most politically active figures, who argue that legalizing same-sex marriage is consistent with conservative principles of personal liberty and small government.