American Unity PAC, a well-known national GOP donors, have poured half a million dollars into lobbying efforts to get Republican lawmakers to legalize gay marriage.
American Unity PAC was formed last year to give financial support to Republicans who resisted the longstanding opposition to gay marriage. The founders are now launching a new lobbying organization called American Unity Fund. They have already spent more than $250,000 in Minnesota, where the legislature will vote on the issue in the near future.
Paul Singer, a billionaire hedge fund manager and Republican donor, launched American Unity PAC.
In the past month, the group has spent $500,000 on lobbying efforts in Rhode Island, Indiana, West Virginia, Delaware, and Utah. The lobbying effort is the next phase as the push for gay marriage spreads to more states, spokesman Jeff Cook-McCormac told the Associated Press.
“What you have is this network of influential Republicans who really want to see the party embrace the freedom to marry, and believe it’s not only the right thing for the country but also good politics,” Cook-McCormac said.
In the Minnesota Legislature, gay marriage’s fate may rest with the House, where the support is weaker than in the Senate. Only a handful of votes from Republicans could push it over the top. Nearly two dozen House Republicans represent more socially moderate suburbs and might be candidates to vote yes.
“I think there will be some more.There are legislators out there that are struggling with this,” said Carl Kuhl, a former political aide to former GOP senator Norm Coleman and Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer.
Part of American Unity PAC’s mission was to spend money for Republican gay marriage supporters. Many GOP lawmakers have faced challenges funded by anti-gay marriage groups such as the National Organization for Marriage, which argues that the lawmakers have betrayed the party’s core principles.
American Unity won over Republican lawmakers in Rhode Island, where last week all five Republicans in the state Senate got on board with same-sex marriage. Rhode Island is legalizing same-sex marriage by next week, which would make it the 11th U.S. state where gay marriage is legal.
American Unity Fund believes that the American dream belongs to every American. They also have plans to lobby federal lawmakers on gay rights issues.
“We intend to work on this effort until every American citizen has been treated equally under the law,” Cook-McCormac said.
For more information or to donate to the American Unity Fund please visit their website.