Image from the Daily Kos!
In order for marriage equality to pass, supporters need both Democrats and Republicans to vote for it.
But Republicans who decide to support the measure have to break ranks with their party to do so – and for many that could mean angering conservative constituents and tempting primary challenges.
But the numbers are telling a different story for those Republicans who support marriage equality.
While some supporters are touting the economic benefits of marriage equality for states, the newest round of campaign finance reports tells of a different kind of economic benefit that comes along with supporting same-sex marriage
The New York Times published an article this week reporting that the four Republican senators who split with their party to support gay marriage in New York have seen HUGE jumps in their fundraising.
One senator received 27 times as many donations in this most recent fundraising period compared to the same one in 2009, before his vote. Much of the donations came from people who often identified as both gay and far left. Many had never supported a Republican before, but money started flowing into the four senators for their support.
These four senators aren’t the only ones making some moo-la from marriage. Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose fervent support was credited with the measure’s success, raised over 6 million dollars in the six months after his effort. And three Wall Street Executives donated $350,000 to the NY Senate Republican Campaign Committee – who came out AGAINST the bill – as a thank you for allowing the vote to take place.
A strategist for the Human Rights Campaign, one of the national organizations working on LGBT equality issues, explained that
It was essential to send a clear signal around the country that we will support those who support equality, irrespective of party. We were able to win marriage in New York with a bipartisan coalition of fair-minded elected officials. We need to replicate that if we are to keep winning.
So what do you think – are these political contributions better than a thank you note? Will donors follow suit if Republicans in WA, MD, and NJ also break ranks? And should Republicans making up their minds about marriage equality take these possible benefits into consideration?