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The Folks Raising Cash for the American Foundation For Equal Rights? They Also Raise Cash For The Right-Wing

It’s not just newly out quisling and former GOP chairman Ken Mehlman, who continues donating to anti-gay candidates, that are among the gay headliners at the American Foundation for Equal Rights who also fund America’s right-wing. Hedge funder Paul Singer, who controls $17 billion in assets, is opening his NYC home for the Sept. 22 event, and PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel is co-hosting. But, what’s this? All three of these guys have a history of donating to candidates whose platforms including making LGBT Americans second-class citizens?

Next month’s AFER fundraiser, which will help pay the bills for Ted Olson and David Boies’ Prop 8 ass-kicking, will raise millions. (Invitations are in the process of going out, but a pre-sale has already generated $750k.)

And the privately wealthy folks (that’s Singer on left, Thiel on right) putting on the event are lending their names and checkbooks to supporting a great cause. Except they often did the same thing for terrible causes, relays Duncan Osbourne.

For years, Singer has been a reliable and generous donor to many state and federal Republican political organizations, candidates, and office holders including some of the most anti-gay members of that party, such as Rick Santorum and Bill McCollum, who lost a bid to become the Republican nominee for Florida’s governor’s office on August 24. Singer has also supported moderate Republicans and has donated to Senator Chuck Schumer, a Democrat. In New York, he has donated to Democrats and Republicans, but his largest donations have gone to the state Republican and Conservative parties.

In 2008, the Paul Singer Family Foundation gave $275,000 to the Manhattan Institute, a right wing group that has Singer as the chair if its board. Plenty of the experts at the institute have opposed gay marriage and other gay causes. The foundation gave the institute $30,000 in 2007.

[...] Similarly, Thiel, the other co-host, has supported a mix of Republican candidates, office holders, and organizations with some of his cash going to moderates and other checks paid to anti-gay Republicans. In 2008, Thiel gave $250,000 Federalist Society, a group of conservative and libertarian lawyers who support a reordering of “priorities within the legal system to place a premium on individual liberty, traditional values, and the rule of law” and $100,000 to the Hoover Institution, a conservative policy group at Stanford University. He have $75,000 to the Institute on Religion and Public Life in 2006. While claiming to be non-partisan, that institute was the creation and primary voice of Richard John Neuhaus, a neoconservative Roman Catholic priest.

But what about the New York Times insisting Singer — who raised money for George W. Bush and Swift Boat Veterans for Truth — donates cash to pro-gay groups?

The only donations by Singer to gay groups that I could find came in 2003 when the foundation gave $100,000 to the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network and at least $100,000 to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. And, no, I am not taking the word of anonymous “associates” or the New York Times that Singer handed out over $4 million to gay causes.

No wonder Mehlman doesn’t feel any regret for helping orchestrate campaigns that relied on anti-gay vitriol: He doesn’t have to. Nobody around him, including the most high profile same-sex marriage advocates at AFER (that includes everyone from Chad Griffin to Dustin Lance Black), are telling him to repent. Instead, so long as Mehlman, Singer, and Thiel can raise cash for them when it’s most opportune, AFER’s board is willing to let their past sins disappear from their consciousness.

These men, however willing they may be to now support the fight for marriage equality, are the same people who generated funds for politicians to go out and rail against our community. It’s blood money, and the eventual elimination of Prop 8 will be funded by it.

I don’t expect any person, even wealthy gay men, to be single-issue voters. You’re free to support politicians for whatever reason you like. But there is one non-negotiable piece of criteria when it comes to being a morally intact voter, and that’s whether you get behind somebody who does not believe in equality for all. Mehlman, Singer, and Theil all did just that, and now we’re asking not just for their money, but their participation.

Something is terribly wrong here.

  • 15 Comments
    • mark Segal
      mark Segal

      Bravo! Good, journalism!

      Mark segal

      Aug 29, 2010 at 3:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sevan
      Sevan

      What utter, abject stupidity:

      “I don’t expect any person, even wealthy gay men, to be single-issue voters. . . But there is one non-negotiable criteria when it comes to being a morally intact voter, and that’s whether you get behind somebody who does not believe in equality for all. Mehlman, Singer, and Theil all did just that, and now we’re asking not just for their money, but their participation.”

      First of all, it is one “criterion” not criteria.
      Don’t they have editors at Queerty? Second, you
      are imposing a single-issue on these people. You are
      saying that they can select the candidates of their
      choice but only after their position on gay rights
      has been vetted. The world doesn’t work that way.
      People have other things that they care about, and we
      should be glad that these wealthy men, some of whom are
      not gay, are on the right side of our issue. If someone
      supports gay equality but also donates the Manhattan
      Institute – a think tank focused on issues of deregulation and economic growth and which has rarely spoken out on gay issues – then that person is a friend, not an enemy and not a target for your scolding.

      Aug 29, 2010 at 3:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael Fromm
      Michael Fromm

      Paul Singer was one of the largest contributors to the fight for marriage equality in Maine last year. You would think that Queerty’s “reporters” (LOL!) would have done a little research or maybe a google search and found that out.

      And while we’re on the subject of who is doing what and who is contributing what, maybe we should ask what the hell Queerty did to fight Question 1 in Maine. Many other bloggers, including Americablog and Bilerico made an effort to encourage their readers to donate and to volunteer. Americablog raised a lot of money. What did Queerty do? As usual, nothing.

      Aug 29, 2010 at 3:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS
      PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS

      I dunno, guess being a billizionare totally skews any sort of common sense that your brain matter may be able to spit out. I can somewhat see how those seeking to gain political favors hedge their bets and toss coin on both sides of the political fence. But usually there are boundries and those who are at the recieving end of the dollars are mostly near the center……..

      How can you donate to causes that benefit the Gay community and then donate also to one of the absolute most vile dispicable reprehensive far fright wing lunatics such as Prick Santorum (thank god the Pa. voters had the sense to toss his vile ass out of office) who called every one of us child rapists and said we reguarlly practice beastilty???????

      Aug 29, 2010 at 3:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Somos
      Somos

      @Sevan: Because it’s not just “gay rights,” it’s “equal rights.” There are certain things that there’s just no grey area, no wiggle room on. And making things equal for all people is one of them.

      Aug 29, 2010 at 4:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DirkDiggler
      DirkDiggler

      @Michael Fromm:

      “And while we’re on the subject of who is doing what and who is contributing what, maybe we should ask what the hell Queerty did to fight Question 1 in Maine. Many other bloggers, including Americablog and Bilerico made an effort to encourage their readers to donate and to volunteer. Americablog raised a lot of money. What did Queerty do? As usual, nothing.”

      The common mistake you make: Those blogs are activist blogs, Queerty isn’t. Not that I’m their biggest defender (I’m not) but they’ve never pretended to be about activism.

      Aug 29, 2010 at 4:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sceth
      Sceth

      Sure – something’s terribly wrong. It’s almost impossible to find palpable support for gay marriage outside of the caucus of progressives.

      Gay marriage won’t be an issue in ten years, and I have little faith that we’re going to get immediate headway. For now, if you support trade unions, animal rights, drug regulation and market control, I look at you with aboust as much derision as those loons opposed to education, secularism and equality.

      Aug 29, 2010 at 5:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Baxter
      Baxter

      “I don’t expect any person, even wealthy gay men, to be single-issue voters. You’re free to support politicians for whatever reason you like. But there is one non-negotiable piece of criteria when it comes to being a morally intact voter, and that’s whether you get behind somebody who does not believe in equality for all.”

      So we should vote against almost every politician, since the vast majority on both sides of the aisle don’t support gay marriage. Good to know.

      Aug 29, 2010 at 5:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Duncan Osborne
      Duncan Osborne

      @Michael Fromm:

      Michael, that is my error not Queerty’s. I did miss that. Having said that, what Singer gives with one check, he takes way with another. While the Democrats are roundly criticized for moving too slowly on legislation that is desired by the gay community, there would be no progress at all under a Republican-controlled Congress. Singer is funding some of the most anti-gay legislators in Congress and in the states. Additionally, he is funding the academics and think tanks that produce the anti-gay arguments used by those same politicians. To be clear, he has given far more cash to the Republicans and anti-gay groups than he has given pro-gay causes.

      Aug 29, 2010 at 5:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bareback Hussein Osama
      Bareback Hussein Osama

      I am just so glad Queerty is bashing Gay Conservatives! Anything to distract from my record of doing jack shit on LGBT rights! I’ll keep promising equality and these fools will keep voting for me!

      BWAHHHAAAHHAAAHHHAAA !!!

      Aug 29, 2010 at 6:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D'oh, The Magnificent
      D'oh, The Magnificent

      A lot of talk, but not much discussion of the fact that they are donating to anti-gay forces.

      Saying the Democrats are fucked up doesn’t make this right. Saying that he gives to pro-gay forces doesn’t make this right.

      Can anyone actually stay on point anymore?

      Aug 30, 2010 at 12:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CHIP1218
      CHIP1218

      If what Queerty says is true, that Singer donates to the New York State Conservative Party, then I don’t care if he donated money to Maine’s fight, or now California’s – he gave money in his own state to prevent marriage equality and set back the movement!

      The Conservative Party Chairman uses marriage equality as his own personal litmus test. He won’t endorse any candidate that voted for or has publicly stated they are in favor of marriage equality. It doesn’t matter how economically conservative the politician is, it’s against same sex marriage or you’re against us! Look what they did in that upstate special Congressional election – the Conservative Party blasted a lifelong Republican who is conservative on economic issues, but in support of same sex marriage, and lost a seat that they held for almost 150 years.

      Any gay man that gives the Conservative Party of New York State money is obviously not a supporter of their own right to marry.

      Aug 30, 2010 at 8:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Polyboy
      Polyboy

      Queerty has been well and truly Freeped, gay freeped, or freeps in gay clothing, but the whole “Obama derail” is more than a bit sad and tritefully predictable.

      Aug 30, 2010 at 9:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bareback Hussein Osama
      Bareback Hussein Osama

      @Polyboy: You tell them! We need to start a witchhunt on Freepers to distract from my failures and get me re-elected! I promise 4 more years of promises !!!

      Aug 30, 2010 at 12:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cls
      cls

      Considering how HRC and various “gay leaders” put the gay community behind the interests of the Democratic Party isn’t it a bit absurd to attack gays who are not part of the Left for something similar. Non left gays are judged as if there is one issue and only one issue and everything else is subservient to it. But the Left betrays gay issues for the sake of the Democrats all the time.

      Jan 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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