GOP Mega-Donor Trying to Make Party More Gay-Friendly

Paul Singer is pushing for a workplace anti-discrimination bill

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 21, 2013 6:03 PM CDT

(Newser) – Chris Christie has stopped fighting gay marriage, but most other Republican politicians aren't so willing. So how can the party appear a little less ... hateful? GOP "mega-donor" Paul Singer thinks he has the answer. He's spearheading a push for the party to back less divisive gay rights—so even if its elected lawmakers don't support gay marriage, they can still appear gay-friendly, the Washington Post reports. The first operation by Singer's advocacy group, the American Unity Fund, is to get Republican congresspeople to vote for a bill banning workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

"The Republican image, unfortunately, is one in which we have an empathy gap,” says one of the group's lobbyists. "That impacts us across the board. An issue like this, which is about being against discrimination, feeds into the long-term future of the party." The group's polling data shows a majority of Republican voters support the workplace anti-discrimination law, even though the majority don't support gay marriage. "We’re telling Republicans, ‘If you think you can’t get there on marriage, here is a safe list of things you can support,’" says an adviser to the group.

A rainbow US flag outside San Francisco's City Hall.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
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