Late Friday night, the New York State Senate made history by voting to legalise gay marriage in New York.
Michael Barbargo at NYT has a great piece on how it all came together — how the Senate was able to reverse its 2009 vote opposing the measure, and how Cuomo and gay rights allies were able to peel away enough support from Republicans to see the bill go through.
Right at the top of the story is an anecdote about Cuomo secretly meeting with some big time GOP donors on the issue:
But the donors in the room — the billionaire Paul Singer, whose son is gay, joined by the hedge fund managers Cliff Asness and Dan Loeb — had the influence and the money to insulate nervous senators from conservative backlash if they supported the marriage measure. And they were inclined to see the issue as one of personal freedom, consistent with their more libertarian views.
Singer, Asness, and Loeb… all three are mega names, and today are heroes of the cause, having made out six-figure donations totaling $1 million.
This is also a reminder that the libertarian streak among hedge funders is a real thing that extends beyond just a hatred of taxes and regulations. On the social issues — the other half of the equation — they step up, and it’s perhaps one reason why Obama (who really has done nothing on social or civil rights issues, including a failure to come out in favour of gay marriage himself, doesn’t have that many friends anymore in this scene).
NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.