Tales from the Trail

After gay marriage shift, high profile Romney backer switches to Obama

By Eric Johnson
May 15, 2012

An openly gay, big-dollar donor to Mitt Romney’s campaign is asking for his money back after Vice President Joe Biden followed by President Barack Obama – embraced gay marriage, the New York consultant told Reuters on Monday.

“When I heard Biden say he was comfortable with men marrying men I almost fell off my chair,” said Bill White, 42, a registered independent who has supported politicians across the political spectrum, including both President Bushes and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and who maxed out during the Republican primary for Romney, the former Massachusetts Governor.

“These guys are on the right side of history,” said White, who was married to Joseph Bryan Eure in October 2011, a wedding that was officiated by David Boies, a lawyer who defended gay marriage equality in California, and attended by — disclaimer — Thomson Reuters senior executives. Soul singer Aretha Franklin performed at the wedding, the first legal gay marriage ceremony at the Four Seasons hotel, the New York Daily News reported.

White initially backed Romney because the wealthy former private equity executive’s worry over America’s fiscal woes and his plans to rein in spending matched his own, White said.

“I was going to vote for Romney because I think he will be a guy who will have more fiscal control,” said White, who planned to donate more to Romney and had pushed his friends to cut checks to Romney, who has not yet refunded his money. White said he has not yet given to Obama this cycle, either.

The change came after the White House’s shift and Romney took to the stage of evangelical bastion Liberty University and said during a commencement speech that “marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman.” White said seeing Romney make that speech made him worry over a possible constitutional amendment defining marriage.

Public support for same-sex marriage is evolving: half of Americans believe same-sex couples should have the same right to wed as heterosexuals do, slightly down from a year ago but marking the second year that a majority of Americans have supported same-sex marriage. Six states, plus the District of Columbia, have extended marriage rights to gay couples. Twenty-eight states ban such marriages.

Ultimately, the personal trumped the fiscal, said White, a New York native who served as president of a museum there from 2005 to 2010 and is now Chairman and CEO of Constellations Group, a multifaceted consultancy.

“I am not an activist. I am a registered independent voter and a fairly conservative guy. But I am married and that’s that. You should be able to marry who you love.”

Comments
9 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Don’t waste your money, slick. Mitt Romney is going to be the next President and Obama himself already understands this.

Posted by EddieBrown | Report as abusive
 

Mittens couldn’t find his own ass with a map. He doesn’t have personal convictions because you can’t purchase them to have.

The disenfranchised need to believe their president will stand up for them even if it’s unpopular. That’s when you know that a guy truly cares.

The economy is a tangled mess that ten genuises put together would barely make a dent. Obama has done well considering if McCain were president it would be down the toilet in the Bush direction.

Posted by andrea00lauro | Report as abusive
 

To add to andrea00 ‘s comment, the tangled mess needs more than four years to fix, and Obama is on the right path. If he does something about the student debt time bomb, he’s going to beat Romney handily.

A Clinton VP candidacy is a contingency that will be triggered if Obama doesn’t make a clear breakaway by the time the fat cats convention ends in late August in Tampa. Paves the path forhillary to succed Obama in 2016. The GOP has become too jihadi for my liking.

Posted by Bunker555 | Report as abusive
 

Welcome to the winning side Bill. Mitt is starting to show the signs of a desperate candidate facing the certainty of defeat. It was a good time to switch.

Posted by robert222 | Report as abusive
 

I would say that we all live to make money; but in the end our happiness and our personal decisions win out over finances. What good is money if you have to hide who you are?

“All money, isn’t good money…” – unnamed prostitute.

Posted by SouthernHustle | Report as abusive
 

andrea00lauro stop buying in to lame-stream media and believing what you do not personally know – besides it makes you look and sound ignorant. I am sure he can find his ass just as easily as you can find yours. The disenfranchised, huh? Well, here in America either you have not gained the right (by being of age), you did something to lose it, or you have no business being here, so no you are not disenfranchised by any means. If you think that bailing people/companies out is fixing the mess, well then, you are ignorant. If you think that not addressing issues of national interest is standing up for your best interests and cares, well then, you are ignorant. If you think that someone who has repeatedly shown no leadership skills whatsoever can lead, well then, you are ignorant.

Posted by gentrca | Report as abusive
 

In responce to gentrca: not nice old boy.You can disagree with someone without making it personal or insulting. Ad hominem attacks like that are an indication that you really can’t defend your position so you attack the person. After reading your attack on andreaOOlauro, I would have to say you got nothing. Just the same old tired rhetoric that conservatives reapeat over and over like parrtos. Clearly ignorance is in the eye of the beholder. Behold gentrca!

Posted by theinsightful | Report as abusive
 

Don’t let the door hit ya in the butt on the way out…oh wait, you might like that.

Posted by Phocus | Report as abusive
 

It is always amazing to me that there are gay conservative people out there, who are willing to vote for people who are against them in thought, word and deed. Thank goodness, this fellow lived some place where he was legally allowed to marry his male fiance; only 6 states and the District of Columbia allow gay marriage in the USA. I am glad he changed his mind.

Posted by WreakHavock | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/