Tales from the Trail

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

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.

RuPaul to Republicans — don’t be a drag

Drag queen RuPaul crashed New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary scene on Saturday to clear up a possible case of mistaken identity for voters who might not have been paying close attention.

Most would not mistake the notorious celebrity — singer, actor, reality TV star and the first drag queen supermodel — for Ron Paul, the crusty, 76-year-old Congressman and former obstetrician. But just in case…

“I am NOT Ron Paul, and I’m not running for President!” RuPaul exclaimed during a high-energy visit to the tiny Red Arrow Diner in downtown Manchester, which has hosted more than its fair share of celebrities and political luminaries. A large number of local gays and lesbians, as well as adoring fans of all stripes, came out for the occasion.

Santorum sees “harm” to children with same-sex parents

A Rick Santorum town hall meeting in New Hampshire turned heated on Thursday when the conservative candidate was asked to explain why he, personally, would be affected if same-sex marriages were legalized, and how his opposition squared with his long riff about the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The meeting ended with Santorum getting booed by much of the crowd in Concord, which included many college and high-school students, after suggesting that children raised by same-sex parents are being “harmed.”

“How does it affect you personally if two men or two women get married?” Santorum was asked at the College Convention 2012, to broad applause and cheers.

Bush daughter backs gay marriage

Former President George W. Bush’s daughter Barbara is speaking out in support of same-sex marriage.

“I’m Barbara Bush and I’m a New Yorker for marriage equality. New York is about fairness and equality and , everyone should have the right to marry the person that they love. Join us,” she says in a brief video released by the advocacy group Human Rights Campaign.

In a break with her father, Ms. Bush, who lives in Manhattan, joins other prominent New Yorkers in calling on New York to legalize gay marriage, The New York Times reported Monday.