A gay supporter of former Massachusetts governor and presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney (R) has pulled his support and asked for his contribution back, the maximum allowed by law, over the candidate’s stance on same sex marriage, according to CNN. Bill White, CEO of the New York City-based consulting firm the Constellations Group has supported Republican and Democratic politicians in the past, but after Saturday’s commencement address at Liberty University, where Romney underlined his belief that marriage is “between one man and one woman,” White has declared that he now supports President Barack Obama’s re-election in November.
Obama affirmed his support of same sex unions last Wednesday, which provided an opportunity that White feels Romney missed. In a letter to the campaign, the erstwhile supporter wrote, “You have chosen to be on the wrong side of history and I do not support your run for president any longer.”
When reached for comment, Jimmy LaSalvia, co-founder and director of conservative LGBT coalition GOProud told Raw Story, “I can certainly understand Mr. White’s feelings on this issue, but I don’t think that most gay Americans are single issue voters. Gay Americans are living in the Obama economy just like everyone else. At the end of the day, this election will come down to the issue of jobs and the economy.”
GOProud also disagreed with Romney’s decision to speak at Liberty University’s commencement on Saturday, accusing the former governor of kowtowing to “big government theocrats.” Liberty was founded by the late evangelist Jerry Falwell, who declared in 2007 that “AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharaoh’s charioteers … AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals; it is God’s punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals.”
Former Romney supporter White, who is legally married to his partner under New York law, told CNN, “I feel like he’s declared war on my marriage. And I could just sit back and not say anything. Or I could do something about it. And I’ve chosen to do something about it.”
White was a maximum donor to the Romney campaign, meaning he donated $2,500, an amount that he has requested back from the candidate. Previously, he has donated to a range of Democratic and Republican politicians, from Ronald Reagan to Hillary Clinton.
“Quite frankly,” he told CNN, “I was not supporting Barack Obama – I was supporting Mitt Romney. And my support is not just words or my vote, it’s also putting my money where my mouth is.”