Billionaire Koch Brother Supports Marriage Equality

Marriage equality supporters found a new ally in an unlikely place earlier this week.

The American billionaire and political activist David Koch, who, with his brother Charles, has funneled millions of dollars into conservative organizations bent on electing Republicans, told Politico that he supports marriage equality.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for david-koch.jpgWhen asked if he agreed with the Republican Party’s stance on gay rights, Koch responded, “I believe in gay marriage.”

Although Mitt Romney and much of the Republican Party support a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and the Defense of Marriage Act, which forbids federal recognition of same-sex marriages, Koch thinks otherwise, telling Politico, “Well, I disagree with that.”

The former 1980 vice presidential nominee for the Libertarian Party, which is generally liberal on social issues, also broke with Romney on taxes and defense cuts, stating that the U.S. military should withdraw from the Middle East and defense spending cuts as well as tax increases should not be kept off the table.

Koch was in Tampa, Fl. as a delegate for the Republican National Convention. He said he considers himself a Republican first, despite his differing ideological views.

It was reported in May that the Koch brothers plan to give nearly $400 million by November to conservative groups set on defeating President Barack Obama in November and electing Republicans to Congress. David Koch alone is worth an estimated $25 billion.

Koch is one of several high profile Republicans that have differed with Romney on the issue of marriage equality.

Although not a supporter of gay couples’ right to marry, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said in a radio interview earlier this week that he thinks marriage equality is a matter best decided on the state level rather than with a constitutional amendment.

[Photo: David Koch (Courtesy of celebexperts).]

Justin Snow is Metro Weekly's political editor and White House correspondent. He can be reached at jsnow@metroweekly.com.

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