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Net Net: Promoting innovation and managing change

The hedge fund managers who pushed for gay marriage

Founder and president of the Elliot Management Corp., Paul Singer, speaks during The New York Times DealBook Conference on Dec. 11, 2014, in New York City.
Thos Robinson | Getty Images for The New York Times.

The U.S. Supreme Court decision Friday in favor of same-sex marriage was welcomed by a perhaps surprising group: conservative hedge fund managers.

Dan Loeb of Third Point, Paul Singer of Elliott Management, Steve Cohen of Point72 Asset Management and Cliff Asness of AQR Capital Management are among the prominent hedge fund managers who have worked in recent years in support of gay marriage even as they disapproved of President Barack Obama and Democrats.

"It's a gratifying day for equality under the law," Asness, a libertarian, told on Friday.

"We're pleased with the Court's ruling because we believe in social justice for all Americans and hope this serves as a catalyst for global change," added Cohen, via a spokesman.

Loeb also sent this tweet quoting from Justice Anthony Kennedy's majority opinion.

Dan Loeb tweet

Singer, for example, created American Unity PAC in 2012 to support the cause by "protecting and promoting pro-freedom Republicans." Donors to that political action group have included Loeb, Asness, Seth Klarman of Baupost Group, David Tepper of Appaloosa Management and Mark Kingdon of Kingdon Capital Management, according to public filings.

Loeb, Cohen, Singer and others helped successfully to push to legalize same-sex marriage in New York in 2011. And backers of nonprofit Freedom to Marry have been supported by KKR head of public affairs Ken Mehlman, a former Republican operative, as well as Loeb, Klarman, Singer and Asness.

Loeb and Klarman did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Singer declined to comment.

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Tom Steyer, a left-leaning former hedge fund manager who is now an environmental activist, also tweeted his support of the Supreme Court decision Friday.

Tom Steyer tweet