Opening Doors to Gay Marriage

  • Public-Policy Reform
  • 2000

Among many other public-policy causes, the Open Society Foundations funded by financial speculator George Soros have been leading donors to gay rights. Their Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex program gives $5-10 million per year to upwards of 70 advocacy groups. Their most consequential grants in this area may have come between the years of 2000 and 2005, when they invested millions in political and legal efforts to promote gay marriage. They were among the first significant funders of two of the groups that led this campaign: Freedom to Marry, and the Civil Marriage Collaborative. In 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to establish gay marriage, and from then on activist funders like the Gill and Overbrook foundations and the Evelyn and Walter Haas Fund piled onto the cause. Open Society, however, was a pioneer.