Pro-Republican hedge fund managers are backing marriage equality efforts in four US states.

Marriage equality campaigns in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington have received financial support from hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer and Cliff Asness, the founder of AQR Capital Management, the Financial Times reports.

Investors Dan Loeb and Seth Klarman are also supporting the campaigns and the newspaper reports that all four have donated to marriage equality group Freedom To Marry.

Mr Loeb said: “We want to see freedom for everyone and as a means to get there we want to give Republican legislators the cover they need to vote with their hearts as opposed to some other basis.”

Mr Asness said: “I don’t think we’re going to suddenly convince the socially conservative wing of the party to agree with us.

But he added that offering financial support to candidates who are in favour of marriage equality “will give support and lend some courage to those in the party who are in the middle on the issue”.