Silicon Valley’s Peter Thiel was at the convention to lend his support to presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Tech billionaire Peter Thiel made history yesterday by becoming the first openly gay man to discuss his sexuality publicly at the Republican National Convention.
The Paypal founder told the crowd that he is “proud to be gay,” becoming the first speaker in the party’s history to do so from the stage of the RNC.
He began his by warning the party to stop fighting against social issues, encouraging members to pull back on anti-trans legislation and focus on “our real problems”.
“When I was a kid, the great debate was about how to defeat the Soviet Union,” he said.
“And we won. Now we are told that the great debate is about who gets to use which bathroom.
“This is a distraction from our real problems. Who cares?”
“Instead of going to Mars, we invaded the Middle East,” he added.
“Donald Trump is right. It’s time to end the era of stupid wars and rebuild our country.”
He went on to discuss his pride as an American – and as a gay man.
“Of course, every American has a unique identity,” he declared.
“I am proud to be gay.
“I am proud to be a Republican.
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“But most of all I am proud to be an American.”
The crowd then erupted into a short chant of “USA! USA!”
The Republican National Convention this week adopted its most extreme party platform yet on LGBT rights.
The platform rejects attempts to ban ‘gay cure’ therapy for minors. claiming “parents should be free to make medical decisions about their children without interference”.
It also insists that “natural marriage between a man and a woman is most likely to result in offspring who do not become drug-addicted or otherwise damaged.”
Gay Republican groups have hit out at the decisions, but Thiel brushed off these concerns, saying: “I don’t pretend to agree with every plank in our party’s platform.
“But fake culture wars only distract us from our economic decline.”
The platform also calls for the Supreme Court ruling on equal marriage to be reversed, opposes transgender rights legislation, and calls for ‘religious freedom’ laws to permit anti-LGBT discrimination.