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A gay billionaire has been quietly funding the campaign of a homophobic Republican. He lost his primary regardless

Lily Wakefield August 5, 2020
gay paypal billionaire peter thiel

Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, delivers a speech during the evening session on the fourth day of the Republican National Convention on July 21, 2016. (Alex Wong/Getty)

Gay billionaire PayPal founder Peter Thiel funded the campaign of an anti-LGBT+ Republican running for US senate in Kansas.

Kansas US senate candidate Kris Kobach lost the GOP primary to representative Roger Marshall, a less divisive Republican, on Tuesday, 4 August, despite an influx of cash from the gay PayPal billionaire.

According to Recode, Thiel put $850,000 into a super PAC funding Kobach’s campaign and Patrick Miller, a political scientist at the University of Kansas, described the billionaire as “the lifeblood of the pro-Kobach campaign”.

Kobach is a former Kansas secretary of state who, according to GLAAD, previously compared marriage equality to polygamy and drug use, accused the Human Rights Campaign of promoting “homosexual peadophilia”, suggested that greater numbers of legal Hispanic immigrants could lead to “ethnic cleansing” in the US and advised that Donald Trump create a “Muslim registry”.

In 2015, Kobach slammed LGBT+ adoption and said: “Now we have a situation where gay couples are adopting on the same terms and must be allowed to adopt on the same legal terms as heterosexual couples and, you know, that’s certainly not good for the kids.”

Although Kobach’s rival Marshall managed to beat him in the Republican primary on Tuesday, Kobach used the money from Thiel to fund anti-LGBT+ attack ads against him during his campaign.

The super PAC, which Thiel poured almost $1 million into, funded mailers which accused Marshall of having voted to support “transgender plays” and “Rosie O’Donnell summer camp”.

Donald Trump shakes the hand of Peter Thiel during a meeting with technology executives at Trump Tower, December 14, 2016. (Drew Angerer/Getty)

Gay PayPal founder and billionaire Peter Thiel is an avid Trump-supporter.

Peter Thiel endorsed Donald Trump before his 2016 election, and donated more than $1 million to the now-president’s campaign.

Thiel later joined anti-LGBT+ activists as part of his presidential transition team executive committee, and in 2016 he made history as the first openly gay speaker at the Republican National Convention.

Speaking about Trump’s vehemently anti-LGBT+ vice president Mike Pence in 2017, Thiel said: “You know, maybe I should be worried but I’m not that worried about it.”

More: billionaire, Donald Trump, Gay, kris kobach, paypal, Peter Thiel, Republican

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