Speaking on the convention stage Thursday, Peter Thiel, technology investor, urged Republicans to stop waging “culture wars” on the LGBT community. Thiel’s remark comes just days after the GOP approved its platform, which defines marriage as something between a man and a woman.
Thiel, who is openly gay, said that all Americans have their own “unique” identities, and measures like forcing transgender Americans to use a particular bathroom serves only as a “distraction from our real problem.”
The remarks were the first for the GOP convention. Thiel, PayPal co-founder and board member of Facebook, told the crowd, “I am proud to be gay, I am proud to be a Republican, but most of all, I am proud to be an American.”
Earlier in the week, the GOP adopted a policy platform that criticized the Supreme Court for making same-sex marriage legal. Leaders of the party called for a reversal of the decision either through a constitutional amendment or “judicial reconsideration.”
The party’s guiding document for the 2016 year also appeared to support the idea of conversion therapy, stating it “support[s] the right of parents to determine the proper treatment or therapy” for minor children.
Thiel said while he does not agree with every facet of the party’s platform, he warned that “fake culture wars” distracted the public from America’s economic decline.