LGBT rights in america have come so far that gay people can now be Republicans who bash other LGBT people. "I am proud to be gay," Peter Thiel told last night's Republican National Convention. "I'm proud to be a Republican. But most of all, I am proud to be an American."
Thiel, a Paypal co-founder and Facebook board member, is a GAY IMMIGRANT (he, like Trump, is of German descent) but that doesn't seem to bother him or Trump as much as you might think. Some of the substance of Thiel's remarks at the convention last night leaked yesterday before his speech. It was known, for example, that he would express pride in his sexuality, an identity he had seemingly seen fit to hide from his political allies for much of his adult life (so much so that he appears to have secretly funded a lawsuit against Gawker media for outing him publicly.)
But, while it was expected that Thiel might take the Republican Party to task for its war on queer rights, instead, he said this.
"When I was a kid, the great debate was about how to defeat the Soviet Union. 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?"
"Of course, every American has a unique identity. I am proud to be gay. I am proud to be a Republican. But most of all I am proud to be an American. 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. And nobody in this race is being honest about it except Donald Trump."
Never mind that Thiel is basically echoing a far-right transphobic meme: "JFK wanted to send a man to the moon. Obama wants to send a man to the women's restroom." More troublingly, he seems to have borrowed liberally from the Back to the Future film franchise. "When Donald Trump asks us to Make America Great Again, he's not suggesting a return to the past," Thiel also said. "He's running to lead us back to that bright future."
Thiel has railed against "political correctness" and "multiculturalism" many times before, most notably in his book The Diversity Myth: Multiculturalism and the Politics of Intolerance at Stanford. In that volume, he seems to defend a law student on campus who, to make a point about the First Amendment, yelled “Faggot! Faggot! Hope you die of AIDS!” and “Can’t wait until you die, faggot!” outside a professor's house.
Though Trump's running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, has opposed federal guidelines on transgender students' bathroom use — and, for that matter, warned that gay marriage could result in "societal collapse" — Trump told the Today Show that he's in favor of trans rights as they pertain to bathroom use. "There have been very few complaints the way it is," the Republican presidential nominee said. "People go, they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate, there has been so little trouble." But the real way to avoid any trouble, according to Trump? Don't use the bathroom at all, like his wife Melania, as Trump told (duh) Howard Stern.