June 1, 2016 at 4:18 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Meet Trump’s gays
Peter Thiel, Donald Trump superdelegate, gay news, Washington Blade

Gay billionaire Peter Thiel is one of at least three openly gay Republicans named as Trump delegates. (Photo by Dan Taylor; courtesy Flickr)

Gay billionaire Peter Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal and board member of Facebook, is one of at least three openly gay Republicans picked by the campaign of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump as delegates from California to the Republican National Convention.

Gay former Bush administration official and communications company owner Richard ‘Ric’ Grenell and former California Log Cabin Republicans Chairman and management consulting firm owner Charles Moran were also named by the Trump campaign as Trump delegates from California.

“The Trump campaign is making the right decision by actively including out LGBT delegates to participate in the convention,” said John Musella, the current chair of Log Cabin Republicans of California, an LGBT Republican group affiliated with the national Log Cabin Republicans organization.

“It’s a good sign for the future of the Republican Party,” Musella told the Washington Blade.

In a little-noticed development, the Trump campaign submitted the names of Thiel, Grenell, and Moran on May 9 to the California Secretary of State’s office as part of a list of more than 165 Trump delegate candidates. Most, including Thiel and Moran, were designated as delegates representing one of the state’s congressional districts.

If Trump wins in those districts in the state’s June 7 presidential primary, as expected, those named by the Trump campaign as delegate designees will become full-fledged delegates.

The Trump campaign designated Grenell as one of 10 statewide at-large delegates.

Musella said the Trump campaign invited him to become a delegate to represent Log Cabin Republicans of California, which is officially recognized by the California Republican Party. He said he had to decline the invitation because he is unable to attend the GOP convention in Cleveland.

According to Musella, the Trump campaign was considering naming gay Republican activist and former Carpinteria, Calif., City Council member Gregory Gandrud as an alternate delegate to represent the California Log Cabin group. Gandrud became the subject of news coverage in 2011 when he won election as the first openly gay member of the California Republican Party’s Board of Directors at the party’s annual convention.

Thiel’s LinkedIn page says he currently serves as managing partner of The Founders Fund, a company that provides venture capital and seed money to entrepreneurs. He also owns a separate company called Thiel Capital based in San Francisco.

Thiel didn’t immediately respond to a request by the Blade for comment on his selection as a Trump delegate.

Forbes magazine has reported that Thiel, a libertarian, was a large donor to 2012 GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul and contributed money to Ted Cruz’s 2012 race for the U.S. Senate in Texas. He also contributed in 2015 to a political action committee raising money for the 2016 presidential candidacy of former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Forbes reports.

Forbes reports that Thiel has an estimated net worth of $2.7 billion.

“It’s especially meaningful to have someone of Peter Thiel’s stature selected to be involved,” Musella told the Blade. “He’s a man who understands technology and business and what is needed in government and politics to make America a great place for entrepreneurs and innovators.”

Grenell served as spokesperson for the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. from 2001 to 2008 under the administration of President George W. Bush. His website says he is the founding partner of Capitol Media Partners, a company that specializes in international strategic communications, with offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Washington, D.C.

He also serves as a contributor to Fox News.

Moran’s LinkedIn page says he is principal owner of CTM Consulting, a consulting firm specializing in organizational management, fundraising for non-profit and political organizations and communications and media outreach.

He served as chair of Log Cabin Republicans of California from 2011 to August 2015.

According to Forbes, Thiel is one of the few Silicon Valley leaders who are backing Trump for president, with most Silicon Valley entrepreneurs speaking out loudly against Trump. Thiel’s fellow Facebook board member and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen has come out against Trump’s candidacy.

And Keith Rabois, a friend and former colleague of Thiel’s at Facebook, has called Trump an “opportunistic liar,” Forbes reports.

Gregory Angelo, president of the national Log Cabin Republicans, told the Blade last month that his organization never endorses presidential candidates prior to the GOP convention. And although he said Log Cabin will seek out Trump’s positions on specific LGBT-related issues before deciding whether to endorse him, Angelo said Trump’s record on LGBT- and AIDS-related issues would make him the most LGBT-supportive Republican presidential candidate in U.S. history.

Donald Trump’s campaign has recruited at least three openly gay Republicans to serve as delegates. (Photo by andykatz; courtesy Bigstock)

Donald Trump’s campaign has recruited at least three openly gay Republicans to serve as delegates. (Photo by andykatz; courtesy Bigstock)

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

49 Comments
  • Thiel affirms himself as gay yet supported Ted Cruz and Ron Paul even though these people are enemies of the GLBT community. His actions are revolting, callous and backstabbing!

    He’s simply a token used by the Trump campaign to dupe us into thinking we can trust Trump to support our issues. I’m not buying it. Trump has proven himself to be a chronic flip flopper on our issues as well as others. You can’t tell us that you will appoint Supreme Court Judges that will define marriage as between a man and a woman and reverse our court victory and support religious freedom acts and still convince me that you will support our issues. He’s a con man.

    People like Thiel should be demanding that Trump support our issues for their support and that he be consistent in that support not only when talking to us but when talking to religious conservatives!!! Instead all he cares about is his bank account. Is his dirty money supposed to make him a self-appointed leader speaking for our community? He maybe buying influence for himself but he’s doing nothing for the rest of us!

    • Just confirming… You don’t actually know much about Ann Coulter, right?

      • She’s an arrogant social conservative who bahes liberals and doesn’t support glbt rights. That’s all we need to know.

        Except I’ve always questioned whether she is a biologically anatomically correct woman. Could she be a transgender female? Or a drag queen? Has anyone checked her private parts?

    • Anyone who calls Ron Paul an enemy of the GLBT community is an ignorant fool. Take your victim mentality and shove it.

      • Really what glbt issues does he endorse and support exactly? I recall that he opposed marriage equalty!!!

        I’ll gladly shove it. Just bend over and pull your head out of the way so I can!!!!

        • He was one of just 20 Republicans who voted to repeal DADT in Congress, and he consistently said the state should not be in the business of defining what marriage is and that gay couples should have the same rights as others. Tell me, did you label Hillary and Bill and John Kerry and Obama as anti gay when they opposed SSM? I wonder what the answer is. Just admit it: you’re ignorant and you have one standard for your party and a different one for Republicans.

          • And yet his son rand Paul opposes our rights!! Including marriage! Does the fruit fall far from the tree?

            I never said the clintons were perfect and haven’t failed us but they like Obama have evoled on our issues favorably while Donald trump and the majority of the GOP leadership has not!!!

            Trump chronically flip flops and lies like mitt Romney!! Neither Paul Ryan nor Mitch McConnell support glbt rights and neither would allow a fair up and down vote on an equality act in congress!

            My party? I’m not registered as a democrat.

            Just admit it that Obama has done more for glbt Americans than any president in us history! He put his re-election campaign at risk coming out in support of marriage equality!!

            Admit it that you live in denial and your party fails to deliver for us in comparison!

          • Again, more ignorance. Rand Paul supported the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn DOMA, opposed a federal marriage amendment, and did not oppose the repeal of DADT. I don’t care whether you’re registered Dem or not, you’re a standard liberal leftist so don’t give me your silly bullshit. Just wallow in your victimhood.

          • Again more arrogance from a self-loathing thinks he knows it all conservative smug piss ant!

            Liberal leftist made it possible for you to be openly gay fool without suffering dire consequences for it. You would be married to a woman having back ally affairs with men afraid of being exposed if it were not for us!

            Don’t give me your bullshit of victim hood! People like me were out there fighting for our rights when being gay meant being ostracized by family, friends, employers and landlords! We were threatened with verbal abuse and physical violence! My life has been threatened! That didn’t stop us from fighting for the dream!!!

            Victims don’t fight back they bend over like you and take it!

            I don’t care what you think! The rights we have today are no thanks to you. You only enjoy the benefits others gained for you through their risk, sacrifice and struggle!

          • He supported state bans on gay marriage or supported repealing them? Get out of our faces with your disingenuous federalism bullshit.

          • Read your history, moron. “Let the states decide” was the mantra of the gay establishment for years as the reason we shouldn’t have a federal marriage amendment. It was John Kerry’s position when he ran for president that he supported not one but two state marriage amendments to ban gay marriage in Missouri and Massachusetts. Did you vote for Kerry? Talk about disingenuous.

      • Since 2004, Paul has sponsored bills that would bar the federal
        courts from hearing cases on same-sex marriage and he has also
        championed legislation that would close the federal courts to any cases
        related to sexual orientation.

        “Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce the We the People Act,” he said in
        2005. “The We the People Act forbids federal courts, including the
        Supreme Court, from adjudicating cases concerning state laws and polices relating to religious liberties or privacy, including cases involving sexual practices, sexual orientation, or reproduction. The We the People Act also protects the traditional definition of marriage from judicial activism by ensuring the Supreme Court cannot abuse the equal protection
        clause to redefine marriage.”

        • He believed the definition of marriage should be decided by the states, and in 2004, so did the Clintons, Joe Biden, and nearly every leading Democrat. John Kerry, the Dem. candidate for president in 2004, opposed gay marriage and also supported two state marriage amendments in Missouri and Mass. that would have banned gay marriage in those states. So take off your blinders and know what you’re talking about before you spout off.

          • Does he support marriage equality now?

          • Don’t tell us what people believed then what matters is now!! That’s a red herring lame argument!

            The idea that states should define marriage is stupid! Rights should not begin and end at state borders! Marriage has to be portable across state lines or it has no value. Much of the benefits of marriage are federal!

            Talking about spouting off! Is Ron Paul York daddy?

          • You cited what Paul said in 2004 so of course it’s relevant what the Clintons and Obama and Biden and the rest thought. And they all agreed with Paul about the definition of marriage, so you’re a complete hypocrite and hack for saying Republicans are anti-gay when they hold a certain viewpoint but Democrats are not when they believe exactly the same thing. Marriage is still primarily a state issue and the fact that you don’t even seem to know that says a lot.

          • We can make many comparisons and find that the glbt has had more enemies among conservatives than anywhere else: Jesse helms, Rick Santorum, mitt Romney, Marc Rubio and ted Cruz just to name a few!!

            No GOP presidential candidate has endorsed our issues openly and championed them like Obama but because you are the hack with an agenda you refuse to acknowledge it at all cost! Yeah, the clintons have failed us but unlike trump who is running they don’t arrogantly flaunt an agenda that threatens our communities gains!

            I’d rather have Dems in office that deliver nothing for us in a worse case scenario than repulicans which will take a win as a mandate to push an anti-glbt agenda!!

            You’re an idiot to call marriage a state issue! If I move from one state to another for a better job or a lower cost of living I shouldn’t have to pick between that and dissolving my marriage! Get a clue!

          • And he believed that states should decide the define marriage to exclude same-sex couples. Your willingness to dissemble is disgusting.

          • Just like the Clintons and Obama and Biden and Kerry, all until recently. Did you vote for them? Were they terrible bigots because they opposed SSM when you voted for them? Your rank hypocrisy is disgusting.

  • What kind of self loathing gay person is he?

  • Trumps gays. Sounds like they are describing his pets on a leash.

  • Roy Cohn, Liberace, John Wayne Gacy & Jeffrey Dahmer may have been gay but I sure don’t claim them as part of the LGBT community.

    • Curios why Liberace in particular makes your list in comparison to serial killers?

      Cohn reminds me of so many right-wing conservative gays today.

      • Liberace was a coward when it came to his sexuality, even to the point of death. Who dies of “the watermelon diet”??? Liberace’s family claimed he did, and he insisted he was on the diet when he passed. I have friends who claim him as a gay icon but I sure do not.

        • Well, Liberace lived and died at a time when being openly gay was very taboo.

          Blantantly gay men like Liberace, Paul lynde,rip Taylor or Charles Nelson Reilly were open secrets. And believe it or not everyone lived with a sense of denial. As long as they didn’t admit it we could pretend it really wasn’t so. Look at Richard Simmons.

          Blatant gay men would say they were not gay just “cultured”.

          Rock Hudson would not admit being gay either till the day he died and look how long it took Richard chamberlain to come out.

          Liberace used to sue people who claimed he was gay. He was no hero of our community. I once met him after a show as a kid.

          You had to pay to see him for an autograph. He was a very nasty guy refusing to speak to you and giving dirty looks! I took a photo with him and put my hand on his shoulder and I could feel so much tension from him.

          • “very taboo”

            Then explain Truman Capote, along with the names you already cited. (No, he’s hardly the only name I can offer … but you know that as well as I.)

          • Explain what exactly? Everybody could see Truman Capote was gay. As I said, it was an open secret. People knew but no one openly talked about it. Don’t ask, don’t tell. People didn’t want to know.

            In fact, people were pretty stupid back then. A common question was why aren’t you married. I remember an interviewer asked Paul Lynde that and he asked if the guy lived in a cave. He didn’t have to admit he was gay.

      • Cohn was a lawyer, a subspecies of misanthropes. Be careful when including him in any lists.

  • Get over your damn over sensitivity on anything said about trans people that isn’t pc enough for you!! Get a thicket skin if you expect to survive in this world!! I Mentioned drag queens too but no one whines that it’s homophobic!!

    Pull the pole out your hole because I’m not walking on eggshells for nobody!!! You aren’t going to get any strong support or understanding from people with your attitude!!! Lighten up! Self-deprecating humor can build bridges not tear them down!

  • Lighten up and get a thicker skin. No one whines about homophobia with my reference to a drag queen but say anything that isn’t PC in your mind about a transgender person and it’s transphobia.

    I won’t bite my tongue to walk on eggshells for anybody. I’ve endured far worse over the years and it hasn’t broken me.

  • Log Cabin Republicans are an oxymoron!

  • Isn’t that precious? He has three fairies and one African-American :)

  • Being the most LGBT supportive Rebulican is like being the most pro-civil rights KKK member.

  • Perhaps the Orlando shooter was a self-loathing gay man. News reports today (Mon, 6/13) indicate such might be the case.

© Copyright Brown, Naff, Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. 2018. All rights reserved.