November 11, 2016 at 3:44 pm EST | by Chris Johnson
Peter Thiel named to Trump transition team

Peter Thiel, gay news, Washington Blade

Peter Thiel has been named to Trump’s transition team. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Gay billionaire Peter Thiel, whose support for Donald Trump made him stand out in Silicon Valley and the LGBT community, has been named as one of 16 committee members for the president-elect’s transition team.

The co-founder of PayPal and board member of Facebook, Thiel contributed $1.25 million to Trump late in the game when the president-elect campaign was seen as floundering. Thiel was among the speakers at the Republican National Convention and told the audience he’s “proud to be gay.”

Vice president-elect Mike Pence was named as chair of the transition team. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Trump supporter who was running for transition for months is now designated as one of six executive committee vice chairs. Other vice chairs are Ben Carson, former U.S. Speaker Newt Gingrich, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.).

In an interview with The New York Times, Thiel said he doesn’t expect undertaking a formal role with the Trump administration, although would like to serve as an informal adviser on tech issues.

“A page in the book of history has turned, and there is an opening to think about some of our problems from a new perspective,” Mr. Thiel said. “I’ll try to help the president in any way I can.”

The week prior to Election Day, Thiel defended his decision to support Trump. Although the president-elect had taken anti-LGBT positions over the course of his presidential campaign, Thiel insisted Trump would be “expansive” on LGBT rights.

“I do think that he represents a sea change for the Republican Party of Bush 43,” Thiel said. “Just think about the way Bush 43 was speaking negatively about gay marriage at every single campaign event in the 2004 election. It’s something where Trump has — everything he indicated is that he would be quite expansive on gay rights.”

Meanwhile, the anti-LGBT histories of other members of Trump’s transition team have led LGBT advocates to sound the alarm. Heading up domestic policy for the team is Ken Blackwell, a fellow at the anti-LGBT Family Research Council who’s said being gay is a choice and can be changed.

Also named to the Trump team’s executive committee was Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who clashed with CNN’s Anderson Cooper for opposing same-sex marriage as she sought solidarity with the victims of a mass shooting at a gay nightclub. Others are Reps. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), Tom Marino (R-Pa.) and Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who each scored “0” on the Human Rights Campaign’s most congressional scorecard. The team also comprises three of Trump’s children, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump, as well as RNC Chair Reince Priebus.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • The real question is, how does Peter Thiel tip? For good service, that is.

    Remember, tips are good karma. And karma never lies. Thank you.

  • Peter Thiel is a tool! He is in a position to advise to help the GLBT community, instead he buries his head up The GOP’s rear and ignores the harm social conservatives led by Pence plan to inflict upon the community.

    But why would he care when he is insulated by his fortune and lives in an ivory tower? Just another useless clueless token that fails to impress!

    • Why do you spread these lies? It’s quite tiresome and so predictable. You fail to grasp that lots and lots of gay folks totally and utterly disagree with you.

      • If you’re tired then stay asleep! It’s predictable what you will support isn’t it! Who are you trying to kid! Your agenda is transparent!

        You fail to grasp that the majority of gay people agree with me! Are you gay? How dare you presume to tell me what gay people think! Obviously all the people protesting in the streets shows it’s not just gay people!

        That will keep growing!

  • Peter Thiel is the lowest of the low. He has all of the riches that a human could desire, and now he seeks to empower himself to control Others financially, as opposed to lifting others up. He is misdirected as a person. No wonder he aligns himself with Trump. There is nothing that the two of them can do to redeem themselves. Neither have a morsel of real integrity.

    Trump bullies his way to the top and THEN begs for cooperation? Ha! Fat chance. You cannot support North Carolina HB2, which separates LGBT people from the Court System, and then get anything from me.

    Government is supposed to be “For the People”, not “For the Rich People”

  • Generally speaking, it’s always better to have an open, out LGBT inside, sitting at the table where major decisions are made.

    But Mike Pence’s homophobic hatred and anti-LGBT discrimination disguised as religious ‘freedom’ is a matter of record…

    \Mike Pence’s top seven most homophobic moments (out of many)//

    It renders Pence unfit to be a heartbeat away from the presidency– and his elevation as Trump’s transition boss puts the lie to claims of Trump’s respect for LGBT civil rights.

    \Pence replaces Christie as leader of Trump transition effort//

  • A republiCON q u e e r that supports Trump, that is as dumb as it gets.

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