CLEVELAND, July 21 (UPI) -- PayPal founder and tech billionaire Peter Thiel, who is openly gay, encouraged Republicans at the party's convention to move past "fake culture wars" to address more important economic problems facing the country.
Thiel told delegates "I don't pretend to agree with every plank in the party's platform," which calls for overturning the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage. But, he said, there are more important things to him than the party's position on gay rights.
"I am proud to be gay. I am proud to be a Republican. Most of all, I am proud to be an American," Thiel said to loud cheers inside Quicken Loans Arena.
"Now we are told the great debate is who gets to use which bathroom. This is a distraction from our real problems."
He encouraged a party that has long opposed expanding gay rights to move past the debate and focus on fixing the nation's economy.
"Fake culture wars only distract us from our economic decline and nobody in this race is being honest about it except Donald Trump," he said.