Peter Thiel makes history at RNC by declaring 'I am proud to be gay'

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Thiel says he's proud to be gay and Republican

Tech billionaire Peter Thiel told the Republican National Convention he is "proud to be gay," making history as the first speaker in the party's history to do so at an RNC.

The crowd gave Thiel a rousing standing ovation after identifying himself as a member of the LGBT community. "Of course, every American has a unique identity," Thiel said. "I am proud to be gay. I am proud to be a Republican. But most of all I am proud to be an American."

The PayPal co-founder said he may not "agree with every plank in our party's platform," referring to the lack of same-sex marriage support within the Republican party platform. However Thiel said "fake culture wars" are distracting the country from economic issues.

See reaction to Thiel's speech:

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Social Reactions to Peter Thiel's RNC Speech
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Social Reactions to Peter Thiel's RNC Speech
Don't be distracted by the PayPal co-founder's speech. The @GOP is very much anti-LGBTQ. #RNCinCLE https://t.co/LufE4bBcu1
:: deletes PayPal account ::
Peter Thiel, the epitome of the white gay male privileged elite who's concerns end at his own reflection and his own wallet. #NoThanks
Peter Thiel is doing an AMAZING job! #RNCinCLE https://t.co/p2vrcVDfuf
Still have goosebumps thinking of @peterthiel's speech - and the resounding ovation from the #gopconvention crowd that welcomed it #RNCinCLE
+1,100% spike for searches for @PeterThiel in past hour
I too am from Cleveland; I'm also proud to be gay; But unlike @peterthiel, I can't support someone like @mike_pence who denies my equality.
Wow @peterthiel knocked it out of park "I'm proud to be gay I'm proud to be a republican I'm proud to be an American" amazing @FoxBusiness
Was liking Peter Thiel speech til I remembrd the GOP platform is so crazy anti-gay and Pence wants to convert him..then it got really weird
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Thiel also took a swipe at transgender bathroom laws, saying "now we are told that the great debate is about who gets to use which bathroom."

While the majority of Americans support same-sex marriage, the GOP has been reluctant to fully embrace LGBT issues. The Republican National Committee released its final party platform on Monday, which featured a rebuttal to gay marriage that reads, "Traditional marriage and family, based on marriage between one man and one woman, is the foundation for a free society and has for millennia been entrusted with rearing children and instilling cultural values."

"While it is fitting to talk about who we are, today it's even more important to remember where we came from. For me that is Cleveland, and the bright future it promised," Thiel said.

Last year it was revealed Thiel had been secretly funding Hulk Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker, a site that had previously outed the tech billionaire as being gay.

BY: WILLIAM STEAKIN

Click through images from the RNC:

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Chaos at the Republican National Convention
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Chaos at the Republican National Convention
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: Delegates protest on the floor during on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: Delegates from Texas oppose a roll call vote on the floor during on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: Delegates protest on the floor during on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Republican National Convention delegates yell and scream as the Republican National Committee Rules Committee announces that it will not hold a recorded vote on the Rules Committee's Report and rejects the efforts of anti-Trump forces to hold a roll-call vote, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
A Donald Trump-supporting delegate cheers while holding a Trump banner as the Republican National Convention Rules Committee announces that it will not hold a recorded vote on the Rules Committee's Report and rejects the efforts of anti-Trump forces, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: Delegates protest onm the floor on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: Delegates protest on the floor during on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: Delegates protest on the floor during the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Delegates react to a rule committee proposal on the opening day of the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans arena in Cleveland, Ohio on July 18, 2016. The Republican Party opened its national convention Monday, kicking off a four-day political jamboree that will anoint billionaire Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee. / AFP / DOMINICK REUTER (Photo credit should read DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)
Anti-Trump activists march in protest outside the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Republican Party opened its national convention Monday, kicking off a four-day political jamboree that will anoint billionaire Donald Trump as its presidential nominee. / AFP / Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS (Photo credit should read ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 18: Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (L) along with other delegates from Virginia chant for a rule call vote on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Republican National Convention kicks off on July 18. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
An opponent of the Republican National Convention Rules Committee's report and rules changes screams as the Republican party tries to repel the efforts of anti-Trump forces by refusing to hold a roll-call vote on the report and changes, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Republican National Convention delegates yell and scream as the Republican National Committee Rules Committee announces that it will not hold a recorded vote on the Rules Committee's Report and rejects the efforts of anti-Trump forces to hold a roll-call vote, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
A Republican National Convention delegates yells as the Republican National Committee Rules Committee announces that it will not hold a recorded vote on the Rules Committee's Report and rejects the efforts of anti-Trump forces to hold a roll-call vote, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
An opponent of the Republican National Convention Rules Committee's report and rules changes screams as the Republican party tries to repel the efforts of anti-Trump forces by refusing to hold a roll-call vote on the report and changes, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
A Republican National Convention delegate cheers as others yell and scream as the Republican National Committee Rules Committee announces that it will not hold a recorded vote on the Rules Committee's Report and rejects the efforts of anti-Trump forces to hold a roll-call vote at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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