Foster Friess, the billionaire backer of hugely anti-gay Rick Santorum, anti-gay Daily Caller, and anti-gay Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker, says he wants the world to be safer for gay people. Friess is likely best known for his misogynist comment last year, when he told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell:
“And this contraceptive thing, my gosh, it’s so – it’s such – inexpensive, you know, back in my days, they used Bayer Aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.”
But in an exclusive interview with Buzzfeed, Friess told Chris Geidner, “I’ve said before, the number one thing that we have to work on is protecting the gay community from sharia law. Now, in the United States, it’s probably not a big issue right now, but my brother-in-law is gay and his partner and I would like them to be able to travel any place in the world without them risking harm. In Iran, they basically hang them or behead them. So, my number one issue is: How do we support them and rally behind the gay community to make sure it’s safe for them, just, to live?”
Geidner adds that Friess “did single out one domestic issue — a consequence of the Defense of Marriage Act’s prohibition on federal recognition of same-sex couples’ marriages: “I think it’s unfair that people can’t give assets to whoever they want. When I die, my assets can go to my wife. And a gay person — you ought to have a system where maybe you can just say, ‘You can give your assets to anybody you want.’”
“I think it ties into the other problem: We have to be concerned about heterosexual marriage,” Friess said. “We have now 60-70 percent of Hispanics and blacks born out of wedlock. And, with Caucasians, it’s 30 percent. So, the whole idea of — ‘How do we encourage fatherhood? If they father a child, what’s their responsibility to that child?’ — I think that is probably a much bigger issue than any of the other issue that we might deal with in terms of the sexual realm or the whole idea of relationships.”
Friess hedged on whether those views mean DOMA should be struck down when the Supreme Court considers its constitutionality this spring.
“I’m not a lawyer. I don’t know what’s going on. I just know that the people that I meet who are gay, including my brother-in-law and his partner, and my wife is very active in the art community, and we meet a lot of people that are gay, I think, number one, it’s our responsibility to love them. That’s the bottom line,” he said.
“I don’t get so involved in the technical aspects of the marriage issue,” Friess said. “It’s just perplexing for all of us. Just, the bottom line is: How do we reduce the divisiveness?”
While Friess’ support doesn’t move into full support for same-sex marriage like GOP U.S. Senator Rob Portman announced yesterday, it’s an important move from a huge influencer of the Republican party.
No word yet from Rick Santorum…
Image via Wikimedia by Gage Skidmore
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