The Huffington Post hasn't taken back or amended its reporting that, should Donald Trump win the White House, Peter Thiel is his pick for the Supreme Court.
Were it true -- and both the Trump campaign and Thiel have denied it -- that story counters Trump's campaign promise to overturn marriage equality via the Supreme Court. During a tough primary against a cadre of social conservatives, Trump told Fox News that he would pick justices who would overturn Obergefell.
"If I'm elected I would be very strong in putting certain judges on the bench that maybe could change things," he told Fox News Sunday in January, "but they have a long way to go." Trump said marriage equality should've been left to the states.
To follow that up, Trump in May released a list of 11 potential justices he'd consider nominating. On the list, for example, was Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Diane Sykes, who argued that gay people don't face discrimination because antigay laws are based on "conduct," not sexual orientation. All in all, it was a stridently anti-LGBT list. Thiel wasn't on it.
The billionaire investor is an out gay man and longtime donor to libertarian causes. Thiel made headlines -- and he has a real knack for making headlines -- when speaking at the Republican National Convention and endorsing Trump. Thiel also supports marriage equality.
The Huffington Post didn't mince words: "Donald Trump has made it clear he will nominate Peter Thiel to the Supreme Court if he wins the presidency, Thiel has told friends, according to a source close to the PayPal co-founder."
Thiel's own spokesman was equally clear in denying the idea.
"Huffington Post's sources are lying," spokesman Jeremiah Hall told Forbes. "The truth is Peter hasn't had any conversation about a Supreme Court nomination and has no interest in the job."
"There is no truth to this whatsoever," said Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks in multiple interviews.
Requests for comment from LGBT activists from both sides of the aisle were largely met with dismissal. No one is taking the report seriously.
Even Jimmy LaSalvia -- a cofounder of GOProud, the conservative gay group to which Thiel was a major donor before it closed -- didn't think much of the idea. "The only thing less likely in politics today than Donald Trump winning the presidency is Peter Thiel being nominated for the Supreme Court," he quipped.
LaSalvia has left the Republican Party, in part because it won't ever evolve on LGBT issues, and he now supports Hillary Clinton for president. He said "political realities" make a Thiel nomination dead on arrival in the Senate, which confirms Supreme Court justices.
"Neither liberal senators or the conservatives -- who are accountable to their antigay political base -- will vote for him," said LaSalvia. "Gay conservatives face disdain from across the political spectrum. We used to have a joke in our office at GOProud that gay conservatives 'take it from both ends!'"