It was revealed last week that Greg Gianforte, the billionaire tech mogul from Bozeman who apparently believes that the earth is 4,300 years old, has been invited to speak at Montana Tech’s graduation. This touched off a stir, with stories in Montana and national press. Students and teachers at Montana Tech are organizing a boycott.
Gianforte’s wife was also invited to give the speech with him, in a kind of duet. But she has her own problems–she’s a big player in the “christian shop-owners must have a right to discriminate against LGBT people” movement. She recently testified against Bozeman’s proposed non-discrimination ordinance, and Gianforte bankrolls the non-discrimination ordinance opposition. His wife is chair of the pro-discrimination bunch’s board of directors.
To smooth things out, Gianforte today wrote a piece of his own, in the Montana Standard, defending himself. Strangely, he makes no mention of his “young earth” theories, nor about whether such beliefs should disqualify a person from speaking at a geology school.
Rather, he addresses discrimination (without specifically mentioning his wife or the fact that she’s the chair of the board of the organization fighting to keep discrimination legal, which Gianforte bankrolls), and claims that he opposes it. He also says that the best way to deal with it is to give people a good education so that they be raised to know right from wrong. He then goes on to list all of his educational philanthropy–all the money he has given in the pursuit of better educational opportunities for young people.
Therefore, if I hear him correctly, Gianforte believes that his wife needs to be sent back to school, and be taught that discriminating against LGBT people is wrong. Perhaps Gianforte can set up a scholarship for her, with the money he demands back from the Montana Family Foundation.