Businessman Richard Branson took virtue-signaling to literally stratospheric levels yesterday, trying to turn an edge-of-space, publicity-soaked, billionaire’s cavort into a somber celebration of homosexual suffering here on Earth.
Branson loudly adopted an LGBTQ “pride” flag as his traveling companion, ostensibly to honor victims of the 2016 shootings at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla.
Branson, 70, took the joyride 53 miles above Earth on July 11 in a rocket plane developed by his space tourism firm, Virgin Galactic.
Lest it look like too much like a playboy’s adventure, Branson made sure to tell the Mail on Sunday that he would be taking a Pride flag with him during the flight, saying it was a tribute to those killed at Pulse in June 2016 when a gunman with Islamist sentiments entered the homosexual nightclub and killed 49 people, wounding dozens more.
“Somebody who lost a loved one at the Orlando massacre asked if I would do that,” Branson said. “We also have many, many friends who are gay and I know people who lost friends there.”
Metroweekly, a gay news source out of Washington, D.C., noted that while Branson did not state whether he had also donated to the onePULSE Foundation, a nonprofit established to create a permanent memorial to the victims of the shooting, despite being worth more than $8 billion. Nor did Branson say if he had contributed to the One Orlando Alliance, a coalition that provides LGBTQ+ specific programs in Orlando