updated April 25, 2012
Mitt Romney’s campaign said last week that Richard Grenell, the former Bush administration spokesman at the United Nations, was joining his team as a spokesman on foreign policy issues. Although the Washington Post story doesn’t mention it, the Advocate and others have previously reported that Grenell is openly gay and, according to reports, lives in California with his long-time partner, Matthew Lashey, a media and entertainment company executive. The Advocate also noted that Grenell fought, unsuccessfully, to have his partner listed alongside the spouses of other U.N. diplomats.
Romney has distanced himself from his one-time strong support for gay legal equality and reiterated his opposition to gay marriage, the banning of which he would add to the U.S. Constitution. But Romeny has said he hasn’t, and won’t, discriminate in
hiring. Whether Grenell’s appointment, given his advocacy, becomes an issue will be interesting to watch.
More. I assumed Grenell’s appointment would be attacked by the social right (and it was), but it’s the left-liberal blogosphere (for instance here, and here) and [added: some] LGBT “progressives” who have declared war on Grenell. Whether this is character assassination for insufficient political correctness (tweets mocking Hillary! And Newt’s wives!) or not, carried out by the audience that delights in Bill Maher’s rabid attacks on GOP women, it’s further evidence that the one thing the left and Democratic Party loyalists hate most are gay Republicans, even those with a history of fighting for gay equality within the GOP.
Furthermore. Via the Washington Post: The campaign and Grenell are dealing with a backlash from left and right. You’d expect it from the right, but the behavior of “progressives” in trying to block the appointment of an openly gay, pro-gay-equality voice reveals the shamelessness of the partisan left. I’ve said it before but it remains sadly true: their worst nightmare is that the GOP should become less anti-gay and challenge the one true party for gay dollars and votes.
Why this matters: The Washington Post also reports: “Two weeks from now, North Carolina will hold a public referendum on what could become one of the toughest anti-gay measures in the country.… But President Obama did not touch the subject when he appeared in Chapel Hill on Tuesday—even though it is roiling the electorate there.” Why should he, as long as the GOP remains anti-gay, no need to spend political capital on a slavishly loyal LGBT bloc.