Gay Community Outraged by Mitt Romney Staffer’s Exit
Did far-right drive Richard Grenell, Mitt Romney’s foreign policy spokesman, to quit?
Mitt Romney made the groundbreaking decision in late April to hire an openly gay man as his foreign policy spokesman. Just two weeks later Richard Grenell is gone. On Tuesday, Grenell resigned from the post.
He said in a statement, “While I welcomed the challenge to confront President Obama’s foreign policy failures and weak leadership on the world stage, my ability to speak clearly and forcefully on the issues has been greatly diminished by the hyper-partisan discussion of personal issues that sometimes comes from a presidential campaign.”
The gay community says that Grenell only left the Romney camp after far-right extremists such as Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association publicly criticized Romney for bringing a homosexual on board. Here’s what the gay community had to say about Grenell’s departure.
R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of gay group the Log Cabin Republicans, said: “It is unfortunate that while the Romney campaign made it clear that Grenell being an openly gay man was a non-issue for the governor and his team, the hyper-partisan discussion of issues unrelated to Richard’s national security qualifications threatened to compromise his effectiveness on the campaign trail.”
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Jimmy LaSalvia, co-founder of GOProud, said: “Today is a day when national security and foreign affairs is front and center and Mitt Romney doesn’t have the best person available speaking on his behalf. He has Bryan Fischer and Tony Perkins to thank for that.”
Fred Karger, a gay Republican presidential candidate, said: “It’s going to be difficult for Romney to take other steps like this. And that’s what’s really frightening to me,” Karger said. “It’s just too tough to stand up to these groups because they have a lot of money and power. You’ve got to be able to do that, that’s leadership.”
Michelangelo Signorile, editor-at-large for HuffPost Gay Voices, said: “Grenell was being used for cover by a candidate with abhorrently anti-gay positions, a man who has promised to ‘propose and promote’ a federal marriage amendment if elected president. I don't buy the argument made by some that it was a measure of progress that Romney hired a gay man as his foreign policy spokesperson when he's using that gay man to make himself appear moderate to independents while promising the GOP base that he’ll make gay people into second-class citizens.”