April 20, 2012 at 9:16 am EDT | by Chris Johnson
Romney hires gay nat’l security spokesperson

The Romney campaign has reportedly hired a gay veteran GOP communication specialist and former Bush administration official as its spokesperson for national security issues.

According to a Washington Post report on Wednesday, Romney has brought onto his campaign, Richard Grenell. The report says he brings “foreign policy chops and more than a decade of political experience to the aggressive but relatively young Romney staff.”

Grenell served as all eight years during the Bush administration as director of communications and public diplomacy at the United Nations, advising four U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations. After the Bush administration ended, Grenell became at a partner at the Los Angeles-based Capitol Media Partners.

The Post report doesn’t mention Grenell’s sexual orientation, but a number of media outlets have previously reported that he’s gay. Los Angeles-based lesbian journalist Karen Ocamb reported on Grenell’s sexual orientation Wednesday night.

According to a 2008 report in The Advocate, Grenell engaged in a four-year struggle with the State Department to have his long-time partner, Matt Lashey, listed in the United Nations’ Blue Book, a reference guide of contact information for diplomatic personnel and their spouses. He was told by the State Department at the time that his partner couldn’t be listed because they weren’t legally married.

Chuck Wolfe, CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, praised Grenell for taking on the role with the Romney campaign.

“Good for him,” Wolfe said. “We applaud the participation of out professionals in government and politics. Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, serving openly is important. It allows you to speak honestly about yourself and the LGBT community to colleagues inside campaigns and government offices.”

Grenell is no stranger to speaking to the LGBT community on LGBT-related policy issues. In op-ed to the Washington Blade published on April 20 titled, “Gay Dems excuse Obama’s failings for party invitations,” Grenell criticizes Obama supporters for praising him and attending State Dinners while the president continues to “evolve” on same-sex marriage.

But Grenell is working for a presidential candidate whom many have accused of being anti-gay. Romney opposes same-sex marriage and has signed a pledge with the National Organization for Marriage committing himself to back a Federal Marriage Amendment, defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court and appoint a commission on “religious liberty” to investigate the alleged harassment of same-sex marriage opponents. NOM has also endorsed Romney.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • And what does Grenell have to say about Romney’s position on gay marriage. He has evolved all to way to promising to push for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Grenell is as hypocritical as he accuses Obama supporters of being.

  • Romney being an “equal opportunity employer” is nothing new. However, let’s not make this more than it is. He hired Grenell as a “spokesperson.” It’s not like he was invited to be a part of Romney’s inner circle or God forbid transition team. Based on Rick’s CV, he was a well qualified candidate and Romney has no qualms of doing or saying what it takes to get elected.

    However, what Grenell should be called to account for is how his working to elect Romney differs from what he boldly accused others of in his March Blade Op-ed noted in the article above.

    One might suggest that he is being “loyal to [his] party at the expense of the movement. Even if “it’s politically smart – if you want to further your career within the Party,” isn’t it a bit disingenuous to aspire to marry your partner of 9 years, then go to work for a man who has professed to derail your dream?

    Integrity genderless. It has no sexual orientation.

    • If he could gain two hundred votes by selling each of his boys into prostitution, I doubt if Mitt wouldn’t think twice – he has no morals when it comes to looking “votable”. So he is hammered for being anti-gay, it is only appropriate to hired a LGBT-community member to a post in his campaign.

      But judge Romney on his anti=gay actions – especially when it comes to same-sex marriage, and his desire to outlaw all same-sex marriages nationwide – because he is a Mormon, and Mormons don’t approve of same-sex marriages.

      Romney did the same with abortion when running for Senate; as a Mormon Pro-Life candidate, not enough votes – so Utah approved his plan to pretend to be Pro-Choice to attract more voters through “fraud.”

      So Romney is, and will forever be, an enemy of the LGBT community.

  • Check out what Mr. Grenell has had to say on Twitter. Stunning that just days after feigning outrage about Hillary Rosen’s comments, Romney’s campaign would hire someone with this long paper trail of sexist tweets. [URL REMOVED]

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