"Just one week ago, The Atlantic heralded Mitt Romney’s hiring of an openly gay spokesman for foreign policy issues as “a breakthrough in the world of Republican presidential campaigns.”
Seven days later, that spokesman had already stepped down, citing conservatives whose outrage over his spot in the campaign made it impossible to do his job.
“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,” Richard Grenell told the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin in a statement. “I want to thank Governor Romney for his belief in me and my abilities and his clear message to me that being openly gay was a non-issue for him and his team.”
Romney made good on his word that “I don’t discriminate” on the basis of sexual orientation when he hired former Bush administration U.N. spokesperson Richard Grenell, who is openly gay, to be his foreign policy spokesman.
Unfortunately for Grenell, Romney’s support wasn’t enough.
The Post first reported Tuesday that Grenell left Romney’s campaign after just a couple weeks on the job. Grenell’s departure, according to Rubin, came in response to numerous conservatives upset that an advocate of gay marriage, who was himself gay, had landed a high-profile position on the campaign of the likely GOP presidential nominee.
Social conservatives were indeed wary of Grenell from the start and questioned Romney’s decision to hire him. Bryan Fischer, a social conservative known for claiming that President Obama “feminized” the Medal of Honor, among other things — reacted predictably to Grenell’s hiring.
“If the Secret Service scandal teaches us one thing, it is this: a man’s private sexual conduct matters when we’re talking about public office,” Fischer wrote. “Given the propensity for members of the homosexual community to engage in frequent and anonymous sexual encounters, the risk to national security of having a homosexual in a high-ranking position with access to secret information is obvious.”
In an email to members, the Family Research Council also attacked Romney for hiring Grenell. Other conservative outlets picked up the criticism as well. "