Gay Romney Advisor Richard Grenell Resigns After Campaign by Anti-Gay Conservatives

Richard Grenell, Mitt Romney's recently appointed openly gay spokesman, has resigned in the wake of a campaign by social conservatives, the Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin reports.

GrenellSaid Grenell in a statement:

I have decided to resign from the Romney campaign as the Foreign Policy and National Security Spokesman. 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. 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.

Adds Rubin: "According to sources familiar with the situation, Grenell decided to resign after being kept under wraps during a time when national security issues, including the president’s ad concerning Osama bin Laden, had emerged front and center in the campaign."

The American Family Association's Bryan Fischer was among those leading the charge.

Argued Fischer in a CNN appearance: "Well, the point here is that personnel is policy. Everybody in D.C. says that. Personnel is policy. When Governor Romney picks somebody who is an activist homosexual and puts him in a prominent position, he’s sending a shout out, it seems to me, to the homosexual lobby."

Grenell had also been criticized for his sexist tweets (which were deleted from his account).

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  1. Bart says

    Hey Richard, if Romney were a strong leader he’d be able to squelch the hatred from the fascist right. Seems Obama probably doesn’t look so “weak” when the man that hired you won’t stand up for you.

    Maybe now you’ll understand why many of us have such vitrol for the Republican party. And why we view someone like you as a man who will sell his soul to the highest bidder.

  2. K in VA says

    I detest Grennell because of his politics.

    But an odious right-winger gay guy is still ten thousands more deserving of respect than the odious American Taliban who control the GOP.

  3. Mike says

    Seeing this, GOProud? The former governor from Massachusetts can’t even have a gay employee without feeling the wrath of the crazy GOP base. What makes you think he’d be “allowed” to actually do anything of substance for LGBT people?

  4. says

    So Grennell, now you know what it feels like to be fired from a job because you are gay. Hurts, doesn’t it? Maybe you’ll learn a lesson. The Republicans hate us, don’t want us near them, don’t want us to have jobs, etc., etc.

  5. NaughtyLola says

    Bad that he’s gay, perfectly OK that he’s a raging misogynist. Roger that.

  6. chad says

    I agree with Bart, as a potential leader, Romney has the opportunity to lead by example here and make the right decision. At the very least he should condemn the bigots who pushed for this resignation.

  7. MrJ says

    He started out in the position as a jerk with his comments about women needing to dress like women, and now he’s out on his a@@ despite pretending to go along with their misogynistic ideals. Oh well. Now everybody hates him.

  8. StevyD says

    Well Log Cabin Republicans, as much as you love money and all the power it brings, remember that the hate for you by that party is even more powerful. Better run home and hide before they find you.

  9. Iko says

    I can’t wait to hear what GOProud and Log Cabin Republicans have to say about this. Surely we’re all blowing the GOP’s anti-gay rhetoric entirely out of proportion.

    I feel little sympathy for the tool, but I’d rather he been kept on to spite the right-wingers and maybe alienate them. Hopefully he’s learned his lesson that gays will always be thrown under the bus by Republicans, even those that don’t personally have a problem with gays. Grenell is a second-class citizen to Romney and the Right, plain and simple.

  10. Swiminbuff says

    I disagree with his politics, but what is worse than his resigning because he is gay it that Romney accepted his resignation. He already has the nomination sown up and he didnt have the balls to stand up and defend an employee he chose to the extreme fringe right of his party and tell them to go bugger themselves. Not likely he would do anything as President expect to fight any progressive legislation.
    I suppose 60 years ago these same wing nuts, or their parents, were fighting against the Black civil rights movement. Lord knows they could find Biblical justification for that too.

  11. Bob says


    Time to take a break, resign from the party, and tell them you will be back when they do not force you to be a traitor to yourself and those you love.

  12. Paul R says

    He’s complaining about a hyper-partisan atmosphere as a Republican? Give me a break. Who caused that?

    Zero sympathy.

  13. doug says

    when all is said and done, it’s kind of win/win. Repubs, still a-holes. Gay Repubs (ugh), let’s see how you spin this…

  14. KT says

    I wonder how pissed Grenell was that not once did Romney or his campaign speak out against the homophobes. When the Post asked the Romney campaign for a comment, they made sure to say Grenell resigned for “his own personal reasons”. They said he was highly qualified but not once did they condemn the attack from the far right or religious whackjobs. And I think it is interesting that we hadn’t heard a thing from Grenell since he was hired. I guess the Romney campaign didn’t think he was that useful.

    I kinda feel bad for Grenell but not too much. At the end of the day, he is still a sexist tool.

  15. Dairyqueen says

    See what happens when you play with fire? You get burnt. When will these money grubbing gays understand that the GOP hates them.

  16. says

    Edward, what? Why would that be the case? The old folks are still dying, and several states have already achieved equality (mine by huge margins). The GOP will be left behind, but how is that news?

  17. Pete n SFO says

    “my ability to speak…has been greatly diminished by the hyper-partisan discussion of personal issues that sometimes comes from a presidential campaign”

    Really? You believe they reserve their disgust for you, only for Presidential campaigns?

    C’mon, buddy… grow a pair & tell’em to f*k themselves.

  18. sara says

    I saw Jim LaSalvia’s of GoProud comments: ” The best and brightest aren’t able to do their jobs because a few on the fringe are so fascinated with their personal lives and make such an issue out of it that they are forced to leave their jobs,” he said. “On a day that national security affairs are front and center, Mitt Romney doesn’t have the best person out there speaking for him, and he has Bryan Fischer [of the American Family Association] and Tony Perkins [of the Family Research Council] to thank for that.”

    Seems they’re going to blame the bigots. But shouldn’t he also blame Romney, for not standing up to the bigot and putting Grenell front and center, considering Romney wants to be the most powerful person in the whole US of A? Romney shows he’ll be gutless on gay rights issues.

  19. Smartypants says

    I’m puzzled by the Eric Slocum story. He was a terrific reporter and the few times I ran into him around town he seemed like a very nice guy, but he committed suicide back in February, as noted in the dateline in the article. Any particular reason for posting it now?

  20. Rick says

    Wow. Just wow. They actually caved to Bryan Fischer?? That speaks volumes. VOLUMES.

    I’m sort of in disbelief. In the year 2012, a candidate for President of the United States — on a major party ticket — would actually fire a staffer for being gay. Speechless.

  21. NwYrkr says

    “President Obama’s foreign policy failures” on the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death ? Ironic.
    This guy is a quisling mouthpeice, nothing more. I have no sympathy for him, he got in bed with dogs and got up with fleas, he got what he deserved.
    Romney is showing what spinelss, sleazy piece of work he really is, his word and support is worth nothing.

  22. says

    Another openly gay person receives the 2012 Republican Welcome Wagon. Someone needs to get the memo to those still locked inside their GOProud and LCR bubbles that Romney’s party only likes you when you’re a good closeted boy. At least he can get back to his misogynist tweets now!

  23. AG says

    Congrats, gay left! A gay Republican resigned, you won. You hate gay Republicans as much as your tactical ally, the religious right.

  24. PDX Guy says

    Haha, AG, are you feeling like you got punched in the mouth? You deserve it. Democrats aren’t perfect, but your group won’t even give you a seat at the table. They don’t even want the Uncle Toms to use what skills they have while keeping them from full equality. Enjoy your day!

  25. KL says

    To AG…it was the Republican right who didn’t want “the gay” in their little tent, so I don’t know why you are blaming the left? But nice try though!

  26. VDUFFORD says


  27. Oliver says

    On the bright side, now Miss Grenell has plenty of time to sit at home (and watch Rachel Maddow, employed with her own tv show and with a #1 NYTimes bestselling book – 4th week on The List) and string pearls.

  28. Rafi says


    – Religious right does everything in its power to take rights away from gays.
    – Gay republicans help to elect them anyway.
    – Religious right forces gay republicans out.
    – It’s the gay left’s fault.

    It takes a special kind of willful stupidity to actually try to push this line of “logic”. Grenell resigned because the religious right wanted him out. People like him, and like you, help keep those right wingers in power. Own it, stop blaming it on everyone else, and STFU.

  29. jack says

    @AG: You think the religious right is a tactical ally of the democrats? What planet do you live on ? They OWN the republican party. Yep, the once GOP is now owned by a bunch of bible thumpers.

  30. AG says

    Wanted to say long ago that David Ehrenstein is clearly the most repugnant creature posting on this site. No one else here can compete with him in terms of hate.

  31. BobN says

    It’s Tuesday.

    Tomorrow, he’ll issue a “clarification” that the hyperpartisanship he refers to is the nasty, nasty Left.

    His statement is completely vague about who he means. (OK, whom he means) It’s the WashPo that’s reporting the obvious. He’ll probably blame the librul media, as well.

  32. AG says

    Both the religious right and the left-wingers want the GOP to be a bunch of bible thumpers. The former because that’s who they are, and the latter because it discredits the GOP. In this sense they are tactical allies.

  33. ian says

    Ok, let me see if I have this straight. Grenell is openly gay and supports marriage equality yet belongs to a party that not only opposes marriage equality but also basic civil rights for him. So how does he support marriage equality? He does not. If the GOP were to win in November it would be a vindication in their minds that their anti-gay positions are the winning ones. If gay republicans really want to help their party get over their exploitation of anti-gay animus they should be working for their partys defeat. Perhaps a major loss in November will help the GOP see their anti-gay plank is the wrong way. If Grenell wanted to keep his job he could have come out against equality so that the right can claim even gays don’t believe they are equal. But still, it’s just the fact he is gay that did him in. No matter how much of a quisling or kapo a gay republican is he/she will still be rejected.

  34. says

    The 2012 GOP IS the religious right, as the Grenell fiasco demonstrates. They discredit themselves as a modern party quite well every day without any help from the left.

  35. jack says

    @Nwyrkr: This white male U S Navy veteran will proudly go to the polls in November and vote to reelect that outstanding human being and president MR Obama. Deal with it. Thats right, deal with it!!!!!!

  36. happyday says

    For some reason, this development really bothers me. I’m not sure, but I think some line has been crossed in the Republican Party, and it is a deeply troubling one for the future of the country.

  37. jack says

    AG: It is not what some people want. The Republican party is controlled by a bunch of bible thumpers. Just ask Fr Santorum. The Republican party’s message throughout most of the primary election season has been a Taliban-Lite message.They are anti women, anti gay, anti science, anti green etc. They own your party. Deal with it.

  38. Francis says

    Conservative gays—–conservatives just aren’t that into you. That goes for Richard Grenell, Rick/Jason/etc., Markus, AJ, and other right-wingers here. I think Grenell is a pretty detestable individual, I don’t support gays who go out of their way to fight for inclusion within a group of people who can’t stand their existence, but at the end of the day, homophobia is homophobia, and this collusion by social conservatives to push Richard Grenell out of Romney’s campaign team is horrific homophobia. Romney only hired Grenell because he wanted to look more inclusive and it backfired, predictably.

    And if there was ANY question whether or not you would vote for Obama in November, better read and re-read this story a few times to get this message stuck in your heads: REPUBLICANS, BY AND LARGE, HATE THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY. A vote for anyone but Obama (and that includes not voting at all) is a vote that ultimately damages our community. Stories like this make me motivated to make sure Romney doesn’t win in November.

  39. NwYrkr says

    Jack, you mis-read my posting. It was intended to be critical of Grenell and Grenell’s characterization of President Obama”s foreign policy as a “failure” when President Obama has restored our reputaion abroad, has been the voice of reason and destroyed a mass murderer and seriously weakened his network. I voted for Obama in 2008, will do again in November and contribute to every other e-mail request for campaign contributions, not much, but every little bit helps. I think history will see Obama as one of our more successful presidents along the lines of FDR

  40. NwYrkr says

    Any facts for that statement there Edward ?Or just more typical right wing hyperbolic garbage completely contrary to the facts ?

  41. mcNnyc says

    Guess he didn’t get the Ken Melhman memo….GURL u got to be
    in the CLOSET if you wanna work for the GOP…and hate you some of the queers every now and then.

  42. says

    NWYRKR: I’m left wing gay, injecting reality. Better grab that teapot before it boils over Mary. The facts are everywhere.

  43. says

    2012. It’s sad what happened to being gay on the road to “equality.”
    Every now and then I am reminded that I am still attracted to men. Was real gay playing with Barbie dolls as a child? Or sleeping over night with my boyfriend in his car in Provincetown? Felt so much more free. Being gay was a good feeling, not today’s political battle with vicious little soldiers and their selfish desires.

  44. Joseph Singer says

    Jack, Eric Slocum was chased by demons. His depression probably was what sent him to kill himself.

  45. Nino says

    Did he just call Obama a “weak” leader and complain about hyper-partisan politics in the same paragraph?

  46. MrJ says

    Notice how so many of the the speech writhers and campaign managers and whatnot are gay? We could cripple this system if we all played for the same side. But I guess some of us have so many priviliges with our money that we forget that they hate us for who we are not how much we have.

  47. Ealan14 says

    I’m not too sad about Grenell ‘s resignation: honestly, the guy came off as a tool, and those sexist & catty tweets didn’t do him any favors. But what’s more surprising (NOT!!) about this is that Romney had the confidence to appoint him to the campaign, but didn’t have the balls to defend him and “his qualifications”. If this doesn’t show people the Romney doesn’t stand for anything (he can’t even back his own plays), then I don’t know what will.

    As for Grenell, I hope he learned his leasson about making bedfellows with spineless republicans. Like mother always says: you lay down with dogs, you’ll wake up with fleas.

  48. Oliver says

    Grenell is a tool and I have zero pity for him (you lie down with dogs you wake up with fleas). The bigger picture here is what a total weakling Mitt Romney is – what a pansy-ass. No wonder he ran off to France (in his little Mormon get-up) to avoid the draft. Ironic that Romney takes his marching orders from that closet-case Bryan Fischer.

  49. says

    “While I welcomed the challenge to confront President Obama’s foreign policy failures”

    I guess he did not hear that Bin Ladin was killed.

    Dude your gone because they hate your guts because your gay. Oh wait, your stupid. Thats why you “Resigned”

  50. GRivera says

    I hope the gay community does not embrace this TRAITOR (Richard Grenell)!!!

    He is a skank!

  51. NwYrkr says

    Edward, judging by your use of the derogatory “Mary” my guess is that you are not a “left wing gay” as you characterize yourself. And what facts are you referring to? The 24 months of steady job growth ? The financial markets re-bounding to pre Lehman/Bear Sterns ? The saving of the American auto industry such that GM is once again a dominant player and the consequent saving of milions of American jobs ? Taking out Osam Bein Laden and removing a real threat to our security ? Managing to do something finally, albeit an imperfect solution, about the abysmal health care system in this country ? What facts are everywhere ? Not a rhetorical question, really would like to know.

  52. fitley says

    Too bad he got canned for being gay. Then again it could be he’s a screechy psycho queen misogynist who’s love of seeing his own bitchy women hating twitters would eventually be his undoing. He’s off to a good start. Maybe now he will shut his trap. A-hole.

  53. fitley says

    Richard was not the person to use to speak out against homophobes. His voice makes Marcus Bachmann sound like Rambo.

  54. mark says

    This goes on the list of why Mitt Romney is not qualified to be President.

    A successful businessman, as Romney claims to be, hires people based on their skills and abilities and keeps them around because of job performance, meritorious service, etc.

    A successful business person doesn’t fire someone because of sexual orientation.