Regardless of which label one chooses for Richard Grenell’s departure from the Romney campaign ranks, the result is the same. And can anyone tell me why in the world a self-respecting gay person or a woman would ever support the Republican candidate in the first place?
Mitt Romney’s foreign policy spokesman Richard Grenell announced he was resigning from the campaign this week. Grenell, (an occasional Arena contributor), was the first openly gay spokesman for the Romney campaign.
However, Grenell’s hiring became a source of tension for the campaign after conservatives expressed concern over Grenell’s sexual orientation as well as his endorsement of same sex marriage. Grenell’s voice was also absent during a week of key foreign policy news – the anniversary of Osama bin Ladin’s death.
Does Grenell’s exit reflect poorly on the Romney campaign? And does it indicate that openly gay individuals still have a hard time climbing the ladder in politics?
Grenell’s departure not only reflects the homophobic truth of the Romney campaign and its supporters, it also reflects the inconvenient truth gay Republicans must face. Their party denies their basic humanity.
Grenell should have stayed and fought for his job, and his Log Cabin Republican allies should have fought with him. This episode makes them complicit with injustices against their own. So I hold them equally culpable.
GLORIA FELDT is the New York Times bestselling author of several books including No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power, a sought-after speaker and frequent contributor to major news outlets, and the Co-Founder and President of Take The Lead. People has called her “the voice of experience,” and among the many honors she has been given, Vanity Fair called her one of America’s “Top 200 Women Legends, Leaders, and Trailblazers,” and Glamour chose her as a “Woman of the Year.”
As co-founder and president of Take The Lead, a leading women’s leadership nonprofit, her mission is to achieve gender parity by 2025 through innovative training programs, workshops, a groundbreaking 50 Women Can Change The World immersive, online courses, a free weekly newsletter, and events including a monthly Virtual Happy Hour program and a Take The Lead Day symposium that reached over 400,000 women globally in 2017.