Richard Grenell, Mitt Romney's openly gay foreign policy spokesman, resigned from his post today after taking fire from anti-gay conservatives. Grenell was hired to help focus the Romney camp's messaging on foreign affairs less than two weeks ago, but quickly became the subject of attacks from right-wing publications who expressed doubt that he would stick around on Team Romney should President Obama come out in favor of same-sex marriage.
After calling Grenell an "unhinged" devotee of same-sex marriage, The National Review's Matthew J. Franck explained some of his party's issues with the Grenell:
Suppose Barack Obama comes out — as Grenell wishes he would — in favor of same-sex marriage in his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. How fast and how publicly will Richard Grenell decamp from Romney to Obama?
While implying it would be impossible for Grenell to be both openly gay and a member of Romney's presidential run, the National Review deliberately ignores the fact that he was appointed by George W. Bush to serve as the Director of Communications and Public Diplomacy for former UN Ambassador John Bolton. Not to mention Grenell's own history of leveling (now deleted) twitter zingers at LGBT figureheads like Rachel Maddow.
For their part, the Romney camp never actually put Grenell behind a podium as spokesman, perhaps showing their own reluctance to draw attention to a talented staffer whose home life might differ from their candidate's own. After Grenell issued his resignation today, Romney's campaign manager responded with a statement, noting he wasn't hired to advise on gay rights issues: "We are disappointed that Ric decided to resign from the campaign for his own personal reasons. We wanted him to stay because he had superior qualifications for the position he was hired to fill.”
According to the Washington Post's Right Turn blog, Senior officials from the Romney campaign apparently tried to keep Grenell on board despite the heat coming from fellow conservatives, but without a public statement of support from the his own campaign it seems Team Romney simply left him out to dry.