Richard Grenell, a gay Republican, has been confirmed as President Donald Trump’s German ambassador. Grenell will be highest ranking openly gay official in the Trump administration.
While it would seem a reason to rejoice for Log Cabin Republicans, instead the group’s president, Gregory T. Angelo, issued a statement that ominously threatened other LGBTQ organizations.
“Ric Grenell’s confirmation is historic for two reasons: He has now officially become the highest ranking openly gay official ever in a Republican administration,” Angelo said in an emailed statement.
“Second: Despite the interminable delays of Democrats hell-bent on standing on the wrong side of history, today the United States Senate confirmed a gay nominee not ‘in spite of’ Republicans, or ‘with Republican support,’ but because of Republican support.”
Unfortunately for the factually challenged Angelo, Republican president George W. Bush appointed Michael Guest as the ambassador to Romania in 2001. Guest was the first openly gay man to be confirmed by the Senate and serve as an ambassador.
The first gay ambassador, James Hormel, received a recess appointment from Democrat president Bill Clinton after Republicans in the Senate failed to confirm his nomination. President Obama appointed multiple gay ambassadors who served all over the globe.
Grenell’s confirmation vote of 56 to 42 largely fell along party lines.
Indeed, Grenell’s appointment was championed by conservative politician Orrin Hatch. Hatch, no friend of the LGBTQ community, has tried to use Grenell’s nomination to embarrass Democrats who have opposed his appointment. Hatch once told his fellow Republicans that they should be proud of their party because “we don’t have the gays and lesbians with us.”
“Log Cabin Republicans will not forget the votes of the Democratic senators who stood in opposition to Grenell’s confirmation, nor the roaring silence from LGBT advocacy organizations who did nothing to achieve this tremendous milestone in LGBT history,” Angelo rumbled.
Grenell, a Fox News contributor, served as spokesman to four US ambassadors to the UN under President George W. Bush. He also briefly served as a spokesman for Mitt Romney on national security and foreign affairs but resigned amid antigay attacks. Because Republicans wanted nothing to do with him until opposition to his nomination could potentially embarrass Democrats.
He’s also a well known Twitter troll with a penchant for sexist comments. In the last few months, Grenell launched attacks on social media against former LGBTQ Nation reporter Jeff Taylor for writing about his inflammatory tweets.
“You know, respect for women and for people of different views and whatnot are essential for an ambassador, anywhere in the world,” Sen. Robert Menendez told the Washington Post. “This person doesn’t clearly have, for my mind, the temperament to be the type of ambassador we want, especially to Germany, for which we have a rocky relationship right now under this administration and is one of the critical allies that we need in Europe for about everything that we want . . . including the Iran deal.”
“I hope he doesn’t start tweeting about Chancellor Merkel if he gets the position.”