Politics

Trump’s favorite gay Republican joins anti-LGBTQ group founded by Pat Robertson

Richard Grenell, who does not normally wear caps, sporting a rainbow MAGA hat.
Richard Grenell, who does not normally wear caps, sporting a rainbow MAGA hat.Photo: Screenshot/Twitter

Former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell is joining the conservative Christian legal organization American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) as a Special Advisor for National Security and Foreign Policy. The ACLJ was founded by the anti-LGBTQ extremist and televangelist Pat Robertson in 1990 to advance “universal, God-given and inalienable rights.”

“I have admired their work for years,” said Grenell, who was the only out LGBTQ person to speak at the Republican National Convention last week and who has previously said that Donald Trump is the “most pro-gay president in American history.” “This group has been instrumental in defending religious freedom here and around the world, and upholding the Constitution.”

Related: Richard Grenell says Pete Buttigieg is making up a ‘hate hoax along the lines of Jussie Smollett’ against Mike Pence

ACLJ executive director Jordan Sekulow said that Grenell “brings his broad foreign policy, national security, intelligence and political experience” to the organization, something ACLJ values because part of their goal is fighting LGBTQ rights worldwide. ACLJ has offices in the U.S., Europe, Brazil, and Africa, where it fights LGBTQ and women’s rights and urges governments “to take the Christian’s views into consideration.”

For example, the organization was deeply involved in redrafting Zimbabwe’s constitution, which bans marriage equality. Male homosexuality is punishable in the country with up to 14 years in jail and a 2018 survey found that 50% of gay men in the country said they were the victim of assault, and 64% of gay men and 27% of lesbians said that they had been disowned by their families.

Grenell was a media consultant best known for his “derogatory comments about women’s personal appearances” on Twitter until he was appointed U.S. ambassador to Germany in 2017 by Trump. Earlier this year, he was named acting director of national intelligence for a little over two months, making him the first out gay man to serve in a Cabinet-level position.

Last month, he made a video with the Log Cabin Republicans where he said that Trump is the “most pro-gay president in American history,” and he expressed bitterness towards other gay people.

“They try and bully us into silence,” he said. “Yesterday’s champions of diversity are today’s intolerance.”

Grenell spoke at the Republican National Convention in support of Trump last week and joined the Republican National Committee as a senior advisor focusing on LGBTQ outreach.

In a statement, Grenell said he was excited to join the ACLJ because “faith and liberty continually fall under attack.”

ACLJ is currently led by the father/son team of chief counsel Jay Sekulow and executive director Jordan Sekulow.

Jay Sekulow is a member of Trump’s legal team and represented him at his impeachment trial in the Senate. Jay Sekulow has voiced support for Vladimir Putin’s anti-LGBTQ crackdown in Russia.

He has said that judges who ruled in favor of marriage equality “have simply ignored the custom and experience of recorded Western history, flouting the laws of our country, and condescending to every major religious tradition in the world,” warned Americans of the “sordid gay lifestyle,” and said that legalizing homosexuality “strikes a damaging blow for the traditional family.” He once accused a lesbian who worked as a lecturer of trying to “recruit students into the ranks of the gay community.”

The ACLJ press release announcing Grenell’s association with the organization does not mention that he’s gay or that he’s married to a man.

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