The LIAAC Blog

News and thoughts from the Long Island Association for AIDS Care

Grenell’s Resignation Spotlights Party Participation Prejudice

By Dr. Gail Barouh

In a May 22, 2012 op-ed in the U.S.Wall Street Journal entitled: “Marriage, Gay Republicans and the Election”  Richard Grenell, former spokesperson for the Mitt Romney presidential campaign who resigned following backlash for being openly gay, insisted that while there may be many reasons to vote against President Barack Obama, his stance on gay marriage is not one of them. While Grenell’s resignation from the campaign and his departure garnered much media attention, his article focused on his belief that it is possible to simultaneously support gay rights and Romney.

“Over the last few weeks there has been a public debate about how Republicans react to the issue of gay marriage. Some extremists have given the media fodder by suggesting that support for gay marriage disqualifies one from being a GOP activist. Some have even said that gay Republicans shouldn’t be too visible or involved in party politics.
[…]
Thousands of Republicans privately voiced support for my appointment and were disappointed by the events that led to my resignation earlier this month. Some did so while admitting they disagreed with my support for gay marriage. But they too are passionate about a strong America, personal responsibility and independent religious institutions–issues that should be at the forefront of this year’s presidential election.

Like many voters, I rarely agree with a candidate’s every position. I can support Mr. Romney for president but not agree with all of his stated policies. I can be proud of President Obama’s personal support for gay marriage and still take exception to his dismal national-security and economic records.

Millions of American voters will also evaluate both candidates’ policies in total and come to the same conclusion: Mr. Obama doesn’t deserve to be re-elected and Mr. Romney does.”

This highlights a clear prejudice towards the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community on both sides of the political isle. Mr. Grenell’s background in foreign policy and as a national security spokesperson should be the only question regarding his employment. For him to feel he has to exit his active role in the GOP because of the party’s stance on an issue of human rights is prejudicial.

If minorities, including LGBT, are truly going to receive equal rights, then they, like everyone else in America, should be able to fully participate in the Democrat, Republican, or Independent parties.  To stereotype the political choices of LGBTs is in itself a form of discrimination. LGBTs will never feel free to live openly until they can express themselves in a way that is guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America, just the same as everyone else can.

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