By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”
Gov. Mitt Romney stepped on a landmine by appointing Richard Grenell, an out, loud and proud homosexual, to be his spokesman on national security and foreign policy issues. Grenell has for years been an outspoken advocate for homosexual marriage. In fact, word is that he left the Bush administration because President Bush would not formally acknowledge his homosexual partner.
Since, as the saying goes in D.C., personnel is policy, this means Gov. Romney has some ‘splaining to do. This clearly is a deliberate and intentional act on his part, since he was well aware of Mr. Grenell’s sexual proclivities and knew it would be problematic for social conservatives. It’s certainly not possible that there are no other potential spokesmen available, men who are experts in foreign policy and who at the same time honor the institution of natural marriage in their personal lives.
So this has all the appearances of a deliberate poke in the eye to the pro-family community, and a clumsy one at that, coming right on the heels of endorsements from Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Dallas and the National Organization for Marriage, and right after the governor accepted an invitation to deliver the commencement address at Liberty University.
As I explained in a much-discussed Tweet over the weekend, the message Gov. Romney appears to be sending to the pro-family community through his Grenell appointment is “drop dead.”
This is not just an Etch-A-Sketch moment for the governor, it is a crossing-the-Rubicon moment. It appears to be a dog-whistle to the homosexual lobby, a way of saying to them I’m with you, not with them. It appears to be his way of saying to gay activists that when push comes to shove you can count on me. I’ll be in your corner, not theirs.
This appointment certainly revives the oft-stated concerns about Gov. Romney from both the right and the left that he has no moral core, and is, as one left-wing columnist said, “a hollow man.”
What can the governor do, if he wishes to, to contain the collateral damage from this spectacularly misbegotten decision?
For starters, he can answer one question for the American people: “Gov. Romney, is homosexual behavior healthy or harmful? Yes or no?”
If he answers “Yes,” how can he expect the pro-family community to support him? If he answers “No,” then why he is putting someone who engages in such behavior in such a prominent position in his campaign?
Here’s a follow-up question: “If your appointment wasn’t about homosexuality, why are so many gay groups celebrating your choice?”
If the Secret Service scandal teaches us one thing, it is this: a man’s private sexual conduct matters when we’re talking about public office.
Given the propensity for members of the homosexual community to engage in frequent and anonymous sexual encounters, the risk to national security of having a homosexual in a high-ranking position with access to secret information is obvious.
By the way, Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post, its supposedly “conservative” columnist, attacked me this morning in her post. Is this an indication that the homosexual agenda has become a de facto part of the dogma of ruling class Republicans? Somebody from the GOP needs to clarify ASAP.
Romney needs to make the following public commitments, and the sooner the better, if he is to have any hope of generating even modest enthusiasm in the base. And he needs to remember that he cannot win without the base. If he’s going to pander, he’d better start pandering in a big, fat hurry.
1. Publicly support the North Carolina marriage amendment. He needs to go to North Carolina and publicly declare his support for its marriage amendment, which will be on the ballot May 8. He must not hide behind the skirts of the 10th Amendment, as he has sought to do on RomneyCare. We must hear him say, loudly and clearly, “I support natural marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and I urge North Carolina voters to vote for man-woman marriage on May 8.”
2. Commit to a vigorous defense and implementation of DOMA. Then in his Liberty University address on May 12, he must publicly declare that he will aggressively defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court. “I hold the institution of marriage in the highest regard, and will faithfully discharge my duty as your president to uphold and defend the laws of the United States. My administration will pursue the most vigorous defense of DOMA possible, and it will be faithfully implemented on my watch.”
3. Revoke federal spousal benefits for domestic partners of homosexuals.Then, also in his commencement address, he must publicly declare that he will revoke President Obama’s illegal decision to grant spousal benefits to gay partners of federal employees, which is flatly prohibited by DOMA. He needs to tell the good folk at Liberty, “I believe in natural marriage, and I believe in following the law. I will honor the institution of natural marriage in all my public policy decisions, and so on my first day in office, I will issue an order reserving federal spousal benefits exclusively for husbands and wives in natural marriages.” And he needs to make it clear that this includes Richard Grenell as well.
4. Support reinstatement of the ban on homosexual conduct in the military. He must declare a change of position on homosexuality in the military, and openly support the reinstatement of the ban on homosexual conduct in the armed forces. He must say, “As commander-in-chief, I publicly support reinstatement of the ban on homosexuality in our military. We must make unit cohesion, military recruitment, and military readiness our highest priorities. We cannot allow the introduction of sexual tension into the ranks to detract from our mission of protecting and defending the people of the United States. The armed forces should not be used as a laboratory for social engineering, and that will not happen on my watch.”
5. Support right of chaplains to teach biblical view of homosexuality. He must also declare that, as commander-in-chief, he will support the right of military chaplains to openly criticize the normalization of homosexual behavior. “As your commander-in-chief, I will respect freedom of religion, speech and conscience for all our military chaplains. They will have the freedom under my leadership to teach a biblical view of marriage and sexuality without any fear of punishment.”
6. Publicly pledge to veto ENDA. He must declare that he opposes the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and will veto it if it reaches his desk. ENDA will provide special employment protections for those who engage in unnatural sexual behaviors and will subject every values-driven employer who makes unnatural sexual conduct an issue in personnel decisions to a potentially crippling lawsuit. “As president, I will protect the constitutional rights of every employer in America to freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of association. I will see to it that my administration vigorously defends the right of every values-driven employer to hire employees who reflect his values and the values of his company.”
These clear and unambiguous statements might not assuage all the concerns in the pro-family community, but they certainly are a place to start.
But if Gov. Romney won’t say these things, he will simply validate the perception among social conservatives that he will not be friend to our values in the White House. And that will be bad if not fatal for his electoral chances.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)