The Grenell case notwithstanding, no conservative should oppose a competent gay serving in a Republican administration so long as the person shares the values of the Republican Party. Even support for same-sex marriage should not necessarily rule someone out of a leadership position in the Republican Party. Former UN ambassador John Bolton supports same-sex marriage, and he is, for good reason, a hero to conservatives (though I could not back anyone for president who supported redefining marriage). Only if a person is an outspoken advocate of same-sex marriage would he or she, whether homosexual or heterosexual, not be a good choice for a high position in a Republican administration. Just as an outspoken defender of non-medically necessary abortion would not be.
Conservatives must object to values, not to individuals.
As it happens, there are far more gays who hold conservative values than many gay activists -- or conservatives -- realize. And we should embrace these people. Being gay does not automatically mean that one is on the Left, and conservatives should not assume that they are. Otherwise, they risk pushing the gay conservative leftward.
Conservatives have to be true to social as well as economic conservatism. But there is no reason why a gay should not be a conservative.
I am close to a gay man -- and his partner -- who lives in the heart of San Francisco. This man is a major fund raiser for Republican candidates. And given his homosexuality and where he lives, his Republican activism is quite courageous. He should be regarded as a major asset to the conservative cause.
It is the gay Left that argues that every gay person must think like a leftist. Conservatives should not be helping these leftist activists by objecting to gays holding positions of influence in conservative political life. And, again, I am not arguing for the Romney campaign to have retained Richard Grenell. I am arguing that Mitt Romney was right when he told Fox News last week that his campaign hires people "not based upon their ethnicity or their sexual preference or their gender but upon their capability."
This is not only the right moral position; it is also the right political position. We have a much better chance to win young and independent voters whenever we show in word and deed that Democrats and others on the left are engaging in smears when they accuse conservatives and Republicans of being anti-woman, anti-minority, or anti-gay.
Gay men and women who believe in the American Trinity -- Liberty, In God We Trust, and E Pluribus Unum -- and who believe in small government, in American exceptionalism, and in the need for America to be the strongest military and economic power in the world are one of us. And should be embraced as such.
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