Outrage! Or something! Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has "stepped on a landmine" by having the temerity to appoint -- I hope you're sitting down -- an openly gay national security spokesman, according to one leader of a social conservative group. Once you've pried yourself from the floor, feel free to persuse some choice excerpts from this person's incensed column:
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.
"Word is" that unattributed rumors can be passed off as facts in certain quarters.
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 the mere employment of a gay or lesbian person -- regardless of his or her political leanings, or level of expertise -- is "problematic" for "social conservatives?" Is heterosexuality now a prerequisite to work on behalf of a Republican presidential candidate? Quite a standard, I must say. And the kicker:
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.
What's the "obvious" conclusion here, again? It sounds like this gentleman is suggesting that because some homosexuals engage in "frequent and anonymous" sexual encounters -- as do some straight people -- all gay people with access to sensitive information are ipso facto national security risks. Okay then. Rather than punch holes in this, er, logic, I'll just encourage you to read Jen Rubin's take down of this nonsense here. It seems Romney has repudiated this particular individual in the past over some previous inflammatory rhetoric, so perhaps the whole spat is personal. In any case, here's an actual gay rights-related threat to the American ideal, upon which conservatives of all stripes should agree:
Religious liberty groups are blasting a proposed ordinance that would force churches in Hutchinson, Kan. to rent their facilities for gay weddings and gay parties. The Hutchinson City Council will consider adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the protected classes in the city’s human relations code. They are expected to vote on the changes next month. According to the Hutchinson Human Relations Commission, churches that rent out their buildings to the general public would not be allowed to discriminate “against a gay couple who want to rent the building for a party.”
Matthew Staver, chairman of the Liberty Counsel Action, told Fox News the proposed law is “un-American.” “It is a collision course between religious freedom and the LGBT agenda,” Staver said. “This proposed legislation will ultimately override the religious freedom that is protected under the First Amendment.” He argued that churches cannot be forced by the government to set aside their religious convictions and their mission. And, he warned, some churches could even be forced to rent their buildings for drag parties. “What we are ultimately going to see is churches forced to confront this law, forced to do things and allow their facilities to be used by people and for events that diametrically undercut the mission of the church,” he said.
Unlike the "controversy" discussed above, this story truly is outrageous. According to the Constitution -- and recently reaffirmed 9-0 by SCOTUS -- churches and other religious institutions have the right to adhere to the tenets of their faith, especially within the walls of their own places of worship. This proposal (in Kansas, of all places) would sacrifice Americans' sacred religious liberties on the altar of political correctness. It's both flagrantly unconstitutional and totally wrong-headed. Sadly, it's not unprecedented. We've seen pastors persecuted by Canadian "human rights" tribunals for public criticisms of homosexuality, and an EU court ruled last month that churches that decline to carry out gay weddings in member states that have legalized the practice are guilty of discrimination. Oh, but that sort of thing could never happen here, we're told, because we have a First Amendment. Indeed we do, but we've just gotten through witnessing a presidential administration stomp all over said amendment, in furtherance of a tawdry political end. So forgive me for questioning the hard Left's fealty to the United States Constitution.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography