Yesterday, the Washington Post published an op-ed by Michael Guest, an openly gay diplomat who was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Romania by Republican President George W. Bush. Guest laments in the piece that the Republican Party’s leadership allows “principles of fairness and equality” to be “hollowed out.” While he dismisses the idea that Romney himself is to blame for the way Grenell was treated, he writes:
Romney’s slowness to comment amid the noise since Grenell’s resignation raises questions about his principles, as well as the quality and depth of his leadership. That’s what should concern us most in this sad affair. We should expect Romney to go further in making clear that issues of sexual orientation will have no bearing on any personnel decisions he makes, whether in his campaign or, should he be elected, in the administration he would lead.
Jimmy LaSalvia, executive director of GOProud — a group more focused on encouraging LGBT voters to back Republicans than on encouraging Republicans to back LGBT equality — echoed these criticisms. In a break from the group’s usual GOP unity message, he told the Post’s Greg Sargent on Thursday:
The Romney campaign should have spoken up publicly in defense of Rick against the attacks over the past two weeks… This was an opportunity to send an important message that Mitt Romney wants everybody to get behind him and to support his campaign. They let that opportunity pass.
Log Cabin Republican Executive Director R. Clarke Duncan and former Bush adviser Mark McKinnon have also called out the Romney campaign for not standing up for Grenell and have encouraged the apparent GOP nominee to take steps to stop employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.
In 1994, Moderate Mitt Romney promised to co-sponsor a federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act — and claimed he’d be a better advocate for gay and lesbian citizens than Sen. Ted Kennedy. But by 2007, Severe Conservative Mitt Romney etch a sketched his position and no longer saw a need for a federal employment non-discrimination law.
Now, Guest, LaSalvia, Duncan, and McKinnon are left lamenting that 2012 General Election Mitt Romney and his campaign’s cowardly handling of the Grenell situation is much more 2007 Mitt than 1994 Mitt.
In a Sunday Washington Post opinion column, Virginia Log Cabin Republicans Political Director David Lampo joins the chorus of LGBT Republicans criticizing Romney’s record. Telling Romney to “stop pandering,” Lampo writes that while Romney needs to stake out pro-equality positions on at least some issues, his record “unfortunately, does not bode well for his doing not only the right thing, but the politically smart thing.”