Richard Grenell, President Trump’s openly gay Ambassador to Germany, has been running around trying to prove that the Republican Party is no longer homophobic. On 3/1/2021 Grenell sent out the following screenshot of an Instagram post from a woman named Gina Roberts:
Statement for the record. CPAC 2021 was an incredibly accepting and wonderful experience for this transgender Republican woman. I worked the Log Cabin Republican booth and received nothing but respectful questions about things in the news about transgender people. Much better and easy to get along with crowd than any Pride festival I was involved at.
Of course, simply looking at the list of speakers at CPAC leads you to realize that many of them have a history of homophobia. Just looking at any Republican present who has been in politics for more than a few years will result in some anti-LGBT statement. Mike Pompeo, back when he was a Congressman, sponsored a bill that would allow states to not provide marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Scott Walker supported banning gay-marriage in his home-state of Wisconsin both as a state legislator and as governor. Marsha Blackburn voted both in 2004 and 2006 to amend the constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Ted Cruz tried to re-introduce the State Marriage Defense Act while in the United States Senate back in 2015. Cruz also introduced that bill with Mike Lee and agrees with James Lackford’s idea that being gay is a choice.
Ben Carson said the following while being interviewed on Hannity in 2013:
Marriage is between a man and a woman. No group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn’t matter what they are. They don’t get to change the definition
Tom Cotton said the following in 2012:
Strong families also depend on strong marriages, and I support the traditional understanding of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. I also support the Defense of Marriage Act.
And those are just the first handful of names I recognized and immediately remembered a homophobic quote or action from. I’m near certain I could have easily found one for basically every speaker at CPAC who had been in politics for longer than a couple of years.
Now, some might counter by mentioning Donald Trump, who Grenell even once called the most pro-gay Republican President in all of United States history. (Which isn’t all that hard to be, for the record. Especially considering the last Republican president before Trump, George W. Bush, ran for re-election on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.) Do I think former President Donald Trump was homophobic? No, considering he was willing to appoint several openly gay men during his administration and has in general never shown any signs of disliking gay people personally. However, he was still buddying around with homophobes like the aforementioned Ben Carson, Mike Pence, and many more. This was the same man who created a commission on the concept of human rights where most of its members had a history of making anti-LGBT comments and scaled back various Obama-era programs with the goal of encouraging transgender rights across the nation.
And that’s ignoring the fact that, on LGBT issues, Trump was unusually progressive even for a Republican candidate in 2016. The 2016 Republican Primary not only contained the aforementioned Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, and Scott Walker, but also Mike Huckabee who said during his 2008 campaign that he wanted to change the Constitution to conform to the Bible and Rick Santorum who once compared being gay to having sex with a dog. (This comment got Dan Savage to campaign for the word “Santorum” to mean “the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex” in response. This later so got under Santorum’s skin that he asked Google to censor it during his 2012 Presidential Campaign.) Many of the candidates also praised Kim Davis, the clerk in Kentucky who refused to sign a marriage license for a same-sex couple in spite of the Supreme Court making gay marriage legal nationwide.
But one does not even need a basic memory in order to debunk Roberts’s, and by extension Grenell’s, nonsense. One just needs to look at the replies of Grenell’s own Tweet. Here’s a back and forth Grenell had with Republican Nomination for Delaware Senator Lauren Witzke yesterday through Twitter:
Witzke: We’re celebrating mental illness now?
Grenell: No. We are celebrating that God made everyone and people being respectful. Try it.
Witzke: Transgenderism is demonic, no matter how much $$ your donors give you to convince you it isn’t. Is CPAC going to start advocating for chemical castrations for minors next year? Because that’s what’s coming.
Grenell: Are you ok with welcoming gay conservatives into the Republican party?
Witzke: What you really mean is will I sell out on traditional marriage to appease 3% of the population who never votes for us anyway? The answer is no.
Grenell: So just to be clear, you don’t welcome gay conservatives into the Republican Party?
Witzke: Did I stutter?
Grenell: Nope. We got it. No gays allowed in the GOP for you.
Easily the best part about this conversation is that Grenell needed this explained to him multiple times. While Witzke’s comment about transgenderism being Satanic was nutty, there’s no denying it was also rather typical Republican even just a few decades ago. The Republican Party used to buddy around with Jerry Falwell — who blamed gay people (among other groups he didn’t like) for 9/11. Say what you want about Witzke’s comments, they were far from abnormal.
Hell, she isn’t even entirely wrong. Grenell couldn’t believe Witzke would call having a transgender person at CPAC “celebrating mental illness” (and I agree the comment was nonsense, if only because having a person who has a certain trait at an event does not mean the event is celebrating it, especially if the person is attending and was not invited) but gender dysphoria is a mental illness. Mind you, the cure for this illness is medical transition to the person’s desired sex, but it’s still a mental illness that requires treatment.
With that said, Witzke has one massive contradiction I need to point out. According to her Republicans only say they support LGBT rights to get votes (As if politicians do anything for any other reason? For that matter, as if that’s a bad reason to do things in a Representative Democracy.) — but also according to her, most voters in the United States are against gay marriage. (For the record, gay marriage is extremely popular in the United States at the moment, with over 65% of Americans supporting it according to the latest poll.)
At this point, noted white-nationalist Nicholas Fuentes jumped into the conversation, here’s what that looked like:
Fuentes: That’s not what Lauren is saying but you’re making a strong case for not allowing gays in the GOP given that you’re trying to bully America First, Christian conservatives into tolerating homosexuality and transgenderism. Gay Mafia Rick Grenell using the same disingenuous smear tactics of the Left to cancel Lauren Witzke because she has a problem with trans ideology being pushed at the Conservative political convention. This is unacceptable.
Actually, Nick, that’s exactly what Witzke was saying. Grenell asked her for clarification twice and both times she made it clear she does not want gay people in the Republican Party. And if that’s not what she’s saying, it’s very odd Grenell would have to “bully” her “into tolerating homosexuality and transgenderism” if those are positions she already holds.
Grenell: I’m not canceling her. I don’t believe in canceling. And she migrated the issue to gays. So you don’t welcome gay conservatives into the GOP either?
Fuentes: You canceled Bryson Gray and now you’re trying to cancel Lauren Witzke because you clearly have a problem with real Christians. This is a Christian, conservative movement and we will not be bullied into accepting your LGBTQ ideology.
Grenell: I’m a Christian. And we win elections by addition, not subtraction.
Fuentes: Subtract the GOP’s Christian, conservative base in order to add Dave Rubin and Caitlyn Jenner, sounds like a great idea, Rick. If that’s your best plan to win elections then you should quit politics or join the Democrats already.
Grenell: President Trump totally disagrees with you.
Fuentes: Yea well God and the Bible disagree with you so
This was all of Grenell’s day yesterday, he said the Republican Party was tolerant of LGBT people — only for the most diehard supporters of President Trump to think he’s wrong.
You know, there’s been a lot of talk — from Grenell and nobody else — about Grenell running for Governor of California as a Republican if the recall attempt against Governor Newsom succeeds. However, while doing so, he should probably get the support of the California Republican Party. Here’s what their official platform says in its only reference to same-sex marriage:
We support the two-parent family as the best environment for raising children and therefore believe that it is important to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
And when Republicans in California aren’t even willing to endorse gay marriage, you know the rest of the party is bad. Here is what their most recent national platform says:
We condemn the Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Windsor, which wrongly removed the ability of Congress to define marriage policy in federal law. We also condemn the Supreme Court’s lawless ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which in the words of the late Justice Antonin Scalia, was a “judicial Putsch”— full of “silly extravagances” — that reduced “the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Storey to the mystical aphorisms of a fortune cookie.”
Look, this is not me saying that if you’re a Republican you’re automatically some kind of bigot, nor is this me saying that if you are LGBT you have to be a Democrat. However, this is me saying that, on the national level, many of the high-profile members of the Republican Party are homophobic just as they were back in 2004. The idea pushed by people like Richard Grenell that the Republican Party has become some paradise of tolerance can be debunked just by looking at the reactions of other Republicans when he says that.
The same day Grenell was having this argument, The New York Post published an article with the following headline:
Gay poly throuple makes history, lists 3 dads on a birth certificate
To be clear, this is a rather odd concept and I can understand people taking some time to go along with it. However, the article itself points out how mundane this actually is, whether it’s by pointing out that the story is four years old or with points like the following:
“The fact that Piper has three parents is just not a big deal. I have three parents myself — my mother, father and stepmother — and no one thinks anything of it,” Jenkins [one of the fathers] writes in the book. “Some people seem to think it’s about a ton of sex or something, or we’re unstable and must do crazy things. [But] it’s really remarkably ordinary and domestic in our house and definitely not ‘Tiger King,’” referring to Joe Exotic’s wild gay throuple featured in the buzzy Netflix docuseries.
One of the people who clearly did not read this section of the article is Michael Knowles, who responded with the following through Twitter:
“Why do you care that a ‘throuple’ created a child specifically to rip him away from his mother and raise him in a perpetual orgy? It doesn’t even affect you!”
Moral discourse on the Left and much of the Right in 2021
Matt Walsh had a much more blunt reaction:
It should be illegal for adoption agencies to place a child in anything but a stable mother-father home.
Will Grenell call out Walsh for saying he and his partner should not be allowed to adopt? If the Republican Party embraced Walsh’s position, as they used to and did for decades, would Grenell call it out? Of course not, he would close his ears until reality itself demanded he change his mind — and even then that’s a maybe.
When Walsh was criticized for this view, he made a rather important point:
Here I’m advocating that children be placed in stable mother-father homes, which was the law in every state for most of American history, and even many “conservatives” treat it like some kind of unspeakable, scandalous idea all of a sudden. It’s not just the disagreement. It’s how conservatives act completely shocked by ideas that all of us agreed with like 2 seconds ago. It’s so damned pitiful.
Walsh is correct, for decades his position was the normal one and anyone who said otherwise would be considered insane. Mind you, that has no bearing on how true what Walsh is saying actually is — but it is worth noting that for decades, the Grenell’s of the world would have looked even more delusional than they currently do.
Grenell wants to bring the Republican Party into a more tolerant era, and I am just as supportive of that idea as he is. However, if he wants to pretend that we’ve already reached that point, then it seems like the people most fighting against this idea are not the liberal media or whoever Grenell wants to blame, but other Republicans.