Openly gay Richard Grenell, a foreign policy spokesman and advisor to Mitt Romeny (R-MA) for President has quit following backlash from social conservatives.
In an emailed statement Tuesday, Grenell said: "I have decided to resign from the Romney campaign as the Foreign Policy and National Security Spokesman. While I welcomed the challenge to confront President Obama's foreign policy failures and weak leadership on the world stage, my ability to speak clearly and forcefully on the issues has been greatly diminished by the hyper-partisan discussion of personal issues that sometimes comes from a presidential campaign. I want to thank Governor Romney for his belief in me and my abilities and his clear message to me that being openly gay was a non-issue for him and his team."
Grenell's addition to the Romney campaign had been hailed by gay republican activists as a sign that the candidate's agenda might not be as closed minded as some had thought.
"It is unfortunate that while the Romney campaign made it clear that Grenell being an openly gay man was a non-issue for the governor and his team, the hyper-partisan discussion of issues unrelated to Ric's national security qualifications threatened to compromise his effectiveness on the campaign trail," said R. Clarke Cooper, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans.
Jimmy LaSalvia, executive director of GOProud said: "The bottom line is it's a sad day in America when the best and brightest are unable to do their jobs because a small fringe is so fascinated with their personal lives. Bryan Fischer and Tony Perkins and the anti-gay-for-pay crowd seem more interested in making sure people can't work in this country than our country's national security interests."
Grenell had been recently criticized for inappropriate Twitter messages maligning Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC and the wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.Related: Special report: "Right-Wing Romney: Gay Spokesman Quits Campaign" by Waymon Hudson