Metro Weekly

Trump nominates gay man as ambassador to Germany

Richard Grenell has emerged as a strong defender of the president's priorities

Richard Grenell – Photo: Richard Grenell, via Flickr.

President Donald Trump announced last Friday that he will nominate Richard Grenell, a former U.S. spokesman at the United Nations under the George W. Bush administration, to be the next ambassador to Germany.

Grenell, a supporter of Trump during last year’s presidential campaign, had his name floated for the position of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, which went to former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

According to Politico, he was also considered for the post of NATO ambassador, which went to former Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in June.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Grenell would become the first openly gay appointee in the Trump administration.

Grenell, 50, has a long history of working for Republican politicians, from New York Gov. George Pataki to South Carolina Congressman Mark Sanford.

He also served as a foreign policy advisor to 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, but was forced to step down after social conservatives objected to his sexual orientation and support for same-sex marriage.

He is best known for his presence on social media and his frequent role as a commentator on conservative news outlets. Since Trump was elected, he has defended the president and the administration’s choices on many issues, including on LGBTQ rights in an op-ed for The Washington Times just prior to last year’s election.

“No other Republican Presidential nominee in history has embraced the LGBT community in such a loud and proud way,”  Grenell wrote. “His rainbow flag waiving in Colorado was only the latest sign of his continued support for gay equality. Whatever happens on November 8, 2016 in the presidential race, Mr. Trump has forever changed the Republican Party’s support for LGBT equality and future Republican leaders will have a difficult time not meeting the new standard.”

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com