The flap over Mitt Romney hiring a “gay rights” activist (Richard Grenell) to be a spokesperson continues despite said spokesperson’s resignation, and it is still very clear that the Romney campaign has no idea why it’s not okay to hire someone who openly advocates for “gay marriage” to be a spokesperson on a political campaign.
The Romney campaign has pointed out that it distributed statements defending Grenell, from a spokeswoman and from Grenell’s former boss at the U.S. mission to the United Nations, conservative firebrand John Bolton. But the Romney campaign did not blast the statements out to its entire email list but instead provided them to reporters upon request. This added up to a more passive defense of Grenell than an active one.
Boston headquarters did not object to Grenell’s sexual orientation, as Romney campaign officials have stated and as Grenell has privately told associates. But the campaign’s delicate handling of the pushback — providing statements upon request rather than boldly sending Grenell defenses far and wide –- does indicate some nervousness about the risk of alienating Christian conservatives uncomfortable with homosexuality and strongly opposed to gay marriage.
It’s not Grenell’s “sexual orientation” that we conservatives have a problem with. It’s that he is public about it and that he advocates for policy that threatens religious freedom. This should not be a difficult concept for a presidential candidate to understand. “Gay rights” and religious freedom do clash.
There is, however, a fine but crucial distinction between earlier nondiscrimination laws and what the gay rights movement is now demanding. Nondiscrimination laws have always protected certain categories of persons: African Americans, other racial and ethnic minorities, women, the handicapped, and others. The gay rights movement, on the other hand, is seeking protection for persons based on their actions, behavior, or lifestyles.
It is arbitrary and unjust when an entire category of persons is subjected to discrimination in employment or the receipt of services, no matter who these persons are or what they do. But differential treatment for individuals that stems from actions or behavior viewed as undesirable or morally objectionable by the employer or service-provider is neither arbitrary nor unjust. Consistently and appropriately, the law has allowed such distinctions.
Thus, freedom of religion insists that when we as a society seek to protect the rights of gays, faith-based organizations should be protected by strong religious exemption language that makes clear their right not to hire or provide services to persons engaged in behaviors they consider morally wrong. But religious exemption language ought not to protect a right not to hire or provide services to an entire category of persons.
It’s not about the hiring of a person who has a certain sexual orientation. It’s about the fact that Grenell openly advocates for laws that crush the freedom of the Church. The fact that Team Romney clearly does not understand this at all indicates that those of us who do understand this issue have no reason whatsoever to trust him to defend the freedom of the Church.
Watch this video to see why same-sex marriage tramples religious freedom…and hurts children. Religious freedom is not something that we can just toss out the window…unless this isn’t America anymore. Discrimination against organizations because they are Catholic is the discrimination that “gay rights” advocates love.