Richard Grenell

Just days after the appointment of openly-gay former ambassador Richard Grenell to the role of acting head of national intelligence, conservative critics have gone on the attack.

Though openly gay, Grenell has a long history of defending Trump and conversion therapy proponent Mike Pence. That record had done little to assuage far-right homophobes who see Grenell as a “gay activist.”

Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, a group which once said Washington was under the control of gay witches, slammed Grenell’s appointment. “There is concern among our pro-family allies around the world that ambassador Grenell will engage in LGBT+ activism as acting director of national intelligence, a cabinet-level position,” Perkins said in a statement. “An effort to impose the same redefinition of marriage upon other nations that was imposed upon Americans by an activist Supreme Court would be reminiscent of the cultural imperialism of the Obama administration.”

Related: Trump makes Richard Grenell first openly gay cabinet member in history

Peter LaBarbera, President of Americans for the Truth about Homosexuality, an anti-gay hate group that claims the very existence of LGBTQ people threatens religious freedom in the United States, denounced Grenell’s appointment. “As an open and proud homosexual, [Grenell] bills himself as an evangelical Christian. This only confuses the Gospel and undermines true, biblical Christianity.”

We can find plenty of reasons to criticize Grenell’s appointment, starting with the fact that he has no experience within the intelligence community whatsoever, making him vastly underqualified for the job. How interesting then, that men like La Barbera and Perkins only attack Grenell for his sexuality, not the threat to national security he actually poses.

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