Not long after declaring Donald Trump the most pro-gay president in American history (yeah, right), former US Ambassador Richard Grenell has announced his latest employment gig. Grenell will work as Special Advisor for National Security and Foreign Policy for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).
Founded by infamous homophobe Pat Robertson, the ACLJ has a mission statement to further “universal, God-given and inalienable rights.” In reality, however, the ACLJ works to push a conservative Christian agenda in the law process, denying LGBTQ people legal protections and working to erode those of other marginalized people as well.
“I’m excited to be joining the ACLJ,” Grenell said in a statement. “I have admired their work for years. This group has been instrumental in defending religious freedom here and around the world, and upholding the Constitution. Two issues that I also consider of utmost importance, especially as faith and liberty continually fall under attack. I look forward to being a part of their incredible organization.”
“He brings his broad foreign policy, national security, intelligence and political experience to this new role and we are honored to have him on the team,” Executive Director Jordan Sekulow said of Grenell’s hiring. Sekulow is the son of ACLJ co-director Jay Sekulow, who defended Donald Trump during his impeachment proceedings earlier this year. Jay Sekulow also has close ties to Russia, and has defended Vladamir Putin’s oppression of LGBTQ people there.
It should come as no surprise that nowhere in the ACLJ’s press release does it mention that Grenell is a gay man, married to another man. That could be because the ACLJ has a long history of opposing marriage equality. The group also has endured criticism for pushing the suppression of LGBTQ rights worldwide, including helping to draft anti-queer language into the constitution of Zimbabwe. Homosexual sex remains punishable by imprisonment there. The group also supported the criminalization of homosexuality in Uganda and Kenya as well.
It shouldn’t come as any dramatic surprise that Grenell has turned on his fellow LGBTQ people. Last month, while speaking to the Log Cabin Republicans, he criticized the queer rights movement, saying “They try and bully us into silence. Yesterday’s champions of diversity are today’s intolerance.”
Grenell attracted bipartisan criticism earlier this year when Trump named him acting Director of National Intelligence, a job for which he was grossly unqualified. He resigned from the position after only four months on the job.