NEWS: Grenell On Romney Ousting, MD Marriage Referendum, Pro-Gay Church Blaze, And More

Richard Grenell, Mitt Romney’s departed spokesperson, denies he was forced out of his position by GOP operatives. In fact, he’s saved most of his venom for liberals: “The far left doesn’t want a gay person to be conservative and the far right doesn’t want a conservative to be gay. Some of the most hateful, mean-spirited intolerant comments about me being the foreign policy and national security spokesman for Governor Romney… were coming from the left.” [Desert Sun]

Opponents of Maryland’s marriage-equality law are expected to begin submitting signatures to the state Board of Elections today. They have until June 30 to submit 55,736 valid voter signatures to have the law put on a public referendum, but at least one-third — 18,579 signatures—must be turned in by Thursday. “We’re going to put this thing to res. Once it’s put to rest, these politicians who are coming out in favor of this are going to be debunked and embarrassed.” said Baltimore Delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr, who opposes gay marriage. [Washington Times]

After a unanimously vote, Kentucky’s Highland Baptist Church ordained Maurice Blanchard as a minister yesterday, making him one of only a few openly LGBT clergy ordained by the Baptist Church. Pastor Joe Phelps said Blanchard was “a God-called man with deep integrity and a heart for finding God’s lost sheep.” [HBC]

The Palo Alto Weekly rescinded its endorsement of Santa Clara attorney Steven Pogue for Superior Court judge after a Queerty reader reminded the paper Pogue was a financial backer of Yes on Prop 8, the group endorsing California’s anti-marriage-equality referendum. “”The Weekly is a strong supporter of gay rights and of gay marriage, and we cannot lend our endorsement to a candidate for judge who has actively attempted to deny this right,” said publisher Bill Johnson. [Palo Alto Online]

The historic and pro-gay Walker Community United Methodist Church in Minneapolis was destroyed by fire on Sunday night. Fire marshals believe the blaze that consumed the 102-year-old structure was started by lightning or other natural causes, not arson. “The building is gone, but the people are the church,” said Reverend Walter Lockhart. “What we have before us is a new journey.” [The Raw Story]