getting ugly

Richard Grenell slams corporates for giving money to advocacy group HRC

Richard Grenell addresses the RNC
Richard Grenell addresses the RNC (Photo: Twitter)

President Trump’s former acting head of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell, has criticized LGBTQ advocacy group HRC for being “partisan”. In a tweet posted last night, Grenell, who is gay, slammed corporates for donating to the organization. He instead suggested they should donate to the Log Cabin Republicans.

“Corporations who give money to Human Rights Campaign are supporting ugly partisanship. US businesses should stop giving to HRC or give the same amount of money to conservative gay groups like @LogCabinGOP.”

The tweet exchange between HRC and Grenell came after the latter delivered his speech at the virtual Republican National Convention.

Related: Gay diplomat Richard Grenell praises Trump for his going-away gift

Grenell is believed to be only the third openly gay person to deliver a speech at the RNC (after Rep. Jim Kolbe in 2000 and entrepreneur Peter Thiel in 2016).

Despite this, and being appointed recently as senior adviser for LGBTQ outreach to the Republican National Committee, Grenell – like Kolbe – did not mention his sexuality during his speech.

Instead, he used his platform to praise President Trump’s foreign policy, emphasizing it was designed to prioritize America’s national interests.

Grenell was appointed US ambassador to Germany in April 2018 by Trump, before landing the intelligence role in mid-February. It made him the first openly gay cabinet secretary in US history. He served in the role until June after Trump put forward John Ratcliffe for the permanent. Senate-approved position.

Last week, Grenell released a video via the Log Cabin Republicans praising Trump for being “most pro-gay president”. This and other claims have led the HRC, the most prominent LGBTQ advocacy group in the US, to dub the former ambassador “Gaslight Grenell.”

The war of words between HRC and Grenell continued last night.

Responding to Grenell’s RNC speech, HRC president Alphonso David said in a statement, “‘Gaslight Grenell’ doesn’t speak for LGBTQ people or our movement. As a gay man, ‘Gaslight Grenell’ couldn’t even say ‘gay’ or ‘LGBTQ,’ which is unsurprising, given that this administration has taken every opportunity to dehumanize LGBTQ people and undermine our basic rights. It’s also unsurprising given we have exposed Trump’s lies and Grenell’s hypocrisy in supporting him.”

On Twitter, the HRC said, “Richard ‘Gaslight” Grenell wants us to think that his mere presence on the stage will cancel out Trump’s blatant attacks on LGBTQ people. This came moments before homophobe Mike Pence took the stage. Shameful he’s using his LGBTQ identity as a shield for this president. #RNC2020.”

It went on to highlight how Grenell calling Trump “the most pro-gay President” ever was not true.

Grenell’s speech last night came a day after Cissie Graham Lynch, daughter of preacher Franklin Graham, gave a speech at the RNC in which she praised Republicans for not advancing rights to LGBTQ people.

“Democrats tried to force adoption agencies to violate their deeply held beliefs,” she said, in a reference to adoption agencies being barred from discriminating against same-sex couples. She continued, “Democrats pressured schools to allow boys to compete in girls’ sports and use girls’ locker rooms,” referencing the ongoing battles around trans rights.

Related: Billy Graham’s granddaughter tells voters to choose Trump if they oppose LGBTQ rights