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Signorile on why Romney's gay spokesman should worry Obama

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As Mike Signorile points out, Romney has begun to blur the lines between him and President Obama on a variety of issues, and the appointment of an openly gay national security spokesman helps Romney appear more pro-gay, even though he isn't.

A few weeks ago I made a case for why President Obama needs to come out of the closet on gay marriage, noting that the president, if he wants to create enthusiasm within elements of his base, must distinguish himself further from Mitt Romney on the gay issue, given that Romney, wrapping up the primaries, would now be trying to blur the lines. Sure enough, the blurring began last week with the splashy appointment of Richard Grenell, Romney's new foreign policy spokesman, who happens to be gay.

But no, Grenell isn't just gay, like some other gay Republicans who keep their homosexuality quiet and rarely advocate for gay rights while always advocating for lower taxes (and are thus welcomed by the right-wing base). No, from the point of view of the evangelical right, which was just riding high on Rick Santorum and forcing Romney to the extremes, Grenell is a radical homosexual, or, as the American Family Association's Bryan Fisher put it in a tweet last week, an "out and loud gay."

Grenell is in a long-term relationship, which, from the hard right's perspective, he flaunts in people's faces. Having served in the Bush administration as spokesperson for the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, he waged a very public battle against the state department to include his partner's name along with the spouses of heterosexual personnel in diplomatic documents.
And that's why Romney's choice is a further signal to the Obama campaign that the president, if he wants to create excitement in his base and stop Romney from blurring those lines, needs to come out of the closet on gay marriage and embrace full equality.
ABC seems to think it's a big deal.

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