Richard Grenell: Gay Republican who aims to decriminalise homosexuality globally

Richard Grenell, US ambassador to Germany, gives a speech as he attends a congress of the Junge Union (JU), the youth wing of Germany's conservative CDU/CSU union, on October 5, 2018 in Kiel, northern Germany.

Richard Grenell is the United States Ambassador to Germany. He became the first openly gay spokesman for a Republican presidential candidate in 2012, when he served under Mitt Romney.

Grenell, who has been the US Ambassador to Germany since September 2017, recently made headlines as he is seeking to decriminalise homosexuality around the world.

Grenell will lead the effort to make homosexuality legal in every country, according to NBC News.

The plan was prompted by the hanging of a gay man in Iran.

Grenell wrote in German newspaper Bild that the hanging “should be a wakeup call for anyone who supports basic human rights.”

Newly accredited US Ambassador Richard Allen Grenell (L), his partner Matt Lashey (R) and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier pose for photographers during an accreditation ceremony for new Ambassadors in Berlin, Germany, on May 08, 2018.

US Ambassador Richard Grenell (L), his partner Matt Lashey (R) and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin, Germany, on May 08, 2018. (ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty)

He added: “This is not the first time the Iranian regime has put a gay man to death with the usual outrageous claims of prostitution, kidnapping, or even paedophilia. And it sadly won’t be the last time they do it either.

“Barbaric public executions are all too common in a country where consensual homosexual relationships are criminalised and punishable by flogging and death.”

Grenell wrote that in the Muslim-majority country, “gay teenagers are publically hanged in order to terrify and intimidate others from coming out.

“Iran’s horrific actions are on par with the brutality and savagery regularly demonstrated by ISIS.”

And looking back at Grenell’s political career, in 2001, the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government graduate was appointed by George W. Bush to be the US spokesman at the United Nations. He then became the longest-serving person in the role until he left in 2008.

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