Openly Gay Ambassador Richard Grenell Named Acting Director of National Intelligence

Washington, DC – Today LGBTQ Victory Institute – the only national organization working to build, train and support LGBTQ leaders in public office – released the following statement about President Donald Trump’s appointment of openly gay ambassador Richard Grenell as Acting Director of National Intelligence. He is now the highest-ranking openly LGBTQ presidential appointee in U.S. history.

“A little over sixty-five years ago, President Eisenhower signed an executive order barring LGBTQ people from serving in the federal government, resulting in the dismissal of hundreds of dedicated LGBTQ employees solely because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Institute. “The ‘lavender scare’ originated in the idea that LGBTQ people were a national security risk – and that ludicrous notion persisted well into the 1990s. For an openly LGBTQ person to be appointed to the most important intelligence position in the U.S. government exemplifies how far we’ve come.

“Acting Director Grenell has remained loyal to Trump throughout his ambassadorship, and now is the time to cash-in and use that influence to confront the administration on its anti-LGBTQ policies. Representation in government is invaluable when people speak out, take on discriminatory voices and advocate for change. It takes courage – especially in an administration stocked with anti-LGBTQ activists – but we hope Grenell proves up to the challenge. If Trump believes an openly LGBTQ person can lead our national security apparatus, one would think Trump should also support that person’s right to live free of discrimination in the country he serves.”

Since the administration of President Bill Clinton, Victory Institute’s Presidential Appointments Initiative has worked to ensure qualified openly LGBTQ people are appointed to key positions throughout presidential administrations. It has not had a working relationship with the Trump administration.

About Victory Institute

Victory Institute works to increase the number of LGBTQ people in public office and provides programming, services, and other support to ensure their success.