Richard Grenell is now the highest-ranking gay official in the Trump administration.
Last Thursday, the politician was sworn in as Germany’s US ambassador by Vice President Mike Pence, and was accompanied by his long-time partner Matt Lashey.
On Twitter, Pence had nothing but praise for the ambassador, and said they will “confront shared challenges, seize our shared opportunities, & work together to help make this historic & enduring friendship between the United States & Germany stronger than ever before.”
Grenell was previously the longest servicing US spokesperson at the United Nations, and became the first openly gay spokesman for a Republican presidential candidate when he served in Mitt Romney’s national security.
Back in March, Stuart Milk – co-founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation – said Grenell’s leadership would “send an important message” regarding the gay community having a place within Trump’s administration.
With Ambassador Grenell leading our diplomatic mission to Germany, we will confront shared challenges, seize our shared opportunities, & work together to help make this historic & enduring friendship between the United States & Germany stronger than ever before.
— Vice President Mike Pence Archived (@VP45) May 3, 2018
Pence swearing in Grenell is obviously a shock to most, considering the fact that he’s repeatedly shown an anti-LGBTQ stance throughout his career.
He once claimed that same-sex marriage would leave to societal collapse, voted against passing a non-discrimination act, and reportedly drafted Trump’s transgender military ban.
Back in October, Trump also joked that Pence “wants to hang all gay people” – which, of course, they denied.
Oh, and in 2000, Pence proposed a shift in government funds from the Ryan White Act – which helps those living with HIV/AIDS – to “institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behaviour.
Watch Mike Pence swearing in Richard Grenell below: