(CNN) – Richard Grenell, the former Mitt Romney spokesman who resigned after two weeks on the job, said in an op-ed published Wednesday that gay Republicans have an important role in the conservative political movement and should not stay silent.
"The claim that gays should be barred from conservative activism is not only bigoted but is a bipartisan view," Grenell, who served as the director of communications for the U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations from 2001 to 2009, wrote in the Wall Street Journal. "The intolerant assault comes from the far right, who object to Republicans who are gay, and the far left, who object to gays being Republicans. When the extremists on both sides are the only ones speaking up, the majority suffers."
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Grenell's short tenure on Romney's campaign was marked by controversy involving his Twitter account, as well as heavy criticism of Grenell's sexual orientation from some on the conservative right. The longtime Republican strategist is openly gay.
Grenell faced recent scrutiny over reports that he deleted hundreds of posts on Twitter shortly after being tapped by the Romney campaign. The tweets, written prior to his hiring, criticized the physical appearances of certain high-profile Democratic women, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and MSNBC host Rachel Maddow.
In an interview following Grenell's departure, Romney said his campaign organization urged him to remain on their team.
"We wanted him to stay with our team," Romney said in an interview on Fox News. "He is a very accomplished spokesperson."
Romney said Grenell's sexual orientation played no part in his hiring.
"We select people not based upon their ethnicity or sexual preference or gender but upon their capability. We are sorry to have him go," Romney said.
In his op-ed Wednesday, Grenell wrote that Romney and his advisers knew his sexual orientation when he was hired.
"The governor and his team knew that I have consistently challenged the Obama administration's failure to lead the world and confront the most important international issues we face. They also knew I was gay," Grenell wrote.
He said that Romney's position on same-sex marriage – which Grenell disagrees with – was not enough to write him off as a candidate.
"Like many voters, I rarely agree with a candidate's every position," Grenell wrote. "I can support Mr. Romney for president but not agree with all of his stated policies. I can be proud of President Obama's personal support for gay marriage and still take exception to his dismal national-security and economic records."
He continued, "Millions of American voters will also evaluate both candidates' policies in total and come to the same conclusion: Mr. Obama doesn't deserve to be re-elected and Mr. Romney does."