A Trump administration official who is openly gay pushed back on Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg's narrative that Vice President Mike Pence's views on sexuality are hateful.
Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, said Buttigieg is only making noise about Pence's views now as a way to boost his presidential campaign.
"Mayor Pete has been pushing this hate hoax along the lines of Jussie Smollett for a very long time now, several weeks," Grenell said on Fox News. "It's ironic that right about now when he's starting his fund-raising apparatus to run for president that he comes up with this… idea and this attack.
"Mike and Karen are great people, they're godly people, they're followers of Christ. They don't have hate in their heart for anyone. They know my partner, they have accepted us," Grenell continued.
What happened to tolerance?
Grenell made an argument that is increasingly rejected these days: that tolerance doesn't mean forcing someone else to believe exactly what you believe.
"We were the ones saying everyone should be able to accept and love each other," Grenell said of the gay community. "Now, suddenly, there's a whole community of people who are demanding that we all think alike. I think it's outrageous."
In comments on several occasions recently, Buttigieg has been critical of Pence and any Christian who does not affirm gay marriage claiming Pence's views cause harm and that the vice president has a problem with God if he believes homosexuality is wrong.
About Richard Grenell
When Grenell was confirmed to his position nearly a year ago, he became the highest-ranking gay official ever to serve in a Republican administration, according to NBC News.
Grenell's appointment was lauded by the chairman of the Democratic National Committee's LGBT caucus at the time.
"Having a Republican president appoint an openly gay man as an ambassador to one of our important allies such as Germany speaks volumes to the influence that the LGBTQ [community] has in politics in the United States," said chairman Earl Fowlkes.