Last Thursday, Richard Grenell was officially sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to Germany by Vice President Mike Pence making him the highest-ranking gay official in the Trump administration.
On Twitter, Pence said he was honored to swear in the new ambassador and looks forward to working together to make the “friendship between the United States and Germany stronger than ever before.”
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 (@VP) May 3, 2018
Grenell is a former aide to then-United Nations Ambassador John R. Bolton. The 51-year-old diplomat was accompanied at Thursday’s swearing in by his partner, Matt Lashey. Ivanka Trump posted a photo of the couple on her Instagram page stating she was “honored to join an incredibly meaningful ceremony.”
The Senate confirmed Mr. Grenell’s nomination along party lines, with opposition from Democrats who objected to his conservative views.
Pence’s history of supporting anti-LGBT policies is no secret: In Congress, Pence co-sponsored the anti-gay Marriage Protection Act of 2004 banning same-sex marriage. As governor of Indiana, he supported religious freedom bills that allow LGBT people to be openly discriminated against. Pence also infamously claimed that funding for HIV/AIDS would better be spent on gay conversion therapy. Most recently, insiders say Pence secretly drafted Trump’s ban on transgender service members.