In Romney's gay rights mess, silence wasn't an option

With the departure of his openly gay foreign policy spokesman, Mitt Romney has suddenly found himself fending off charges that his campaign is anti-gay — an unexpected and precarious position for the Republican, and a moment that seems to mark a turning point in the politics of gay rights.

The central question: Can the Romney campaign be blamed for keeping silent in the face of anti-gay attacks on the aide?

At issue is the resignation of Richard Grenell, an ally of former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, who joined the Romney campaign just two weeks ago. In his statement of resignation, which came the same day he was scheduled to start work, he cited as reason for leaving “the hyper-partisan discussion of personal issues.”