An Ambassador Quits

Michael Guest was an openly gay ambassador to Romania for the Bush administration, and his appointment was seen as a sign that the Bushies would not let the anti-gay base determine hiring decisions. Guest is now leaving the State Department:

“Most departing ambassadors use these events to talk about their successes . . . But I want to talk about my signal failure, the failure that in fact is causing me to leave the career that I love,” said Mr. Guest, 50, whose most recent assignment was dean of the leadership and management school at the Foreign Service Institute, the government’s school for diplomats.

“For the past three years, I’ve urged the Secretary and her senior management team to redress policies that discriminate against gay and lesbian employees. Absolutely nothing has resulted from this. And so I’ve felt compelled to choose between obligations to my partner who is my family and service to my country. That anyone should have to make that choice is a stain on the Secretary’s leadership and a shame for this institution and our country,” he said.

As gay people adjust to a stronger, deeper sense of their own equality, the formal discrimination against them supported by the GOP will rankle more and more. Losing the votes and support of gay people and their families may not torpedo the current Republican party. But it weakens it.