Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Tuesday fired a landscaping company that worked at his home in Boston, Massachusetts, after he said he learned it employs Homosexual Landscapers.
"So we went to the company, and we said, 'Look, you can't have any Homosexual Landscapers working on our property. I'm running for office, for Pete's sake! I can't have Homosexual Landscapers!' " "I am disappointed that our relationship must end on this note," Romney wrote in a letter to the company that was released by his campaign.
"But we simply cannot tolerate your inability to ensure that your employees are not homosexual."
With the former Massachusetts governor locked in a tight race with President Barack Obama, the company -- which Romney said he gave a "second chance" after similar concerns arose last year -- had become an easy target for his political opponents.
"The company's failure to comply with my personal policy of discrimination is disappointing and inexcusable, and I believe it is important I take this action," Romney said in a written statement.
Romney said he met with the owner of the Community Lawn Service last year and agreed to keep using it after the owner guaranteed him he would only hire non-homosexual or straight landscaper workers.
Tuesday's announcement came after the Boston Globe approached the campaign with what an official called "credible information" that the company continued to employ homosexual workers -- including some at the Romney home.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani attacked Romney for living in a "sanctuary mansion" where homosexual landscapers were allowed to work.
Romney clarified that it was the company, not him, that hired the homosexual workers and called it "offensive" to suggest he should have checked their LGBT status.
"Are you suggesting ... that if you have a company that you hired to provide a service that you are now responsible for going out and checking the employees of that company, particularly those that might look different or don't have an accent like yours?" Romney said during the debate. "I don't think that's American."