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Ken Mehlman, Ex-RNC Chair and Bush Campaign Chief, Says He's Gay

5 years ago
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Ken Mehlman, former chief of the Republican National Committee and President Bush's campaign manager in 2004, has told family and friends that he is gay, The Atlantic reported Wednesday.

In an interview with the magazine, Mehlman said he's going public with his sexual identity now because he wants to become an advocate for gay marriage.

"It's taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of my life," Mehlman said. "Everybody has their own path to travel, their own journey, and for me, over the past few months, I've told my family, friends, former colleagues, and current colleagues, and they've been wonderful and supportive. The process has been something that's made me a happier and better person. It's something I wish I had done years ago."

Mehlman said he plans to attend a fundraiser next month for the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), the group that supported the legal challenge to California's Proposition 8, the ballot initiative against gay marriage.

He told The Atlantic that during his time in the Republican leadership he was often conflicted as Karl Rove and the GOP pushed an anti-gay agenda.

"I can't change the fact that I wasn't in this place personally when I was in politics, and I genuinely regret that. It was very hard, personally," Mehlman said. "What I do regret, and think a lot about, is that one of the things I talked a lot about in politics was how I tried to expand the party into neighborhoods where the message wasn't always heard. I didn't do this in the gay community at all."

Read The Atlantic's feature on Mehlman here.
Filed Under: Republicans, Gay Rights

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A person's sexual identity is their own business, and we are all equal in God's eyes. Changing the laws to fit a person's desires is not acceptable. A legal marriage is between one man and one woman. We all have the right to marry someone of the opposite sex.

August 28 2010 at 11:39 AM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply

I am a heterosexual woman who has been married to my husband for a 11 years and I am so tired of people saying that gay people should keep what they do in the privacy of their bedrooms private. Being gay is not just about what you do or who you do in the bedroom. It comes up every time a gay person wants to put their significant other on their health insurance, when they decide they want to adopt children together, by a house, file a joint tax return, have rights to make medical decisions and so on. What happens when they have to fill out a form and it asks for spouse's name and they can't put their partner's name down. I am so happy to be married to my husband and the joy I get is so amazing and I can't imagine someone being denied to experience what I experience. We need to separate church and state!

August 26 2010 at 10:59 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply

What a bunch of phooey. Next thing you know they will be saying Sen Graham is gay.

August 26 2010 at 6:16 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to doktrt's comment


August 26 2010 at 8:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
James Gray

Now you see why you can't put a civil right on a ballot box? Even on this site you have varying opinions about a lifestyle that has nothing to do with what or who a person is...and what they choose to believe in. How can a heterosexual vote on the term marriage for homosexuals? That's like homosexuals voting on the term of marriage for heterosexuals. There are certain times when congressmen or presidents must just make executive orders and the public be damned. Remember when the military was to integrate in the 1950s? The military sent out a questionaire to ask white soldiers how they felt about it. The census was revealed that they were "not" in favor of integrating the military. Predident Truman made an executive order and made it happen anyway. When the news asked him about the wishes of the questionaire....the president said....DEAL WITH IT. And thus, the military dealt with it and now there is no big deal to see minorities fighting and dying along with their white comrades.

August 26 2010 at 6:15 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply

Your correct who cares if he is gay, BUT probable just another hypocrite who went along with gay bashing and denying rights to gays.

August 26 2010 at 5:38 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to slidrrule's comment

Nobody 'gay-bashed' anyone, so he wasn't a hypocrite at all... And no 'rights' are denied to gays, either, at least not here in California. Here we have Civil Unions, Domestic Partnerships, Rights of Survivorship, shared health insurance, adoptions, joint home ownership, and the list goes on and on... Why make a controversy of this, when there is none?

August 28 2010 at 4:04 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

Who cares if he's gay, this is 2010 not 1950. God bless him, hope he lives a long happy life.

August 26 2010 at 5:27 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
Mary Beth

Does this mean that I should let my local newspaper know that I am heterosexual? This is truly shameful that our country has so vilified homosexuality that so many citizens have felt that they had to "keep secret".Their inborn right to intimately love the man/woman that they are destined for should be no different than any heterosexual. I am the mother of a lesbian who luckily has found her life-partner, and enjoys the freedom of knowing her family loves them both. The real shame is that so many gays/lesbians still can't even tell their parents or anyone else for fear of lost love, loss of job and loss of acceptance by the ignorant general public.

August 26 2010 at 5:18 PM Report abuse +15 rate up rate down Reply

Glad he can finally be honest...and accepting of his identity.

August 26 2010 at 5:10 PM Report abuse +10 rate up rate down Reply

Gay - Shmay! It "ain't" about being gay, kids. It's about government control...doesn't matter which side of the aisle you're on. READ history! It IS repeating iteself. Only problem is: Once we all come to grips with the fact that we are no longer will be too late. The government will own us all. And, once again, we will have no means to defend ourselves.

August 26 2010 at 5:05 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

What is this world coming to. I thought I was the only gay, Born Again Christian, Republican. The only difference between a gay Democrat and a gay Republican is that most of the Republicans stay in the closet longer but believe me there are as many gay Republicans as there are gay Democrats. Hopefully more Republican gays will come out and shut those right wing members of the party up.

August 26 2010 at 4:34 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

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