Ken Mehlman, the erstwhile chairman of the Republican National Committee and campaign manager for George W. Bush's 2004 reelection effort, has come out of the closet as gay in a column published in The Atlantic.
Mehlman came out in a column by Mark Ambinder on the website of The Atlantic, after the blogger who outed former Idaho Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) and onetime Virginia congressman Ed Schrock revealed that Ambinder was to publish the story. Blogger Michael Rogers was the subject of the documentary "Outrage," a film about outing gays in government who have used their positions of power to advocate against gay issues, which aired earlier this year on HBO.
Mehlman, 44, spearheaded the Bush re-election campaign. The campaign used aggressively anti-gay tactics, including the mailing of a flyer in some states which suggested liberals would allow gay marriage and ban the Bible. Some believe Bush’s support for anti-gay marriage measures carried him to victory, particularly in Ohio, which had a gay marriage measure on the ballot.
According to the Atlantic's Ambinder, "Mehlman arrived at this conclusion about his identity fairly recently, he said in an interview. He agreed to answer a reporter's questions, he said, because, now in private life, he wants to become an advocate for gay marriage and anticipated that questions would be asked about his participation in a late-September fundraiser for the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), the group that supported the legal challenge to California's ballot initiative against gay marriage, Proposition 8."You know, except the part where as a closeted gay Republican Ken Mehlman led the GOP in several anti-gay initiatives including DOMA.
The 2004 Republican Party platform denounced prejudice and trumpeted equality, despite the party's political positioning on gay issues. It said, "Ronald Reagan believed that people were basically good, and had the right to be free. He believed that bigotry and prejudice were the worst thing a person could be guilty of," and included a bolded section titled, "Ensuring Equal Opportunities," leading with the sentence, "Our nation is a land of opportunity for all, and our communities must represent the idea of equality for every citizen."
Such equality and freedom from prejudice didn't apply to gay Americans. The 2004 platform continued, "We believe that neither federal nor state judges nor bureaucrats should force states to recognize other living arrangements as equivalent to marriage."
The party's position continued, "After more than two centuries of American jurisprudence, and millenia of human experience, a few judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization, the union of a man and a woman in marriage."
Asshole. Not like the GOP has changed much. I wonder what Howie at DWT has to say about all this, he's the one keeping tabs on anti-gay Republicans in serious sexuality denial.