Former RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman: "I'm Gay"
Ken Melman Comes Out of the Closet Years after Managing 'Anti-Gay' Campaign
Ken Mehlman, former Republican National Committee Chairman who managed the 2004 Bush-Cheney presidential campaign, has come out as gay. This comes after a career of using homophobia to advance his own position within the Republican party, and several public denials of his own sexuality. Ken Mehlman is probably the most influential Republican ever to come out as gay.
Activist Mike Rogers is not so quick to forget Mehlman's hand in using homophobic rhetoric, and embracing anti-gay churches, to advance his own political career:
Ken Mehlman is horridly homophobic and no matter how orchestrated his coming out is, our community should hold him accountable for his past.
Ken Mehlman, who was the head of the RNC from 2005 through 2007, said, "It's taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of my life," but his detractors will only take note of the timing: Ken Mehlman is campaigning to raise funds for American Foundation for Equal Rights, which is fighting against Prop 8; legislation for which Melhman himself helped pave the way.
He said that he "really wished" he had come to terms with his sexual orientation earlier, "so I could have worked against [the Federal Marriage Amendment]" and "reached out to the gay community in the way I reached out to African Americans."
Mehlman said President Bush "is no homophobe" but acknowledged that the Bush administration used antigay initiatives for political gain. In private conversations with senior Republicans, he said, he fought back against attempts to demonize same-sex marriage.