Former GOP Gay Hater Mehlman Admits, FINALLY, He’s Gay
August 26, 2010
(ChattahBox)—In the least shocking news this week, Ken Mehlman, former chairman of the Republican National Committee and 2004 Bush campaign manager, has finally admitted he’s gay, after years of rumors and questions about his sexuality. Mehlman, as a closeted gay Republican, has steadfastly denied his sexual orientation for years, as he spearheaded the vicious Republican war against the LGBT community for political gain. Mehlman came out of the closet in an interview with the Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder, claiming at 43, he has just recently come to terms with his sexuality. Now, Mehlman says, he plans to support gay marriage. And he regrets not admitting to his sexuality earlier, so he could have blocked the GOP’s anti-gay agenda. Out of the closet, or not, Karl Rovian Republicans will continue to demonize gays as a campaign social wedge issue to gain right-wing Christian votes, because it works.
Mehlman told Ambinder, he regrets his role in the GOP’s war against gay Americans, but now asks for at least, understanding, if members of the LGBT community can’t forgive his hypocrisy.
“It’s a legitimate question and one I understand,” Mehlman said. “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.” He asks of those who doubt his sincerity: “If they can’t offer support, at least offer understanding.”
Yes, it will be hard to give Mehlman a pass here. During Bush’s campaign to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage, he told the late Tim Russet, he didn’t know if homosexuality is a choice.
RUSSERT: Do you believe homosexuality is a choice???
MEHLMAN: I don’t know the answer to that question. I don’t think it matters to the fundamental question here because at bottom, this president believes in non-discrimination. He believes in equal treatment. He believes in respect for all. He also believes, separate and apart from that question, that the fundamental question of marriage ought to be defined in the way it’s been defined for more than 200 years of our nation’s history, which is by the people’s representative at the state legislatures.
As pointed out in the Atlantic piece, Mehlman, was instrumental in promoting the GOP’s anti-gay campaign.
“Mehlman’s leadership positions in the GOP came at a time when the party was stepping up its anti-gay activities — such as the distribution in West Virginia in 2006 of literature linking homosexuality to atheism, or the less-than-subtle, coded language in the party’s platform (“Attempts to redefine marriage in a single state or city could have serious consequences throughout the country…”). Mehlman said at the time that he could not, as an individual Republican, go against the party consensus. He was aware that Karl Rove, President Bush’s chief strategic adviser, had been working with Republicans to make sure that anti-gay initiatives and referenda would appear on November ballots in 2004 and 2006 to help Republicans.”
In 2006, Comedian Bill Maher pointed out, what was common knowledge inside the Beltway, that Mehlam is a closeted gay man, during an appearance on CNN’s Larry King Live. CNN was criticized for later editing out Maher’s remarks. And when asked, Mehlam again denied being gay, saying “I’m not gay,” adding the rumors put a crimp in his “dating life for six months.” Dates with women?
Soon after the CNN allegation, Mehlman announced he was stepping down as RNC chairman.
Well, it’s certainly difficult to publicly admit your sexual orientation, but Ken Mehlman is no profile in courage. When it really counted, he kept quiet and willingly acted as Karl Rove’s anti-gay agenda lap dog.