Declining Ken Mehlman's Coming Out Party


No one is really surprised that former GOP chairman Ken Mehlman has finally admitted to the world that he's gay.

Bill Maher discussed it in 2006, and Mehlman was Miss June in Watertiger/Attaturk's 2007 "GOP Character Counts" calendar.

A number of gay activists are less than enthused by Mehlman's "journey" which led him to admit his homosexuality. I recommend readers to Pam's House Blend and Gabriel Arana at The American Prospect. Blog Active's post is linked by many this morning:

So, how can Ken Mehlman redeem himself? I want to hear from Ken that he is sorry for being the architect of the 2004 Bush reelection campaign. I want to hear from Ken that he is sorry for his role in developing strategy that resulted in George W. Bush threatening to veto ENDA or any bill containing hate crimes laws. I want to hear from Ken that he is sorry for the pressing of two Federal Marriage Amendments as political tools. I want to hear from Ken that he is sorry for developing the 72-hour strategy, using homophobic churches to become political arms of the GOP before Election Day.

And those state marriage amendments. I want to hear him apologize for every one of those, too.

For anti-gay Republicans, this represents a huge ruh-roh.

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, told The Advocate that Mehlman was “abdicating core Republican beliefs” in his support for AFER’s legal effort in challenging Prop. 8. “But it’s never been about the leaders. It’s always been about the people, based on an overwhelming majority of Republican voters -- 85, 86 percent -- who support marriage as a union between a man and a woman,” he said. “That a few folks within the Republican Party are questioning a party platform and have personal positions on same-sex marriage is a reality of political parties. [Mehlman] is no longer a major party leader, so I don’t know how influential he is, to be honest with you.”

If the former chairman can come out as gay, what next? Mehlman's obviously going to get a book deal and that tome will be on every nightstand of the reportedly huge number of GOP congressional staff who are closeted. If Mehlman becomes a "leader" once again, perhaps the GOP is better off burying its homophobia before the deluge of self-outed "Republicans on a personal journey."


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