Former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman Confirms in Interview: I'm Gay

Former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman has come out of the closet in an interview with The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder.

Ken_mehlman Said Mehlman: "It's taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of my life. 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 says he tried to stop Republicans from attacking gay marriage:

Privately, in off-the-record conversations with this reporter over the years, Mehlman voiced support for civil unions and told of how, in private discussion with senior Republican officials, he beat back efforts to attack same-sex marriage. He insisted, too, that President Bush "was no homophobe." He often wondered why gay voters never formed common cause with Republican opponents of Islamic jihad, which he called "the greatest anti-gay force in the world right now."

What does he regret?

"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."

"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."

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."

Ambinder notes: "Mehlman is the most powerful Republican in history to identify as gay."

Read the whole thing here.

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Comments

  1. Again this man is scum. He needs to do more than this to repair the damage he has done to the GLBT community. What scum.

    Posted by: Tim W | Aug 25, 2010 5:57:53 PM


  2. Yeah, we wish you'd done it years ago too, Fuckface. If you had, maybe you wouldn't have merrily helped George W. Bush spend 8 years bashing the GLBT community while in the White House. May you rot in hell.

    Posted by: peterparker | Aug 25, 2010 5:59:12 PM


  3. I'd like to punch him right in the vagina.

    Posted by: Markles | Aug 25, 2010 5:59:43 PM


  4. "Everyone has their own path" ... I bet he's the only one who took the path of working for GWB in 2004 while ripping rights away from MILLIONS of gays. This man is a self-loathing monster

    Posted by: KFLO | Aug 25, 2010 5:59:43 PM


  5. Twenty years too late, you evil fucking LIAR.

    Posted by: evan | Aug 25, 2010 6:02:23 PM


  6. The deepest pit in Hell is reserved for the betrayers. Have fun in the afterlife!

    Posted by: Andrew | Aug 25, 2010 6:04:31 PM


  7. Calling him the most powerful Republican to come out as gay ignores the various Repub congresspeople and possibly presidents who have been gay. He's not exactly a household name to those who don't follow politics.

    Posted by: Paul R | Aug 25, 2010 6:06:54 PM


  8. What undercuts every claim made by Ken is the fact that he was publicly outed many times while firmly entrenched in the political world. That would have been an ideal time to say "yep, I'm gay." Instead he outright denied it. He claims coming out was a process that he wasn't ready to embrace at the time. I call BS. He did it now because there is no consequence. Coward.

    Posted by: Robert C. | Aug 25, 2010 6:14:07 PM


  9. eat shit and die, horse-face.

    Posted by: nic | Aug 25, 2010 6:15:19 PM


  10. Do you think he and Karl Rove ever, ya know, did it? Shudder.

    Posted by: crispy | Aug 25, 2010 6:19:06 PM


  11. Wow! Never saw this coming! Who'da guessed?

    First Roy Ashburn, now Ken Mehlman. Who's next? Lindsay Graham?

    Oh, that's right. They only come out once they're arrested in a compromising situation (though some do continue to lie and deny) or retired...

    Kinda like pro athletes...

    Posted by: MikeInSanJose | Aug 25, 2010 6:21:25 PM


  12. I couldn't have said it better myself NIC...

    Posted by: Robert In WeHo | Aug 25, 2010 6:22:22 PM


  13. Re: "He often wondered why gay voters never formed common cause with Republican opponents of Islamic jihad, which he called "the greatest anti-gay force in the world right now."

    Yeah, shoot, why didn't we all do that?

    Give me a fucking break...

    Posted by: ichabod | Aug 25, 2010 6:22:25 PM


  14. K k k k ken, the k k k k kapo.

    Posted by: Peter | Aug 25, 2010 6:22:35 PM


  15. pathetic.

    Posted by: Trev | Aug 25, 2010 6:25:27 PM


  16. Congrats to Ken for admitting to himself that he was gay. That takes courage that many of his age and older don't always have. I personally didn't come out until 35 after 11 years of marriage and two kids. It wasn't easy. However, I had support that was greater than the shark infested waters around here! Some queens will never be happy until they have sliced and diced anyone that doesn't fit their expectation of right. The left ass holes meet the right wing ass holes. Simply mirror images of one another.

    Posted by: RB | Aug 25, 2010 6:29:24 PM


  17. I never understand the "community" bitchiness at such a coming out. Didn't each of us have our own wandering path? I came out of the religious right at 40 and was very fortunate to have a social group waiting to welcome me home, rather than tell me "Screw you, fuckface!" If that had happened, I would have wondered what I was coming out to.

    Like any of us, Mehlman's coming out will have its influence on the hearts and minds of those with whom he has been in association for 43 years. Good on him!

    Posted by: KJ | Aug 25, 2010 6:32:00 PM


  18. Amen KJ!!!

    Posted by: RB | Aug 25, 2010 6:37:03 PM


  19. Now that he has nothing left to lose, and has capitalized greatly on being an antigay bigot and encouraging it as a wedge issue, he's out and about... but it does confirm one thing about mehlman: every breath he draws is done solely for himself. Sociopathic solipsistic egoism.

    Posted by: TANK | Aug 25, 2010 6:39:36 PM


  20. @KJ: My 'wandering path' did not include helping oppress millions of other GLBT people by working for a political party that is hostile to us.

    Posted by: peterparker | Aug 25, 2010 6:41:10 PM


  21. and you have a lot of misguided sympathy from members of this community who share uncomfortable personality traits with him. These pesonality traits are otherwise known as flaws, and shouldn't be encouraged or lauded, even indirectly in congratulating mehlman...for what? He's 43...this could only conceivably be an act of courage juxtaposed with his (and your) enormous cowardice, and in his case, willing complicity in demonizing lgbt'ers for cheap political points amongst the bigoted slobs who constitute the mainstay of the republican party...and that's never a "WTG" moment.

    Posted by: TANK | Aug 25, 2010 6:42:41 PM


  22. Ken Cohn.

    Posted by: Marco | Aug 25, 2010 6:42:44 PM


  23. KJ

    You and horseface are NOT entitled to equate your process of coming out to those of us who never actively betrayed our fellow gay Americans, especially as your belated whoopdi-do coming out parties happen AFTER you have done all your damage and are in no position to repair any of it. Sure, after your masters have kicked you to the curb you come crawling to us, look at me, I'm gay too, where's my parade. FUCK YOU QUISLING

    Posted by: Christopher | Aug 25, 2010 6:43:55 PM


  24. KJ, while I totally agree that we each have our own "wandering paths" when coming out, most of us didn't take the path he did to essentially abandon and vilify the gay community in the political arena.

    You call it bitchiness, but I think it's really just a normal reaction to feeling betrayed.

    Posted by: Austin | Aug 25, 2010 6:44:45 PM


  25. Hey all you people who hail from conservative or religious backgrounds and had a winding path of wife and kids and self-loathing till you finally came to grips - - did you also work affirmatively to hurt others all that time? If not, then spare us the hand-wringing about an unwelcoming community.

    We don't take kindly to backstabbers and betrayers. I think we're fine with run-of-the-mill latecomers. But thanks for playing.

    Posted by: Zlick | Aug 25, 2010 6:45:32 PM


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