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.

Comments

  1. Tim W says

    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.

  2. peterparker says

    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.

  3. says

    “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

  4. Paul R says

    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.

  5. Robert C. says

    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.

  6. MikeInSanJose says

    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…

  7. ichabod says

    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…

  8. RB says

    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.

  9. KJ says

    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!

  10. TANK says

    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.

  11. peterparker says

    @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.

  12. TANK says

    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.

  13. Christopher says

    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

  14. Austin says

    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.

  15. Zlick says

    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.

  16. TANK says

    And further, he’s doing what every pundit does: hijacks the arguments and language of the oppressed to shield himself from criticism while attempting to create faux moral highground to rebuff legitimate outrage at his deceit and oppression.

    “We all have a wandering path, and nobody’s perfect…” Well okay, Pol Pot, I guess you’re alright in my book…cause life’s just a confusing series of random events and nobody’s ever responsible for what they choose to do. Gee whiz….

  17. artsenyc says

    KJ is not about a Wondering path … we all had our own. the problem with people like him is that this man knew he was gay .. and worked, implemented and supported the the Bush administration anti-gay agenda. And now that he is out of politics he want to come out and say; hey gays I didn’t mean any of that homophobic stuff; I helped implement, I’m really one of you…. That is really hard to take….. in other world: “Screw you, fuckface!”

  18. SSCHIEFRSHA says

    @ KJ
    Yeah but you didn’t help cultivate a social terror of intolerance that helped Bush Jr. into an undeserved second term. Ken did and he needs to be aware, the location of the bodies of teens who may have committed suicide because of his internalized homophobia. The bitchazz deserves a short drop and a sudden stop. These closeted political elite think because they are accepted in their circles, the rest of us can rot even if it means walking over our lifeless bodies.

  19. nic says

    @RB and KJ, if he had been an innocuous, conservative closet-case who came out later in life, no harm – no foul. but this tawdry whore was selling his soul and selling out his “community” for pelf and self-promotion while working against basic rights for GLBTs. now, after enriching himself at the expense of others, he comes a-knocking with (emotinal) hat in hand and his mea culpas. again i say, eat shit and die.

  20. adamblast says

    It’s great that he’s come out. It’s great that he’s working with AFER, and that they’re working with him. He may prove a terrific asset for us in the months and years to come, and I hope he does.

    I also hope that he understands why most of us wish he would fuck off and die.

  21. candideinnc says

    All I can say is Ditto to those who have no sympathy for Mehlman. He is a backstabbing hypocrite who found a convenient point in his life to “come out.” Now he tells us, “Be an islamaphobe. That will bring us all together.” While I am angered by the theocrats in the Middle East who destroy the lives of gay people in Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Iran, I know damned well that the hate the Thugs have for Mulims has nothing to do with homophobia, and everything to do with Christianist bigotry, lust for oil, and hatred of brown people.

    I am NOT like Mehlman. I don’t give a damn whether he is gay!

  22. Bains says

    Apology not accepted!

    There is only one option for cowards….. If he cannot figure it out….ask the Japanese……hint…it involves a sword!

  23. latebrosus says

    “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.'”

    Um, not locally.

    Weenie.

  24. gardenweasel says

    You can take your wandering path and follow it off a cliff. Too little, and way too fucking late.

  25. Sean says

    And I’m pissed at AFER for even associating with him, giving him what must seem like some legitimizing cover to start to rehabilitate himself. They come off sullied in my book and he gets prominence in a movement he could not have given a f*ck about until now when he wants his coming out party. Fade away and die already, dirtbag.

  26. pfrank says

    He wonders why we didn’t join forces with the GOP to fight “the greatest anti-gay force in the world right now”? Maybe because the second greatest anti-gay force in the world is America’s religious right, which Mehlman’s RNC courted so assiduously.
    As if any Republican ever cited homophobia as a reason to oppose Islamic fundamentalism in the first place…
    Happy to hear that Mehlman has finally come out, but give me a break!

  27. Greg says

    Really, the hateful comments? Is there a bigotry against those who come out on their own terms, even after serving in ways we wish they had not? Seems so to me. Shame on all of you who think you are holier than thou? What is your story? Completely proud of it?

  28. Homophilic says

    sorry ken, I don’t really give a fuck about your coming out. Please do everyone a favor by stuffing yourself back into that filthy closet of yours – your gay citizenship was permanently revoked a LONG time ago.

  29. says

    I love that he seems to have expected an “all’s forgiven” warm embrace. Don’t think that’s happening. On the other hand, Ken, you might want to check out “Murder on the Orient Express” to get a better flavor for the community’s overall reaction.

  30. Zach says

    “What is your story? Completely proud of it?”

    Nope. But I never worked for a political party that wanted to imprison my fellow gays. I am an unequivocally better person than Ken Mehlman, and I’d say that goes for 95% of people who post here.

    Jesus. All the Republicans and Republican-apologists do is bash moral relativism as some sort of liberal invention. And then when liberals hold firm to principles, we’re attacked as ‘intolerant’.

    Seriously, fuck off. Being tolerant of intolerance is not part of any liberal creed. You don’t get to bash the gay community for most of your working life and then get in on a free pass. Community entails responsibility, and Ken Mehlman has never demonstrated any.

  31. silverkjk says

    In his attempt to re-elect GW Bush, Mehlman organized Christian churches to oppose us, encouraged the Republicans on a state level to put anti-LGBT referenda on the ballot to bring out the religious right voter, encouraged Bush to say he would veto ENDA if it passed, and supports (even now) separate but equal for us. It will take much more than his giving a few thousand dollars to AFER to make up for the damage he has done to our community. Perhaps in a few decades, if he has been on the front lines of our fight for equality, I will then believe that he is truly sorry. Until then, I view this as shallow, meaningless spin, occasioned by his recent purchase of a $3.7 million penthouse in Chelsea in the hope he can finally get people to sleep with him.

  32. mattew sullivan says

    What a PIG!!!! Oh and let’s not forget the other self loathing homosexual MARY CHENEY!!!!!!

  33. cmh says

    I’m really shocked with all of the clear evidence presented on these pages of Ken Mehlman’s offenses that people still feel willing to this man’s defense. Stop projecting your own coming out experience on to this man! It’s not the same. This man is actually responsible for cultivating a national environment of anti-LGBT sentiment that resulted in, among other things, codifying discrimination in 30 plus states in this country. Do we really want to support someone who actively worked against his own kind, profited from it, and then because he’s decided that he now accepts he’s gay and wants to do some work on marriage equality (which may have very little to do with correcting the wrong against those he’s harmed and everything to do with attempting to secure some future happiness for himself) thinks all should be forgiven? The headline of that Atlantic article should have been “I’m Profoundly Sorry” not “I’m Gay.” Until he acknowledges the significant damage he’s done, I really don’t want to see this man’s face.

  34. CPT_Doom says

    One of the points of fighting for civil rights is that none of us should be judged based on any group we belong to or arbitrary characteristics we may share; we should be judged as individuals. Well my judgment of Kenny-boy is that he is still a self-serving lying piece of pond scum. Only now we know the depths of his moral depravity in his pathetic attempts to backpeddle his participation in organized GOP anti-gay hate campaigns.

    This information only means he is as much an Aunt Mary (the LGBT version of an Uncle Tom) as Mary Cheney (for whom the term was coined), John McCain’s openly gay campaign manager and the openly gay GOP Finance Chair who worked for Mehlman. All were instrumental in organizing campaigns to slander, dehumanize and belittle us. Openly gay or closeted, or even straight for that matter, if you work to damage lives and demonize innocent people, you need to do a hell of a lot more than Kenny here to even begin to think you deserve forgiveness.

    As for AFER – take the motherf*cker for every dime he has!

  35. TampaZeke says

    RB, bubba, I know you. You can’t possibly compare your past with Mehlman’s.

    Even Ken admits that he deserves ALL of the anger and abuse that will be directed towards him.

    I welcome him out and hope he works hard to make up for his past but who can fault gay people for being furious with him?

    I would also like to point out that you came out after most of the hard work was done, after the AIDS nightmare and after the hell that was the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. You can’t possibly understand what out gay people went through and how raw a nerve this hits.

    I would encourage you to be more understanding and compassionate of those who are angry.

  36. r says

    i am so sick of closeted anti-gay republicans, especially those who make $$$$ from promoting homophobia.

    i really can’t stand it when they say anti-gay politicians aren’t really anti-gay, like that makes their anti-gay policies ok.

    fuck you mehlman and that other soulless bitch mary cheney. may u both rot in hell where you belong.

  37. Sean says

    I try to be a forgiving person. I just can’t do it with this guy. He was THE FACE of this anti-marriage movement during the ’04 campaign. (See the film “Outrage”.) Now he tells us he tried to stop the campaign from taking this route. I just don’t know how any gay man, especially a gay man the age he was during the election could live with himself after doing this. And it’s not even like he was in denial about being gay during this period!!! He was not married with children and subjugating his sexuality. He KNEW he was gay and yet he did this.

    Maybe someday we can forgive. I just can’t right now.

  38. Piper says

    I love that Bill Maher outed him on “Larry King Live.” Too bad it was edited out of the rebroadcast.

  39. A. Beaverhausen says

    Okay, so we’re adding “wandering path” to the big tent? That makes it LGBTQIAWP now. Did I leave anyone out?

  40. Troy says

    Guys like Mehlman represent the twin heads of conservativism with a capital “C”:

    1. Fear fueled, illogical efforts to keep things the same no matter who suffers.

    2. Those who live and die by the mantra: fuck you; I’ve got mine.

  41. Dale says

    Enjoy the million dollar homes you bought at the expense of the entire gay community, you piece of shit.

    Go suck Rove’s dick.

  42. SWGB says

    KJ, I’m curious if during your “wandering path” (which BTW is the beginning line of half the gay fiction on the internet) you were indifferent to LGBT folks or if you openly threw rocks at them. I’m guessing the latter.

    Self hating, self loathing, hypocrites like you and Moleman are the reason that LGBTers have the highest rate of suicide of any minority.

    I’m guessing you refer to everyone as a bitchy queen who ignores your troll ass in a bar or social situation?

  43. candideinnc says

    The news of the day! Carl Rove is marrying Jeff Gannon. Rove offers his apologies to gay community. “Sorry, but there was money to be made and bodies to be buried. But all is forgiven, right?” Log Cabin Rethugs everywhere celebrate the happy couple, and at the reception, rather than throwing rice (ecologically, very bad), the happy couple will toss the chipped up pieces of bones of deceased HIV patients and suicidal young gay adolescents who were victimized under the hateful regime of the great “W.”

    Sure, Mehlman, all is forgiven.

  44. Continuum says

    Is there any way we could convince Mehlman to go to one of the de-gaying places that his evangelical Republican party always seem to like so much.

    This man did enough harm to be thrown back to the low-life liars that he catered to for all these years.

  45. harto says

    In Spain the president of the Conservative Party (Partido Popular) is another case of closeted politician leading an antigay party, he married a woman when he was 41 years old after a brief “romance” only because the former president pressured him to be married if he wanted be minister, he never had another girlfriend before.

  46. Jack says

    He helped, in a very big way, to oppress countless GLBTs in this country. His ability to publicly come out was made possible by those very same GLBT people he sought to destroy. He is the latest version of Roy Cohn. Shame, shame on him! I hope he suffers the way he has made others suffer.

  47. SWGB says

    Did he ultimately want to beat Charlie Christ to the punch?

    Hell look back in craigslist, I’m fairly certain this guy has visited Rove at his beach house.

  48. Chal says

    Too little too late from a damaged coward. He deserves to have his head on a stick right next to Mary Cheney’s.

  49. ProfessorVP says

    I have to laugh at the many people, often LBGTs, who would bleat utterly ridiculous things like, “Ken says he’s straight. Why do you ‘know’ he’s gay? Where’s your proof?” It’s as if without the guacomole-stained garment or incriminating photo or other DNA evidence, the default is straight, which needs no proof. It’s the same with a host of other LBGTs of power
    and high visibility. You don’t need forensic evidence in the case of Charlie Crist, Lindsey Graham, Elena Kagan, Janet Napolitano, George Stephanopolous, Oprah, Anderson Cooper. It’s astounding- to me, anyway- that even gay people will “defend” them, and make you dissect and explain the obvious. Here is the plain truth: gay people and straight people are not always identical, and you can often tell who’s who. In a fair world, Kenny would not have felt compelled to deny the obvious in order to have a political career, regardless of the merits of the career. Do I blame Kenny? Well, of course… this is what you get when you shill for the enemy. But think about it… are the Democrats substantially different? Instead of saying who the fuck cares if Elena Kagan’s a lesbian, it has nothing to do with a Supreme Court justice’s job, the Obama White House had to go into a silly, childish spin control, essentially saying, we’ve checked her out, she really likes the peen, so don’t worry about her. Which is just as absurd as the Bush White House pushing pix of Kenny dancing with girls. Obama is a disappointment on many levels, as are many Democrats, on LBGT issues. I think there’s enough blame to go around, and like most kapos, Kenny is both victim and perp at the same time.

  50. Joe says

    Ugh. I feel like he’s burying the past. Did he really try to reach out to the black community (i actually don’t know, but it seems doubtful).

    And he still takes a chance to swipe at Muslims, though he’s careful to say jihadist. Not sure why he doesn’t say the BIGGEST threat to Gay rights are really christian social conservatives in OUR COUNTRY. But whatever.

    What’s most frustrating is that even though he was against his party’s position on gay marriage, he still found it okay to be a part of and heavily push an agenda that was focused on feeding into bigotry helping to make that a defining factor of his party. It’s not like it was a minor political issue in the 2004 election – it was the issue that raised bigotry and fears and helped W to win the election. I can understand if it wasn’t part of his party’s major platform, but to do something you so strongly disagree with. Disgusting. This man has NO MORALS.

    However, if he’s so for gay marriage then he needs to start a republican group that is for gay marriage and equality now and start doing some real work to atone for his sins.

  51. critifur says

    I have no empathy for this man. I liken him to a Nazi that came out as a Jew after the holocaust. I understand not wanting to go to the gas chamber, but openly working against his own people is not forgivable.

  52. Brian says

    As someone who did not come out publicly until I was in my mid-30’s, I understand part of what he has been through. And I understand how, as a closeted man, he choose the wrong path in order to remain closeted. Let’s hope that now, he will make amends for those wrongs and choose to fight the good fight.

  53. Greg says

    Go fuck yourself asshole. And whoever dates or is somehow linked to pleasuring this fuckface better never admit it to me.

  54. Henry Holland says

    “Okay, so we’re adding “wandering path” to the big tent? That makes it LGBTQIAWP now. Did I leave anyone out?”

    Hahahaha, well played.

  55. Paul R says

    I will never forgive or even begin to understand his past actions, but would you be happier if he remained in the closet and continued to work against us? With this action, despite having been indoctrinated by a party that values power and money above all else, he’s publicly acknowledged that he was dying inside.

    Ted Olson also did enormous damage to gays before getting on the right side of history and decency, but because he’s straight we’re grateful. Sure, the tilt toward GOP gay-friendliness and marriage equality could all be a ploy to garner gay votes in upcoming elections, and is still in its very early stages. But would such a strategy even work given that 6 years ago they were focused on fomenting hatred in every state possible? Having a highly visible gay man finally come out of the closet after years of hate just proves more GOP hypocrisy.

    I do not like or respect the man, but at least he’s finally being honest and may be able to convince members of Congress and even SCOTUS that he was wrong in the past and his views have evolved, and make them reconsider their views. Or he’ll be kicked to the curb by the people who once embraced him, ending his conservative career and again revealing the hateful heart of the GOP.

    As I’ve said repeatedly, it’s beyond my understanding how someone can live and lie in a world of hypocrisy and self-hatred, especially when it affects their lives and millions of others. But at least he’s trying to live honestly now.

    I’m not an apologist for the man, but I’d much rather see the myriad closeted Republicans in positions of power renounce their past actions than continue to oppress. Hate him all you want—he deserves it—but it is progress. I’ll never vote Republican, but I’m certainly happier if people like him can make antigay positions less acceptable to his ilk.

  56. TANK says

    “but would you be happier if he remained in the closet and continued to work against us?”

    Would it make a difference? LGBT rights will be had regardless of whether or not these self hating extremists get on board or not. Put another way, it can’t hurt…however, there’s nothing he can do to undo the damage that he’s done. Nothing…it’s too late.

  57. TANK says

    And what could you possibly mean by, “at least he’s trying to live honestly now”? That he’s not “hiding” (i.e., it’s not that EVERYONE UNDER THE SUN ALREADY KNEW…it’s not just saying that red is a color?) his sexual orientation? C’mon…people like mehlman only live for themselves, and this added variable doesn’t change that fact. If opinion polling weren’t swinging in our favor, quickly outpacing republican relevance, this douche would still be in the closet. In fact, who are any of us to say that he wasn’t about to be outed against his consent, and wanted to beat the outers to the punch? Or that he’s going to spin this into a “professional fag” career in the philanthropy/activist circuit? Or perhaps a book deal about being a closeted ultra conservative operative? There are plenty of reasons for mehlman “trying to live honestly now,” and none of them begin beyond his self aggrandizement and personal enrichment. You’d have to be a credulous fucking hack to believe otherwise. People don’t change…especially in their forties.

  58. says

    OMG! First Lance Bass, then Clay Aiken. Now this!

    Whatever. What’s with the most obvious ‘mos “coming out” like no one already knew?

    Btw, the “biggest anti-Gay force in the world is organized religion. Don’t try to pin bigotry on any one religion. They all hate in their own ways.

  59. Marc says

    Reading some of these comments has disheartened me beyond belief. Such hatred. If you are angry or upset as to how he WAS, maybe it is time to hope that he WILL BE someone different now. We gays want others to be tolerant of our lifestyle, to be understanding of our beliefs, desires, and wants. WOW! Incredible intolerance spews from so many of these entries. Watch your windows on those glass houses, they may just shatter one day.

  60. TANK says

    Wooohooo, marc with a ‘c’! LOL! Those who don’t know the difference can’t make a one. And you’re one of ’em, chump.

  61. dezboi says

    I’m sure he’ll get a nice cushy job with the Log Cabinettes fighting for us all to stay firmly in the back of the bus.

  62. Bob R says

    Ken Baby:

    Just heard the news. Word travels a little slow here. Glad you finally came out, although like me, you really didn’t have a lot of people fooled. Although I must admit, I wasn’t “gay” or a homosexual. I just enjoyed sex with men. Anyway, I guess that’s all just semantics. Hope you’ll be joining me soon. Real soon! I’ll show you a really hot time.

    An admirer from afar,
    Roy Cohn

  63. says

    I am sick and tired of people defending this ass because they understood his pain because of their own tortured lives. I’m sure as these people were discovering themselves, they weren’t out to destroy the GLBT community and do it on every media outlet during a heated presidential campaign. Fuck all of you who think that the gay community is offended because of his “wandering and winding path.” In the process of his wandering, he managed to unravel thousands of lives. Now that he’s out of government, he’s able to find himself? Please. I’m with the majority of “bitter queens” as some of you have called us. You and Mehlman can go fuck yourselves. Then again, scratch that. You’d probably enjoy it.

  64. Rafael says

    I remember feeling hurt and unwanted by my state when they enacted a ban on us back in 2004. I will never forget it and for that reason Mr. Mehlman, I can’t ever forgive you. You left a scar in our community and I just can’t see how you could ever amend anything.

  65. bozemanmontana says

    Now that he’s out and proud, Ken should do a road trip and see first-hand the fruits of his labors. After he tours this country and meets with those whose lives have been minimized, he could visit Uganda. It might open his eyes to see first-hand the result of the GOP’s war on the gay has accomplished. Asshat.

  66. Bryan Harrison says

    “Everybody has their own path to travel, their own journey…”

    Having one’s own path means we mustn’t judge anyone else’s wretched cliché, right?

    Of course Melman’s path included being an amoral, opportunistic semi-closeted Jew for Hitler for years, pursuing power and money without regard for the harm he did to LGBTQ people or being at all bothered by his own hypocrisy.

    “…at the time that he could not, as an individual Republican, go against the party consensus…” without sacrificing power and wealth.

    Bullshit. His status was an open secret in DC all through the reign of W, who didn’t actually give a damn who was queer provided they maintained the lie publicly. The only thing “recent” about this is is the new spin on an old, ugly story: having feathered his own nest at the expense of others, he now wants company.

    Lonely? Looking for a new group of suckers? Tough luck, Ken. It’s 2010 and, unlike the benighted 50’s you’ve apparently modeled your life on, being a cocksucker just isn’t enough anymore. You made your cozy closet – now suffocate and die in it.

  67. Frank says

    Closeted gays are dangerous. You worked your evil from your closet for years and NOW want your gay brothers and sisters to embrace you? This ISN’T the Evangelical world that forgives every sin. In our world we celebrate BRAVERY, LOYALTY, and COURAGE. You are the quintessential pathetic whimp. Now that you are out of the closet, you have to prove yourself to us. Your years of inauthentic living will not be forgiven by a simple PR statement. You have to re-legitimize yourself with us. Prove you are one of us by making a difference for us instead of playing to your conservative crowd. Welcome to the real world of being gay… it isn’t easy and it requires real sacrifice. You have not even begun to pay your dues to your brothers and sisters. Let’s see what you can accomplish for your people in the next 10 years and then I will listen to you. Until then, you have just been one of our enemies in your unconsciousness. Pay your dues buddy!

  68. says

    Tar and feather this son of a bitch ! He would sell out our entire community so he would pass for straight ? F*ck him. Just add him to the ever growing list of self loathing gay men who call themselves conservatives ….

  69. learn says

    I hope Mehlman tours each of the many states that banned marriage equality during his RNC years thanks greatly to Republican/George W. Bush egging-on.

    I hope Mehlman also meets with victims of each and every violent attack on LGBT people, and survivor of LGBT teen suicide, during his RNC years.

    By the way, in my opinion, AFER needs to disinvite him from, and remove his name relative to, any fundraiser. I know I personally sure wouldn’t give a dime to anything with Ken Mehlman’s name on it!! (While perhaps it would be fitting initial penance if Mehlman privately and quietly gave all his gay-hate hay gains to AFER.) For AFER to do less would comprise hypocrisy: Mehlman greatly helped make Prop 8, and those multiple state gay marriage bans possible. Yes, it’s great (in a manner of speaking) that Mehlman has come out and supports marriage equality, but to use his name relative to AFER and the Prop 8 battle is simply an obscenity.

    Regarding the “we all have our path” business — if you’ll forgive the piling on: Yes. But we all should be held accountable if we hurt people, and the greater the hurt the greater the consequences should be. Like Mehlman’s hurt is *light years* ahead of that of, say, Jim McGreevey (a sleazy politician apparently, and he used a couple women as unwitting beards, but he wasn’t a gay-basher) or Roy Ashburn (whose contrition, understanding, and self-awareness is impressive). His statements so far suggest to me that Mehlman has little contrition about the hurt he personally — and electively — caused.

  70. Learn says

    Also:

    Don’t forget Mehlman’s relatively recent claims of straightness and how the gay rumors hurt his dating life and all that bullshit.

    Does AFER really want to be associated with a liar like that?

  71. Paul in Honolulu says

    The queen needs to eat his own poisoned turds to discover why it is that self-loathing homophobes require the antidote of real compassion for, empathy toward and an uncompromising commitment to gay equality before they can lodge any claim to respect.

  72. JTtheOriginal says

    All Mehlman would have to do is read the Towleroad posts on people accused (not convicted) of any anti-gay hate crime. How those girls in Kentucky (who turned out innocent) should have had razor blades put to their vaginas and clownies like John In Manhattan (assumedly a grown man) posts their Facebook pages so other grown men can go to their pages and threaten two teenaged girls with that. Mehlman would know that any criticism he gets is negated because….gays are vicious creatures so it’s just to be expected. Of course, it’s doubtful he’ll ever see such posts because he’s in such a far off world of wealth and power that he’ll never be aware of computer bloggies.

  73. Miles says

    Fuck this guy. We should publicly shame and reject him as a community for his crimes against all of us. I hope he can’t go anywhere without being hit with pies, eggs, tomatoes…

  74. JTtheOriginal says

    Don’t forget your razor blades, Miles. If you gays have any left to use on Mehlman. Or did you use them up already in slashing up Jewish heteros ?

  75. candideinnc says

    It was Nixon who began the art of winning elections by playing on voter’s bigotry to divide and conquer. Since I am not Black, and in Nixon’s day I wasn’t very political, I didn’t feel the cruelty of this ploy as acutely as I should have.

    My first real awareness of this nastiness was in the ’80s, living in North Carolina, when Jesse Helms was senator. It was then, as a gay man, that I saw up close a vulgar, unprincipled, repulsive politician making himself wealthy and powerful by fueling hatred of blacks and gays. When I was reared in the ’50s and ’60s, I was led to believe that although a politician appeals to certain narrow interests, once elected, he is obliged to represent all of his constituents. Not only did Helms and Nixon not represent all of their constituents, they villified them and destroyed any sense of communal purpose in American politics in the process.

    This is what is criminal about Mehlman. He, too, participated in the sowing of hatred for gays in America. I can forgive him for his inability to come out until he was in his 40s. I came out later in life, too. I can’t forgive him for his political treachery, betrayal of gay people, and his undermining of the basic ethical principles of government.

  76. nic says

    @JTTHEORIGINAL, why don’t you take those razor blades and put them to your wrists, asswipe? how does that incident with the girls in kentucky relate to mehlman? you are a pathetic troll. you, like mehlman, can go straight to hell.

  77. TheNiebur says

    No mercy. Absolutely none. What so ever! Way too much blood on this lowlifes hands. May his dick turn purple and fall off.

    Go curl up in a dark corner, and die. Slowly… And with a lot of pain. Scumbag!

  78. Jason (the commenter) says

    At the moment Obama is the person most responsible for keeping millions of gays from having equal rights. It’s ironic that his supporters have the gall to call anyone self-hating.

  79. JTtheOriginal says

    No, you go to hell, Nic, with the rest of your gay-gays. You threaten death and murder upon innocent people (but hide in terror when it comes to REAL attacks like at the Staten Island White Castle), you kill animals, you threaten families, and then have the gall to condemn anyone else’s (Mehlman’s) character? Tell me right here and now, what has the gay done to deserve any of its demands? If you can. Or do you live in a psychotic Manson/Dahmer world where “If it’s good for ME, it’s good.”

  80. JTtheOriginal says

    Jason: Young gay dudes would have a better future with someone like Mehlman (whatever his past) in power than someone like Obama.

  81. candideinnc says

    Hey, troll–Obama may not be helping gays much, for which he will have to answer at the ballot box. However, he doesn’t dump on them, feed homophobia by speaking to the worst in America bigotry, and actively undermine equal treatment for gays like Mehlman’s patrons have for three decades.

  82. Jason (the commenter) says

    JTTHEORIGINAL: Anybody who was for gay rights would be better than Obama, who is only for some gay rights (maybe). Obama shows that it is okay to be a Democrat and not support equality. That’s what he stands for in my mind.

  83. Jason (the commenter) says

    candideinnc: And I suppose Hitler was better than someone else and all the Nazis are angels?

    No, I want someone who supports equality!

    Saying Obama is better than the alternative is the exact same sort of thing Mehlman did. He probably thought Bush was the best choice he could make.

  84. Paul R says

    @Tank: I never claimed he isn’t a duplicitous, self-serving asshole. But as for whether people can and do change, yes it happens. I’m not suggesting this jerk had a crisis of conscience, because I don’t believe he has a conscience. But midlife crises can inspire dramatic changes in a wide range of people. Whatever the cause of his change of heart, I’d rather it be for good than evil, since most people only get more conservative and set in their sad ways as they age.

    And just a reminder? People in their 40s are usually only about halfway through their lives. I would hope that you can imagine yourself changing and evolving, Tank, or at least abandoning your emphatic notions that anyone over 30 is essentially a walking corpse. Unless you plan or expect an early death, you too will eventually reach that age. And who will you automatically dismiss then?

    That said, I really have no sympathy for anyone under 20 who hasn’t come out of the closet. People can make all the excuses or rationalizations they like, but it’s weak and has been for decades. Coming out in large numbers is the only way gay rights will ever truly advance, which is why polls are showing shifts in our favor. Duh. As this guy shows, if you’re not with us then you’re against us, no matter what scale it’s on.

  85. candideinnc says

    Jason–What alternative world are you coming from? Obama as Hitler again? Dude, he wasn’t/isn’t my choice for president. He also isn’t Hitler, isn’t anything like Hitler, can’t be compared to Hitler. Try composing your “thoughts” into something sane.

  86. Jason (the commenter) says

    candideinnc: It wasn’t a comparison.

    You’re the one who supports someone who is against gay equality and yet calls others doing the same a self-hating gay.

  87. TheNiebur says

    If that wasn’t a comparison, I’d like to see one. Because I Have no idea what a comparison is then…

    And btw, it’s rather difficult for Obama to be a self-hating gay, wouldn’t you say?

  88. nic says

    @JTTHEORIGINAL, gay people deserve equal rights by virtue of being u.s. citizens, idiot. what have you done to deserve yours?

    “…kill animals…threaten families”? you are really quite demented. given your obsession with mayhem and murder, it is little wonder that you reference manson and dahmer. crawl back under your bridge, troll.

  89. TheOtherMark says

    This guy aside I wish commentators here would stop calling other commentators ‘queens’ when they disagree with them. It seems like a weird derogatory insult to see it come from another gay. Having a passionate opinion about something whilst being gay doesn’t make you a ‘bitchy queen’.

  90. nic says

    curious how JTTHEORIGINAL and JASON (THE COMMENTER) (s)trolled in hand-in-hand together. schizoid personality???

  91. TheNiebur says

    lol, I actually thought the same thing, Nic. “THEORIGINAL” “THE COMMENTER”. Hmmm…. Not exactly “self-hating” gays. As it were…

    Also, both seem to have strolled out hand in hand. Hmmm…

    😉

  92. arch says

    next up in the conservative summer outing will be the british contingent – watch out for William Hague (foreign secretary) and his young political adviser/driver, the blogs and media are sharpening their knives.

  93. david026257 says

    As I ‘ve noted elsewhere on these here intrawebs: Anyone who has any doubt as to who Ken was and is – and just how tragic and disappointing – and severely underwhelming – is anyone’s attempt to absolve this prick, should seriously check out the last two days of post after post of the horror that Mehlman wrought at:

    http://www.joemygod.blogspot.com/

    Joe is doing a superb job of “documenting the atrocities” ( c, Atrios )

  94. says

    This man is delusional. Saying George Bush “was no homophobe” is like saying Hitler was no anti-semite. What is that statement supposed mean? Perhaps that even while he demeaned gays and twisted gay civil rights into a sadly effective wedge issue in 2004, he still “had lots of gay friends!” Ken, just because Bush let that nice, rebublican Cheney girl in the White House doesn’t mean he wasn’t a homophobe.

  95. darkmoonman says

    Taking 42 years to become comfortable with one’s homosexuality in no way justifies maintaining public support of anti-gay pogroms. Let me know when Mehlman makes real amends for all the damage he did to those of us who didn’t hide in the closet.

  96. says

    Coming OUT is a choice, and I understand why some chose to remain in their closet. Athletes could lose a chance to make great livings. I am 73, and seen the great progress made in Gay Rights, and realize we still have a long way to go, to be equal. However, when you are in politics,and in the closet, and belong to a political party that is supporting anti-gay rights and remain there… you are a hypocrite of the worst kind! At the same time, not all gays are perfect,too! I was involved in the early gay politics of San Francisco in the 1970’s,
    and met many hetero-phobes. Respect is something that is earned… and I understand why some gay athletes, or entertainers wait until they retire, before coming OUT of the closet. Ken Mehlman has not earned my respect, and I hope other politicians in all political parties remain true to themselves,
    and the voters. It’s easier to vote in a polling booth, then a closet!

  97. Dave says

    It’s to the point now when I find out someone is a member of the GOP I just assume that they are a closeted homosexual that hates themselves and American values. Except for the Log Cabin boys; with them I simply understand that they got theirs and fuck the rest of America.

  98. Laurie says

    The sad, tragic truth is that Ken Mehlman helped the Republican party re-elect GW Bush by using gay people as public enemy number one. It worked especially well in Ohio, which clenched the White House for the Republicans in 2004. I’m glad he finally admitted what we all have known for years. Maybe he will atone for his many sins against the gay community.

  99. HYUFD says

    There is nothing incompatible about being gay and being conservative. Indeed if you wnat to keep the government’s role out os most of the economy why should you not also want to keep it out of most your bedroom. Indeed Barry Goldwater was very pro-gay rights. Most conservative parties, including those in France, Germany, the UK, Canada and New Zealand now accept civil unions and domestic partnerships and the UK conservative cabinet has many gay members. The GOP is behind the times but a narrow majority of GOP voters now back civil unions so they too will have to back them soon. Gay Marriage will be harder because of the religious right and the religious definition but they may well accept that eventually too. Don’t assume the GOP’s present intolerance will last forever!

  100. LCL says

    This whole thing is rather tiresome. Another person who assisted harming the LGBT community now wants us to embrace him and feel for him. Soon there will be a book and apprearances on talk shows. Not interested. I will save my energy and $ to assist those who work tirelessly to help the LGBT community.

  101. Austin Rozzell says

    As my papa was fond of saying,
    If the man was on fire and screaming for mercy, right before my eyes, I would Pray to every god the power to piss Gasoline.

  102. Dr Johnny says

    Yes and the Republican Party really reached out to us for our support against the Islamic jihad…

  103. ant says

    “If they can’t offer support, at least offer understanding.”

    Oh yeah, we definitely understand who you are and what you have done to gay people over the years Kenny, no worries about that.

  104. Michael says

    Sure, coming out is hard, but you DON’T persecute those who are just like you. Even if you don’t accept being gay, you realize there’s something different about you.So, Ken, thanks, but no thanks. Too much damage has been done and we’re still trying to fix it. Did you really think all those dicks you were sucking up to didn’t mean anything?

  105. jimcord says

    and the current administration is working so hard to not continue to vilify your rights?? Give me a fucking break, this president pandered to the gay community while going on national television on two debates saying he in fact does not support gay marriage yet the community continued to transfer their own beliefs upon Obama as to what they believed he believed. So in case you have all forgotten…….their still is no national referendum allowing gays to marry and you still cant be open in the military! Both parties are complacent for real change at the expense of getting elected and re-elected! I wish this guy well as he moves forward with his life, and I also wonder what he was quietly able to stop what could have happened that would have been worse? We will probably never know but I do know that if you want to change public perceptions of the gay community……..we could start with the end of frigging gay parades with drag queens, folks in leather and collars and public nudity at gay pride parades. Might be a good starting place to start not embarrassing ones selves and projecting a better group image!

  106. JoeInSF says

    I have really mixed emotions about Ken’s coming out. On one hand, I am pissed at all the anti-gay antics of his party that he has condoned over the years. For example, nominating conservative Supreme Court justices who want to deny us our inalienable civil rights. Ken enjoys the growing legal protections and social acceptance that I have spent 30 years fighting for. He wants us to have compassion and understanding for him, when he had very little for us and our political allies.

    And on the other hand, his coming out is a good thing for our society and the movement for full LGBT equality. This helps recasts our cause as a human rights struggle, not a partisan issue (GOP vs. Democrat). Ken may be able to bring political and financial resources to bear in helping to overturn Prop 8, DOMA, and DADT. And it sends a message to Republican voters that queers are everywhere, so get used it.

    Part of me is mad at Ken, like many readers of this blog. While he has his millions and connections (gained by practicing the dark political arts for conservative causes), I have my self-respect, integrity and growing pride in being myself and being part of this movement for equality. But by being closeted and living a lie, Ken has already suffered greatly. In time, I might forgive him, but not forget what he has done. But to redeem himself, he needs to do the work, unselfishly using his resources and skills to advance our cause. Show me, Ken, by your deeds that you care as much about our movement as you do about yourself.

  107. Fenrox says

    He didnt come out. To “come out” requires you to open up to others and proudly be who you are. His masters in the republican party needed him to come out so they appear friendly to gays. This man is a strategist, He could give a shit what the american people think of him or his life because he is far above them.

    Screw you, I hope you never get laid again.

  108. TampaZeke says

    “Ken has already suffered greatly”.

    Two things:

    1) Ken hasn’t suffered on MILLIONTH as much as he’s caused suffering.

    2) Ken’s suffering was of his OWN making whereas those who suffered at his hand were not responsible for the suffering they endured.

    Ken can NEVER make up for the damage he’s done. It’s simply not humanly possible. But that doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t work his ass off EVERY day of the rest of his life trying to make up for it. He should do it, not to make up, not to make himself feel better, not to win our love or approval but just because it’s the RIGHT thing to do. The motivation behind making himself feel better or winning our approval will fade. That’s why he needs to do it because it’s the right thing to do. That won’t change regardless if he’s successful in making himself, or us, feel better or not.

  109. Trev says

    Now all we need is Rahm Emmanuel to come out of his closet. It is well known in Boystown Chicago that Rahmn likes his young men. Then he can join up with Kirk, Shock and Graham.

  110. Mac says

    FUCK YOU, YOU SELF-SERVING, SELF HATING ASSHOLE!!!! We don’t claim you….go off and throw yourself off a cliff…..bye bye…

    It’s ONE thing to stay silent.(which is still slimy)..it’s ANOTHER to actively LEAD THE CHARGE against your own people….SHAME!!

  111. candideinnc says

    Wrong, ROYY. I met a beautiful young man after the end of a 15 year marriage, and we have been together 20 years. The best 20 years of my life.

  112. says

    YAWN… overit.com…

    When is the RNC gonna just give it up… it becomes more and more a circus ever time you turn around… hence the elephant…

  113. tony n' sf says

    mehlman can do a lot of good to help make up for the damage he caused. his saying that he as one of the authors of recent anti-marriage and anti-gay campaigns was utterly misguided and wrong is useful. but, he’s got a lot of work to do to make up for his past. a lot. let’s encourage him to do it.

    ps don’t forget that vaughn walker represented the us olympic committee in the lawsuits that not only prevented tom waddell from using the word olympics in the name of the 1982 gay gaymes, but also caused great financial harm to the organizers of the event. now, vaughn walker is our great hero. people change.

  114. ChicagoMike says

    So, if you read the entire article, Mehlman states, “know one knew”. Yea Ken, except for the men you were bedding while plotting to retain power at the expense of those under your sheets. There is not enough time left on this earth for your ‘sorry tour’ to undo the damage you have wreaked.

  115. Modern Meet says

    Mehlman’s admission gives me hope that all Republicans will one day become members of Republican Negro Party and that NO REPUBLICANS…need apply, need drink tea, should bear children, will be excluded from quarantine in Death Valley, shall own property, shall marry, shall congregate in groups exceeding two persons, will be allowed to reside, work, hold public office in the states of Texas or Alaska, will be permitted to attend, hold membership in, perform any ministerial duties in any “Christian” church, shall quote from the Bible, shall speak or be seen in public media, shall teach in any school or university, will be allowed a US passport, etc. etc. etc.

  116. Ross says

    F*******K HIM!!! Now that he has made a bunch of money in the corporate sector (and possibly has a boyfriend) he wants to protect is Assets so he comes out?! and supports gay marriage?

    What about all those inner city and rural child rearing working class gay and lesbians who’s lives he worked to complicate and in some cases destroy.

    When I go to hell as a sodomite (LOL) I hope he is in Straight hell!!! I don’t want him in my hell!!

  117. FunMe says

    His face already shows the UGLINESS of his inside and what he will continue to feel the rest of his lives.

    GLBT people in the red states who have suffered from his actions need to OSTRACIZE him forever.

  118. Ninong says

    It must have been a shock to Ken Mehlman to discover that he had caught The Gay after years of using fear of The Gay to mobilize the right-wing Christianists. That was the main thrust of his GOTV effort as Bush’s Campaign Manager in 2004.

    Mehlman participated in regular weekly telephone conference calls with the fundies encouraging them to get anti-gay marriage initiatives on the ballot in their state as a way to drive the crazies to the polls to vote for Bush.

    Fuck Ken Mehlman and Karl Rove, too. This is a pre-emptive Fuck You to Karl Rove in case he’s thinking of coming out, too.

  119. FunMe says

    So is it safe that this was the douchebag that was paying for sex (since how else could he get with his ugliness inside and out) from …

    Music maestros:

    “JEFF GANNON?!”

    Ewwwww! (well Jeff is now fat, so they would make a perfect couple)

  120. JoeInSF says

    Being in the closet is one of the greatest forms of self-hatred. the shame of hating your sexuality is beyond words…43 years worth, in this case. Ken had made his karma and will continue to suffer the effects, as seen here.

    He can also redeem himself by using considerable political skills for our side. I am not too proud to accept that. I didn’t like Ted Olson when he was carrying out Bush’s legal policy but now he is using his skills for our good, and I am glad.

    I don’t blame everyone for being furious with Ken. I have said some of the most unkind things about him, over the years.

  121. Bill Cooney says

    Fortunately for Ken, he’s a bottom and shoild have no trouble finding tops in NYC’s gay bar scene. Somewhere, sometime, you’ll find Ken on his knees in some darkened back room seeking redemption for how much he screwed the GLBT community in the past.

  122. BenB says

    Struggling with your sexuality is one thing, and we’re all entitled to that, so it’s a small congratulations that he’s finally come to terms with it. However, actively pursuing an agenda that makes the lives of LGBT people you’ve never even met substantially worse when you know that you yourself are in that situation? THAT is evil and deserves condemnation, and that is why I will welcome no enemy of LGBT rights when they themselves come out. How can you let your own personal difficulties affect others’ lives for the worse? How can you project your own self-loathing onto complete strangers? It’s repugnant.

  123. Chas. Boner says

    I kinda feel sorry for him. We all know Karl Rove directed the Republican “casting couch”. Though I wonder if he got to share Jeff Gannon?