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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  1. 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.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Aug 25, 2010 8:58:55 PM

  2. F U scum, bottom of the earth sucker of parasitic life.

    Posted by: Mike | Aug 25, 2010 9:00:57 PM

  3. 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.

    Posted by: r | Aug 25, 2010 9:10:08 PM

  4. regret? how about REMORSE?

    Posted by: shanesoho | Aug 25, 2010 9:14:11 PM

  5. 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.

    Posted by: Sean | Aug 25, 2010 9:15:43 PM

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

    Posted by: Piper | Aug 25, 2010 9:16:14 PM

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

    Posted by: A. Beaverhausen | Aug 25, 2010 9:24:23 PM

  8. 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.

    Posted by: Troy | Aug 25, 2010 9:39:44 PM

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

    Go suck Rove's dick.

    Posted by: Dale | Aug 25, 2010 9:55:36 PM

  10. 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?

    Posted by: SWGB | Aug 25, 2010 9:58:21 PM

  11. 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.

    Posted by: candideinnc | Aug 25, 2010 9:58:40 PM

  12. 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.

    Posted by: Continuum | Aug 25, 2010 10:03:30 PM

  13. 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.

    Posted by: harto | Aug 25, 2010 10:03:46 PM

  14. Outed as both a gay person and a raving idiot ne plus ultra.

    Posted by: Gregoire | Aug 25, 2010 10:04:10 PM

  15. 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.

    Posted by: Jack | Aug 25, 2010 10:09:20 PM

  16. 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.

    Posted by: SWGB | Aug 25, 2010 10:10:51 PM

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

    Posted by: Chal | Aug 25, 2010 10:18:59 PM

  18. How many gays and lesbians were killed or injured because of the nastiness this stinking piece of shit stirred up?

    Posted by: homer | Aug 25, 2010 10:28:34 PM

  19. 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.

    Posted by: ProfessorVP | Aug 25, 2010 10:31:10 PM

  20. 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.

    Posted by: Joe | Aug 25, 2010 10:38:49 PM

  21. 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.

    Posted by: critifur | Aug 25, 2010 10:42:23 PM

  22. 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.

    Posted by: Brian | Aug 25, 2010 10:48:14 PM

  23. FUCK HIM

    Posted by: pipi | Aug 25, 2010 10:48:51 PM

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

    Posted by: Greg | Aug 25, 2010 10:49:59 PM

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

    Hahahaha, well played.

    Posted by: Henry Holland | Aug 25, 2010 11:16:33 PM

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