Ken Mehlman Co-Chairing Major Fundraiser in Case Against Prop 8

Just got off the phone with Chad Griffin, Board President of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the organization challenging Proposition 8 in federal court, regarding former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman and reports that he is about to come out of the closet.

MehlmanGriffin tells me that Ken Mehlman is chairing a major fundraiser in late September that has already raised over $1 million for the organization battling Prop 8. The fundraiser is co-chaired by prominent Republican donors Paul Singer and Peter Thiel and will be held at Singer's home.

A large number of other Republicans are co-hosts of the fundraiser including Mary Cheney, Margaret Hoover, and Steve Schmidt. Dick Gephardt is also among the hosts.

Said Griffin to Towleroad:

"Mehlman has committeed his own resources and been an integral part of the team at the American Foundation for Equal Rights. Our goal is to get as many people who aren't on the side of gay marriage on our side, and once they are here, to welcome them."

Said AFER board member Dustin Lance Black:

"Ken represents an incredible coup for the American Foundation for Equal Rights. We believe that our mission of equal rights under the law is one that should resonate with every American. As a victorious former presidential campaign manager and head of the Republican Party, Ken has the proven experience and expertise to help us communicate with people across each of the 50 states."

Towleroad has obtained a copy of the invite to the fundraiser:


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  1. This man is one of the biggest scum in the war. This is the man who orchestrated the Bush campaign using SSM as a wedge issue. This man is truly repulsive. He has done so much to destroy our rights and the fact that AFER is letting him use them to try to clean up his reputation is truly reprehensible.

    Posted by: Tim W | Aug 25, 2010 5:55:58 PM

  2. Greenwash in progress. Please stand by.

    Posted by: evan | Aug 25, 2010 6:04:34 PM

  3. seriously? we are gonna be all apoplectic over this? isn't this EXACTLY what we want? enemies becoming ALLIES? i agree he WAS many pointed out in the other thread as well. BUT, fear of yourself can cause people to do awful things. He DID them. Now, he is trying to right the wrong. We should encourage him to do so. And point to his involement as further proof that we ARE on the right side of history....and this ISN'T a left-right, dem-rep, issue. Everyone has a past. We can either welcome him for a better FUTURE or we can have a tantrum and banish him to his past.

    He has much to do to earn our trust, granted. But, WTF is wrong with us if we don't allow him---and encourage him---to do just that.

    Posted by: cr8nguy | Aug 25, 2010 6:06:31 PM

  4. Gay Republicans?! What WILL they think of next!

    Posted by: ManPuppy Gay Social Network | Aug 25, 2010 6:10:17 PM

  5. @cr8nguy Good point. My initial reaction to all this is to lash out at him, but you're's counterproductive. We need as many people on our side as we can get.

    Posted by: mb | Aug 25, 2010 6:13:03 PM

  6. "He has much to do to earn our trust, granted. But, WTF is wrong with us if we don't allow him---and encourage him---to do just that."

    sadly, because we enjoy hating the opposition so much that were incapable of forgiveness and allowing for personal redemption.

    i abhor the old ken mehlman...i welcome the *new* ken mehlman. ya know, come to think of's kinda like i got all tingly about "fierce advocate" candidate obama and now have nothing but bitterness for today's obama.

    Posted by: David Milton Greer | Aug 25, 2010 6:14:39 PM

  7. If we can turn the Republicans around on gay issues at least they have proven they have a backbone to stand up for what they believe.
    I am one "ex" Democrat due to all the unfulfilled promises of our "strong advocates".

    Posted by: major707 | Aug 25, 2010 6:14:46 PM

  8. He has much to do to earn our trust, granted. But, WTF is wrong with us if we don't allow him---and encourage him---to do just that.

    Posted by: cr8nguy | Aug 25, 2010 6:06:31 PM

    very profound ending to your convinced me that evevn my first reaction was.."reactionary"..and your comment is spot on.

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Aug 25, 2010 6:16:03 PM

  9. What’s interesting is that this is going to make a LOT of Democrats look really stupid. Even our "fierce advocate" president is now to the right of the folks throwing this fete.

    Earth to The White House, some members of the GOP are stealing your act...

    Posted by: ichabod | Aug 25, 2010 6:27:42 PM

  10. This man is NOT on our side folks, don't fool yourselves. He's no friend of ours nor will he ever be. He's the worst of the worst. A self hating gay who expends all of his energy to destroy his own kind. Ken Melman is a disease that needs to be cured.

    Posted by: Robert In WeHo | Aug 25, 2010 6:30:17 PM

  11. Keep in mind that almost ALL homophobia stems from self-loathing. The louder the homophobe, the more he hates that segment of his innate makeup.

    Posted by: Brix | Aug 25, 2010 6:31:27 PM

  12. thank you for the kind words.

    i get being reactionary. i was too initially. but before i was out, i did some really stupid things (not so much with the type of impact Ken did, but enough to screw with peopole in my personal life).

    they forgave me. accepted me, understood that my FEAR controlled me. I had to earn their trust back.

    he has to earn ours. will it take his remaining days on earth? who knows. each of us will decide that for ourselves.

    i can't remember who said err is human, to forgive, divine...

    cliche and corny...i know. but if we reject him, I will have trouble understanding how we are any better than Freepers who kick out their gay kids.

    most of us know all too well what it is like to be hated, despised, rejected, etc. compassion should trump vengence.


    Posted by: cr8nguy | Aug 25, 2010 6:33:20 PM

  13. Isn't it a bit "too little, too late?" It's probably the only way he could hope to get a date in this lifetime after everything else he supported.

    Posted by: countervail | Aug 25, 2010 6:34:21 PM

  14. My first reaction to Mehlman was to throw up in my mouth.

    But, I guess better late than never . . . after all, at $5,000 a pop for his dinner, he'll fit right in with the elite HRC crowd.

    And, we all know how hard the HRC fights for us, as long as it doesn't conflict with their cocktail hours. Just ask Lt Chou how helpful the HRC is.

    Posted by: Continuum | Aug 25, 2010 6:35:42 PM

  15. Your readers might find this blog interesting.

    Posted by: Lloyd/Bob Peacock | Aug 25, 2010 6:38:37 PM

  16. I guess we need to learn how to use people.

    So, let us welcome him back home and get him working!


    Posted by: Bains | Aug 25, 2010 7:11:08 PM

  17. I would say, take your money and go away... that we don't want it. But no.

    I will take his money, all of it, all of the money of his cronies... and I STILL will not forgive or forget or let him be part of this community. It is, after all, what he and his have been doing to us for so many years.

    So yes, give us your money; then fuck off and die.

    Posted by: kc | Aug 25, 2010 7:12:01 PM

  18. Mary Cheney???

    Posted by: latebrosus | Aug 25, 2010 7:14:09 PM

  19. what is Elizabeth Wurtzel doing there? Did it become suddenly fashionable to be a republican or something?

    Posted by: rodrick | Aug 25, 2010 7:23:18 PM

  20. So I assume he's not being paid a dime to headline this event, right..?


    (Yeah, that's what I thought.)

    Posted by: Griff | Aug 25, 2010 8:12:08 PM

  21. What if it is just a political ploy to make Obama look bad so that Republicants can get some gay votes?

    I mean, he is, still, a Republicant first, a homosexual second.

    I think of him as "homosexual" not gay.

    Posted by: A Matter of Priorities | Aug 25, 2010 8:26:26 PM

  22. I'm sure, any day now, there will be a Mehlman Memoirs book on the shelves.

    Posted by: wilco26 | Aug 25, 2010 8:37:02 PM

  23. Peter Thiel ? OMG. He used to write the most virulent anti-gay rants ever in the Stanford Daily when I was a student there.

    Posted by: Jay | Aug 25, 2010 8:37:13 PM

  24. Mehlman, Thiel...they prove that people=shit. WOW! Who would have thought that there's wisdom in a slipknot song?

    Posted by: TANK | Aug 25, 2010 8:46:58 PM

  25. I remember the old saying "Never trust a Republican" I guess I can sort of forgive but I can never forget the eight year nightmare that was the GW Bush years

    Posted by: John Normile | Aug 25, 2010 11:18:21 PM

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