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:



  1. Tim W says

    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.

  2. cr8nguy says

    seriously? we are gonna be all apoplectic over this? isn’t this EXACTLY what we want? enemies becoming ALLIES? i agree he WAS scum….as 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.

  3. mb says

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

  4. David Milton Greer says

    “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 it…it’s kinda like i got all tingly about “fierce advocate” candidate obama and now have nothing but bitterness for today’s obama.

  5. major707 says

    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”.

  6. Disgusted American says

    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 comment…it convinced me that evevn my first reaction was..”reactionary”..and your comment is spot on.

  7. ichabod says

    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…

  8. Robert In WeHo says

    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.

  9. Brix says

    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.

  10. cr8nguy says

    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 it…to 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.


  11. countervail says

    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.

  12. Continuum says

    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.

  13. Bains says

    I guess we need to learn how to use people.

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


  14. kc says

    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.

  15. rodrick says

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

  16. Griff says

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

    (Yeah, that’s what I thought.)

  17. A Matter of Priorities says

    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.

  18. Jay says

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

  19. TANK says

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

  20. John Normile says

    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

  21. David says

    There is a whole lot of douchebag going on in that fundraiser, Mehlman, Mary Cheney, Christie Whitman.

  22. Jack says

    Wow, some of you are pretty ridiculous. Are you saying that there’s no such thing as rehabilitation, and that no matter how much one tries to correct the wrongs in his life, there is no redemption?

    I could think of a few other situations I could apply that to which would offend your whiny liberal sensibilities. But, of course, you don’t care about being consistent.

  23. TANK says

    Save it for your AA meeting, jack…seriously… Yup, there are some things you can’t make up for, some wrongs you can’t right.

  24. rick says

    You pathetic people that will eat any kind of shit just so some monsters can momentarily try and cleanse their fucked up consciouses.


  25. mjesf says

    So, who RSVPed No to such a stunning group that also includes Mary Cheney and Mike Huffington?

  26. says

    Is it too late to shove this guy back IN the closet? I don’t want him, do you? He’s done enough damage already.

  27. Glenn Rivera says


    I find it sad that some gays (probably few lesbians) will find acceptance in their so called “heart” or just let his past go.



  28. Chairman Mo says

    And considering that Mary Cheney is on the agenda as well, I’m not gonna embrace this. I feel sorry for both of them, but their toxicity calls for an extended sabbatical in the desert.

  29. Dave says

    Screw the GOP they will gladly take your money while they are shipping your job overseas so they can sit by the pool in their gated community sipping martinis pool side. Now that they look to the tea-leaves and see that they don’t have a future they seek the gay vote? Not in my lifetime!

  30. Austin Rozzell says

    Oh I guess, it’s all ok now, this bastard decided to do us a favor.
    Lets all sing, and hold hands.

    Fuck that, if you limp-wristed fucking queers want to let it all go, you go right ahead and when they lead you to the gas chamber then come out of the closet, Dont fucking say a word, but Just for the records I am one pissed off Father fucking Fag,
    This shit stain asshole, should get on his knees put the gun to his head and do the world a favor and blow his soul back to hell. Do I sound upset, your goddam right I am,
    would I gladly watch him die right in front of me and not lift a finger to stop his death. You goddam right I would.
    and just so you understand me , I am not a christian, my god did not die on a cross, my god is this earth and she knows just what to do with a creature like this, she does not offer forgiveness, but she does require ands expects that the evil you do you pay for.

    May he die alone, screaming the names of his victims.

    Be it said, so be it done

  31. Jack says

    You are all pretty pathetic…

    Tank: really? “Save it for your AA meeting?” You think that hurts? Funny, since I couldn’t drink even if I wanted to…

    You are a fag in the worst sense of the way. People like you are why I consider voting republican every once in a while.

  32. TANK says

    “Tank: really? “Save it for your AA meeting?” You think that hurts? Funny, since I couldn’t drink even if I wanted to…”

    Sooooo, you’re defective… Gotcha! And Jack, you’re a moron; a stupid useful idiot that can be relied upon by the worst of us to toe whatever agenda line is being promoted. I couldn’t care who you vote for, because I don’t consider you a member of my community. Better people than you and mehlman will prevail in terms of gay rights. Better people have prevailed. That’s a pretty low bar, though.

  33. jamal49 says

    Too little, too late. Mehlman is the insidious face of a self-hating, closeted homosexual. He doesn’t even deserve to be called “gay”.

    What harm this man has done! He stood there at the apex of Republicon power in 2004 and said nothing as that execrable Karl Rove manipulated the hatred and fear of LGBT people the Republicon “base” harbored and used it to draw those people and like-minded people to the polls.

    Rove knew full well that in order to “get out the vote”, an issue like same-sex marriage was crucial to the Republicons’ electoral strategy. He used LGBT people as pawns in an electoral con-game. He did so shamelessly, almost gleefully.

    And, Mehlman stood at Rove’s side and said nothing.

    We knew even then that Mehlman was “gay”. Rover knew Mehlman was “gay”. Everyone, including Mehlman, knew Mehlman was “gay”.

    And, Mehlman stood silently by as the Republicon propaganda machine, that buzz-saw of hatred and resentment, wended its way through the 2004 elections. There has never, but never, been a political campaign that spewed forth such vile, spiteful and hateful misinformation.

    One asks how many other closeted gay men, women, and adolescents suffered at the hands of the Republicon hate-machine? What suicides were the result of that despicable surge of evangelical hatred and vitriol against the LGBT community?

    Sorry, Ken. This is one betrayal that cannot be forgiven.

    However, Ken, you are now the pin-up boy for the Log Cabin republicans and the GOProud butt-boys. Maybe you can do a Levi Johnston thing; you know, pose in a towel. I bet those GOProud and LCR homos will just die to see their back-stabbing, cowardly, dishonest, two-faced, shameless hero pinned up on their bedroom walls. Or, maybe, an image for their iPOD screens.

    Enjoy your new, “out” life, Ken. Make lots of money doing speaking engagements to all the “gay republican” groups. Write a book about how much you suffered in the closet, even as you drank, ate, back-slapped, connived, ass-kissed and partied with your Republicon buddies.

    Power’s a great thing, Ken. Gets you into ALL the best places, gets you the best seats, gets you into all those fabulous parties and fund-raisers. It’s a life you’ll still be able to enjoy, Ken.

    I hope you choke on an hor d’oeuvre, asshole.

  34. TonyJazz says

    Ken should be ashamed of himself, but I hope that he can do something productive with the rest of his life (instead of the destructive past that he lived…).

    Maybe he can get a date with Larry Craig?

  35. hank says

    Ted Olson , who gave us Bush’s stolen first term by arguing that case in front of the Bush I – packed Supreme Court. Mehlman, who gave us Bush’s second term by riding on the coattails of homophobic ballot initiatives in key swing states.

    Why are these people choosing the Prop- 8 battle at this time ? Why the sudden concern? Does anyone really believe the Scalia Thomas Supreme Court will rule for gay marriage?

    Is it possible that Mehlman, Olson, and their Republican friends are aiming to drive Christian right voter turn out in 2012 with the specter of this case advancing throught the Federal Court system?

    Why are Machiavellian rich Republicans making the tactical decisions that are driving the gay political agenda? Is there actually ANY reason to trust these people AT ALL?