George W. Bush | Ken Mehlman | News | Republican Party

Watch: Ken Mehlman Tells GOP to Embrace Marriage Equality


Ken Mehlman, who during his eight-year stint as RNC Chair and Bush campaign manager encouraged the religious right-wing to oppose gays, enabled the Republicans on a state level to put anti-LGBT referenda on the ballot to boost the GOP's Evangelical voter turn-out, and allowed Bush to say he would veto ENDA, tells the Big Think:

"I do hope the Republican Party in the future, will look in the mirror and leaders in the party will think about where we stand and say, 'You know what? The party of Lincoln ought to be about letting adults who love each other to be married.' And the party of Lincoln ought to be about giving people more personal freedom. And the party of Lincoln, frankly, ought to be about encouraging the community that is built when two people who love each other decide they’re going to spend their whole lives together. And that requires people to look in the mirror and it requires people in the past who haven’t been on that side, to think about where they want to be on this issue."

To my knowledge, Mehlman has expressed regret for coming out as late as he did, but has never publicly apologized to the gay community for his actions.


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  1. NEWSFLASH: Ken Mehlman and BRIAN ELLNER...yes that BRIAN ELLNER who was so close to being NY's EMPIRE STATE PRIDE's ED are to receive awards from...
    Congratulations Kenny boy and Brian!!

    Posted by: mcNnyc | Dec 10, 2010 12:43:33 PM

  2. I hope he gets cancer.

    Posted by: LAXJFK | Dec 10, 2010 3:09:41 PM

  3. In last campaign cycle he was still maxing out donations to anti-marriage equality republicans. Pam Spaulding already reported on it and had the actual dollar amounts and names.

    Posted by: Shawn | Dec 10, 2010 3:14:18 PM

  4. Let's put aside the anger and use our brains for two seconds, huh? Our goal is to convince people who are now against us to be for us, right? So, what are we doing? As soon as someone who used to be against us is now for us, we push (actually shove) him away because he used to be against us. Let's treat new allies like friends rather than like enemies, or it will prevent any other former enemy from ever wanting to become our friend in the future.

    Posted by: Rich | Dec 10, 2010 6:33:21 PM

  5. Rich, I think that many of us here are more than willing to welcome to the struggle for marriage equality those who have opposed us in the past. I'll cite as just one of many examples Republican former longtime New York State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno, who for years was the single biggest impediment to the advance of any LGBT rights legislation in New York but who, somewhat amazingly, in his retirement now supports marriage equality. I welcome his support. Ken Mehlman is in a completely different category than these others, though. He played a particularly significant role in the decision to win an election by appealing to homophobia and enshrining anti-gay discrimination in the constitutions of about half of the states. All these years later we are still profoundly impacted by his crimes as we have no realistic prospects of achieving marriage equality (or, in many instances, even civil unions) in those states due to the anti-gay provisions now included in their constitutions. AND, what's more, he CONTINUES to donate thousands and thousands of dollars to some of the worst Republican homophobes in Washington. In these circumstances, I just think you're flat out wrong. If Karl Rove were to come out for marriage equality, I'd say the same thing.

    Posted by: Patric | Dec 10, 2010 9:53:48 PM

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