Gay Marriage | Ken Mehlman | New York | News

Former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman Lobbying NY Lawmakers on Same-Sex Marriage Bill: VIDEO

Former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman is in Albany, New York today lobbying lawmakers on marriage equality, the New York Daily News reports:

Ken_mehlman Mehlman said he told the GOP senators that legalizing gay marriage is consistent with the Republican "interests and also the Republican principles."
 
He said it's clear from polls there's been a big shift toward voter support of same-sex marriage.
 
"In terms of Republican values and principles, when you think about it, a party that stands for freedom, a party that wants to promote more families and family values, and a party that tries to live by The Golden Rule, it seems to be me for all those reasons ought to be supportive of this issue," Mehlman said.

Added Mehlman, according to Politics on the Hudson: “I’m hopeful and confident from the discussions I’ve had, and others have had, that there will be an up-or-down vote and that the vote will be positive because, again, I think that as people as look at this issue, they recognize that it is consistent with what their constituents want, most importantly, and second it’s consistent with the values they espouse and certainly many of the Republican stand for."

Mehlman, who was also the architect of the 2004 Bush reelection campaign and worked actively at that time to push anti-gay marriage initiatives in several states, came out of the closet publicly last August. Since that time he has remained largely under the radar working behind-the-scenes to generate funds toward pro-equality initiatives. Last September, he co-hosted a fundraiser for the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the group challenging Proposition 8 at the federal level. 

Watch Mehlman speak to reporters, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. 1) he's still a shithead

    2) good for him for doing this, hope it helps.

    Posted by: Tyler | Jun 6, 2011 1:40:53 PM


  2. Looks like he's trying to earn redemption. Keep it up!

    Posted by: John | Jun 6, 2011 1:42:58 PM


  3. Its about time he did something for the community.

    After his outright lies in 2004 and his mobilizing anti-gay right wingers to move the the Bush campaign ahead I am not sure ANYTHING he does will generate goodwill toward Mr. Mehlman.

    Tyler is right he is still a shithead.

    Would you welcome him into your home?

    Posted by: Louis | Jun 6, 2011 2:05:54 PM


  4. A face for radio, as they say.

    Posted by: Really? | Jun 6, 2011 2:06:56 PM


  5. "Mehlman, who was also the architect of the 2004 Bush reelection campaign and worked actively at that time to push anti-gay marriage initiatives in several states"

    Ken Mehlman can NEVER earn "redemption" as long as the anti-gay marriage initiatives he worked so hard to pass have been repealed. And how long do you think it's going to take for those anti-gay initiatives to be repealed? Years, if not decades.

    Last week, a commenter on another thread called State Senator Ruben Diaz a "stupid Negro" for his homophobic views.

    If Diaz is a "stupid Negro" then Mehlman is an especially "stupid white gay man". After all, Mehlman is gay himself. What sort of man actively works to destroy his own rights and those of his own people? Who does that?

    Posted by: elg | Jun 6, 2011 2:20:52 PM


  6. My former enemy, now the enemy of my enemy, is now my friend. That would be perfectly ok as politics except for the years of Bush. Oh well.

    Posted by: Russell | Jun 6, 2011 2:24:30 PM


  7. "What sort of man actively works to destroy his own rights and those of his own people? Who does that?"
    Someone with different life experience than you, and possibly one that had an enormous amount of pain and disfunction to repair and overcome.
    And so he is, and this is how he is going about moving forward (which doesn't HAVE to include public work of ANY kind, much less that which is progressive.) Good for him, and for the cause of equal rights.
    It says a great deal about him - and the comments of unacceptance and intolerance in response say a great deal about those making them, as well.

    Posted by: DG | Jun 6, 2011 2:28:23 PM


  8. He's a swine. He made millions for himself by actively working against his own kind--thereby making it possible for him to land safely in a pricey condominium in Chelsea--a party neighborhood that is safe for gay people no thanks to him. He's a rank hypocrite. I wouldn't wipe my tail with his face. May he get what he deserves.

    Posted by: Danny | Jun 6, 2011 2:30:19 PM


  9. Here we go again. Cher reacts with outrage when her daughter comes out to her, sends her to a psychiatrist in hopes of her being "cured", and throws her out of the house......but all is forgiven by The Big Queens because, after all, she is a "diva" and that makes all the difference in the world, even though she has never done a damn thing for gay rights.

    But an actual gay man, like Mehlmann, is condemned for all eternity by the same Big Queens for his past mistakes, even as he seeks to rectify them and even though he risked a whole hell of a lot by coming out, which he did not have to do. No, HE can never be forgiven because he is male and particularly because he is a gay male, no matter what he does that is good, including possibly playing a critical role in actually getting a marriage equality bill passed in New York, which will NOT happen without Republican votes.

    Tell me, what are all of you Big Queens spewing hatred at him doing to get this bill passed? I would venture to say nothing at all, preferring to spend the day listening to Lady Gaga (or Cher) albums and watching Project Runway......and, of course, spewing your hatred on this website at any man, especially a gay man, who actually is doing something that matters......

    Posted by: Rick | Jun 6, 2011 2:50:08 PM


  10. I can't look at any pictures of Ken Mehlman without thinking of the old, hateful, very anti-gay Ken Mehlman. I've tried but it just doesn't work. Maybe it will work for younger people who don't remember the old Mehlman?

    Posted by: Ninong | Jun 6, 2011 2:55:59 PM


  11. Money is the reason == Mehlman would sell his mother if he made money. People motivated by money will represent whatever they are paid to represent -- I have a friend who works in marketing for Phillip Morris == money is the only explanation.

    Posted by: David B. 2 | Jun 6, 2011 3:00:20 PM


  12. If he can actually help to get Republicans to vote for gay marriage in NYC then all the good for him. Totally makes up for what he did in the past.

    Posted by: paul | Jun 6, 2011 3:09:41 PM


  13. @Rick: I know you've convinced yourself that us "queens" hate all men, gay and straight, while drooling over senior-citizen female divas, but you are delusional. The sane gay person's problem with poor Ken has nothing to do with the fact he has a d*ck. The problem is that he spent a good share of his adult life supporting anti-gay candidates and their anti-gay positions. Misguided comments by Cher about whatever are in an entirely different category of harm. In other words, this theory you keep repeating on various threads is asinine.

    His history can't be erased, but if he can effectively lobby anyone at this point, then his contribution is welcome. We don't have to admire lobbyists for our side, as long as they're getting something accomplished.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jun 6, 2011 3:40:50 PM


  14. @Ernie I am not defending some of his past actions, but I will play devil's advocate for a moment. He was Chairman of the Republican Party and so he had no choice but to support ALL of the party's nominees. Do you and others understand that? He could not have continued in his position if he had done otherwise.

    There are homophobic Democrats, too, but have you ever heard them castigated by the party leadership or asked to leave the party because of it? Have they ever been denied campaign funds by the DNC because of it? No, of course not.

    The principle is the same, regardless of the fact that there are far more homophobes in the Republican Party than there are in the Democratic Party.

    Of course, you can legitimately ask why a gay man would want to chair a party with so many homophobes in it, but could you not legitimately ask why the Phoenix Sun's CEO, who recently came out, would want to preside over an organization in which a substantial proportion of the players, coaches, and fans are homophobes? Hell, if we all had to disassociate from any organization with a lot of homophobes in it, we could not live our lives, could we?

    Also, Mehlmann is of a generation among which homophobia was rampant, as was the generation before his--regardless of party affiliation.....so he had no choice but to hide in the closet if he wanted to have any kind of professional career at all.

    The point is, he had an epiphany in which he recognized that there was a way he could turn his position to advantage for other gay people, even though it entailed considerable personal risk to himself--and that is way more commendable and required way more courage than anything your beloved little divas have done--none of whom ever knew the trauma of growing up gay in an intensely hostile society.

    Get real. Please.

    Posted by: Rick | Jun 6, 2011 3:58:48 PM


  15. Rick, your excess verbiage doesn't make your bogus gay-men-hate-men-only-love-female-divas any more true.

    No one is objecting to Ken because he is male. We are objecting to his past anti-gay actions. His age (he's only in his mid-40s) is not an excuse; plenty of us of his generation have lived our lives with integrity and without harming other gay people. It was his free choice to work for anti-gay politicians in an anti-gay party. No one forced him to. He deserves all the criticism he's getting. And credit for finally coming out, finding his conscience, and working on the right side of history now. I agree with you on that point, but it doesn't erase his history.

    It has nothing to do with divas, dear. That's your internalized Cherphobia talking.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jun 6, 2011 5:20:18 PM


  16. Rick, you dont know your gay history: It was much easier to come out in the 70s and early 80s than it became after the epidemic emerged, Ronnie Reagan became president and gay people started getting smeared again.

    ALSO the so-called religious right were not as active in politics at that time so were not causing the (largely hypocritical) public stink about gay people that they've done in the last 10 years or so.

    Posted by: Danny | Jun 6, 2011 5:46:30 PM


  17. Folks, we all need to get over the grudge thing. A whole lot has happened in the past 15 years, 10 years, even 5 years. Lots of former enemies are now friends. And to the extent that Mehlman was actually an enemy, he is now a very powerful and influential friend. (Recall Mehlman is officially in favor of full marriage equality, while our President is not.) We've got almost all the Democrats on our side: we now have to work on the Republicans to get what we want and deserve. We can't keep vilifying people for what they used to think or do, or they won't ever become our friends (which is the name of the game, right?). So let's just shut the hell up about the past and wish him the best of luck in what he is now doing for all of us.

    Posted by: Rich | Jun 6, 2011 8:15:19 PM


  18. Mehlman is backing marriage equality (a) so that he'll have the option to marry and (b) so that gay people will like him (and possibly sleep with him without money directly changing hands) as opposed to spitting in his face and walking out the moment he enters a room.

    There's nothing altruistic about this. He has a new gay life living in Chelsea in a condo he bought with blood money and he wants to enjoy that life, so he's doing what his private political analysis tells him will get him there.

    And, judging from a lot of the posts here, his re-branding campaign is succeeding; give him enough time and people will forget exactly how he made his fortune and put together that desirable rolodex of his in the first place. May you all enjoy shaking his hand at black-tie fundraising dinners and applauding when he's introduced as "a leader of our community."

    Posted by: Sancho | Jun 6, 2011 10:21:34 PM


  19. Whether we like it or not, through his wealth and connections, he is a leader of the GLBT community. He is one of the most high-profile non-celebrity advocates and lobbyists on our behalf. Mehlman is now someone people in the GLBT community will turn to similar to the HRC to 'speak' for the community.

    At least, it is better to have someone like him with us rather than against us.

    Posted by: Clark | Jun 6, 2011 10:53:33 PM


  20. really it does not matter at all if people like, judge, or forgive mehlman. he is doing good work now, and we need him (and others) to do it because we can't get this done without them (or we would have already). The only people whose opinions about ken I care about are the senators he is trying to persuade.

    Posted by: Tony | Jun 6, 2011 11:07:44 PM


  21. he is welcome on our side. he has a lot of work to do.

    Posted by: andnowwhat | Jun 7, 2011 3:08:50 AM


  22. Sancho very true. The gay community is very similar to the black which I am part of both. We have deep, deep self loathing issues and will take anyone that will have us like pathetic uncle toms.

    Yes master, no master.

    Disgusting.

    Posted by: Rowan | Jun 7, 2011 10:41:25 AM


  23. I liken Ken Mehlman to a rapist who gives a financial donation to a Rape Crisis Center.

    Posted by: SteveC | Jun 7, 2011 6:53:10 PM


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