1. Mike says

    I think someone should confront Jon Winkleman at a bar and ask why he insists on his egomaniacal one-man direct actions that only serve to embarrass himself and the rest of the LGBT community.

    I’ve seen him interrupt speakers at at least 6 events and record himself doing it for no other reason than to buy 15 minutes of fame on YouTube. Go ahead, have the conversations you want to have and put people on the spot if you want, but this sort of schmactivism doesn’t win any friends or allies in this movement. Grow up, Jon.

  2. Gianpiero says

    Mehlman has a lot of past damage to atone for, but I do believe what the New York Times reported about his meeting with the Republican senators in the marriage fight. Many people worked made important contributions to this victory, and I believe he is one of them. Although I am not at all aligned with his conservative Republican politics, I think we have to give credit where it’s due.

  3. PapaBear says

    Vidkun Quisling… Once you sell your soul, you’re damned. I hope he enjoys his LCR parties. To quote my wise aunt, “I wouldn’t piss on him even if he was on fire”.

  4. callmejer says

    We forgave President Clinton for signing DOMA and DADT, right? The past is the past and an ally is an ally. And at the end of the day, we will never achieve equality if we hold grudges against those who have the courage to change their minds.

  5. Joetx says

    Until we have marriage equality across the nation & ENDA – & Mehlman works directly to help get such legislation passed – he still is a gay traitor.

  6. says

    If he’s now useful in fundraising in support of our civil rights and possibly swaying some Republicans, whether we forgive him–or not–is sort of beside the point. He has to live with his anti-gay past and continue atoning for that as he sees fit, but it’s more important to encourage his constructive work now than to focus on his past sins. I’m not sure what forgiveness or lack thereof accomplishes–his history is his history whether or not he’s “forgiven” for it.

  7. JoeInSF says

    If Mehlman continues to play a key role in the adoption of marriage equality across the country, I will forgive him but will never forget what he has done. You can tell by his defense tone in this video that he knows he betrayed the LGBT community in the past…there is no doubt about that.

    As far as I am concerned, he needs to keep earning his redemption before he is welcomed with open arms.

  8. Danny says

    Mehlman has a long road ahead before he can consider himself “redeemed.” His cashing in on hate as a leader in the RNC enabled him to buy a safe place for him to land in Chelsea – safe no thanks to anything he did for the gay community while he was in leadership in the Republican party. Our community is entitled to make him squirm more than a little bit (if not beat the bloody daylights out of him) before he’s given a pass. He got off easy with Winkleman. He’s gotten off way too easy all along.

    He’s got along road ahead of him before he can consider himself “redeemed.” Swine.

  9. Russell says

    The general thrust of these comments is very heartening. As the Cuomo orchestration demonstrated, things can happen when we work together. Why not employ tolerance within our LGBT community?

  10. says

    Why is it that every time someone betrays us by selling us down the river that we are called upon to forgive? I don’t have to forgive Mehlman and I don’t intend to. He worked for George Bush for chrissakes, what in God’s name is forgiveable about that?

  11. Roger Ramjet says

    He changed his mind once. He’ll change it again when he senses it is politically expedient. DO. NOT. TRUST. EVER. he will sell us out for a few shiny coins when the time is right.

  12. Xavi says

    Ken would benefit from broad LGBT community support if he were to realize a “total transparency communications plan”. Ken could schedule interviews on well-known LGBT media sites, such as Michaelangelo’s show, Towleroad, etc. and describe his activities affecting the LGBT community while he was associated with the GOP. He could then clearly articulate how he is now working to advance the interests of our community and answer any questions people have about his prior work with the GOP and his current role.

    Ken is a communications and public relations professional and I imagine he is fully aware of this. Perhaps he is still bound by GOP non-disclosure agreements. If so, he can clearly state what he is and is not permitted to speak about. He also has a day-job running PR for a financial sponsor fund and he would need to vet his plan with his employer. Nonetheless, his transparency would benefit him, his career, and endow him with substantial goodwill from the LGBT community. He can “come out” a second time and, in a relaxed and professional manner, describe what he did and inform us he is fully committed to our community.

    Confronting and scolding Ken in a crowded bar with a mobile phone camera seems ridiculous.

  13. says

    Question: Has Ken Mehlman actually asked for forgiveness? Has he shown contrition for his past behavior?

    I won’t even consider forgiving someone who hasn’t shown remorse.

  14. D.R.H. says

    What’s the point of seeking redemption when you’re hated either way? It only makes us look like the bigger haters when we reject the ones who are trying to redeem themselves for past mistakes. Mehlmen has put a brave foot forward by coming out, professing his mistakes and now working hard to help our cause.

  15. silverkjk says

    Just a reminder that in the last election, Mehlman contributed to several anti-gay legislators across the country, calling into question the degree to which he is willing to move away from his former positions and whether he feels any remorse. For myself, I will forgive him when he has caused the (as I remember) 31 states that have enshrined anti-marriage equality into their constitutions to embrace equality.

  16. Dalton says

    >>>We forgave President Clinton for signing DOMA and DADT, right?

    Callmejer, DADT was a compromise attempt after the Clinton administration tried to fully include gays in the military and the (ahem) Democratic majority congress was vehemently opposed.

    And DOMA passed by almost 90% of Congress in 1996 when almost no one in our community thought marriage was a possibility. Was Clinton supposed to veto the bill? And did you want a constitutional amendment in instead? That also would have passed in 1996.

    If you’re blaming Clinton for DOMA, don’t forget Joe Biden and many other Dems voted for it.

    And DADT and DOMA pale in comparison to Mehlman, Bush, Cheney and the GOP’s assault on LGBT rights, 20+ marriage amendments, not to mention two wars, a disastrous economy, millions unemployed, stripping minority voting rights, Scalia, Roberts and Ailito, etc etc

  17. jamal49 says

    Who gives a rat’s ass about Ken Mehlman anyway. I don’t now and I didn’t before. Assholes and leopards can’t change their spots. Regardless, Winkleman is a self-serving diva with serious courtesy issues. Maybe Winkleman and Larry Kramer should get married. They both deserve each other.

  18. Dave L says

    When the public was against us 80-20 (or whatever, it wasn’t long ago we were much more opposed than now), wasn’t the point of our efforts to convince the 80% that they were wrong and to join our side?

    How can we take a position that “we’re trying to convince you you’re wrong and when we succeed and you change to our side we’ll never forgive you for once being against us?”

  19. Mort says

    To echo Hank: Mehlman doesn’t have to beg anyone for forgiveness, but he does have to express some insight into the errors of his past ways. What’s the use of forgiving him if he won’t acknowledge that he did anything wrong in the first place? That full of grace I, for one, am not.

  20. Dan says

    I don’t see any good that can come from holding a grudge against him. Whatever I think privately he’s making an effort. He’s actually doing something to make up for his past which is benefitting us now.

  21. Kc says

    The bar shouldve thrown mehlman out. He does not deserve to come into our spaces like he was never the force of evil that he is and always will be!!

  22. CPT_Doom says

    In the early years of the Christian Church, when they were still being persecuted by the Romans and fed to the lions, the concept of Penance began. Members of the Christian community who had denounced the church in order to save their own necks had to do Penance before they could be let back into the community. Unlike modern confession, Penance did not mean saying a few prayers – rather, it was a months-long, if not years-long, process by which the penitent proved himself to be truly sorry and worthy of readmission.

    Mr. Mehlman refuses to even acknowledge he did anything wrong in leading the effort to demean, dehumanize and belittle the LGBT community during the 2004 campaign; he refuses to acknowledge the damage done to countless LGBT lives by his actions. He has not even begun his Penance and cannot be forgiven.

    Sure, use him to get donations and to sway Republicans, but never forget or condone his hypocrisy and his treachery.

  23. MikeSJ says

    As New York showed us, we will not gain victory in this struggle without the support of Republicans. We will not get their support if we continue to vilify them for their past mistakes, even as they work to correct them.

    I realize that a significant percentage (perhaps even the vast majority) of readers here want to label all Republicans as “evil” and just be done with it. But that’s not how we’re going to win hearts and minds. Like it or not, we have to be better than that – better than them.

  24. anon says

    Politics makes strange bedfellows, but you don’t have to actually sleep with Mehlman. Why not say something clever like “Keep up the good work!” instead?

  25. ratbastard says

    Mehlman is a typical high functioning individual with a personality disorder like sociopathy or even psychopathy. The ability to disengage to the point of dehumanizing your ‘own kind’ for power, respect and $. IMO pretty much all individuals in high positions in politics, business, even artists of all kinds, academia, sports, are ruthless and afflicted with anti-social personality disorders. Certainly, to function and prosper inside a bureaucratic system like a large corporation or institution requires sociopathic and psychopathic attitudes.

  26. Curtis says

    Many people don’t realize how instrumental Mehlman was in actually getting glbt people bashed and even murdered. Under Ken’s leadership, the RNC put out some of the most hateful and vicious anti-gay ads fomenting rage against innocent gay people. Yet he’s never apologized even once for all the lives he destroyed and families he tore apart. He’s now living in a luxury penthouse in NYC’s gay neighborhood. That is beyond belief!

  27. ratbastard says



    He had [has?] the same basic attitude and mentality as the Jews who cooperated with the Nazis, and actually prospered [yes, they existed.] But that’s typical of people in his ‘class’. Behind closed doors they’re all friends.

    He has nothing to worry about. He still has excellent insider connections and plenty of people will willing look the other way and ‘forgive’ him because of his $, influence and connections.People like being around powerful, ‘successful’ people and cut them A LOT of slack.

  28. Danny says

    @ RATBASTARD: I often find your postings to be unnecessarily cynical, provocative and ill-natured. Though it galls me to say it, I have to agree with all or virtually all that you have posted on this issue today.

  29. peterparker says

    Ken Mehlman should be shunned by all polite gay society.

    (And I concur with DANNY: I rarely agree with anything RATBASTARD posts, but on this issue, he’s spot on.)

  30. Andalusian Dog says

    Forgive him and move on in public. It’s good to have him strategically on our side.

    But in our hearts, we should never forget the harm he caused us.

    Translation: stand beside him at rallies, but don’t offer him a sip of water if he says he’s thirsty, the bastard.

  31. kc says

    @MIke don’t be ridiculous. Ken Mehlman has done far more damage to the gay community than virtually anyone else. People have DIED and/or lost everything because of the evil that Mehlman inflicted on us – and the rest of the world. Some random gay person you feel embarrasses you is hardly a comparison; to say otherwise is outrageous.

    I maintain he should be summarily removed from any gay establishment he tries to enter.

  32. Alan Arthur Chiras says

    I’ll never forgive him. Allows those gay still in the closet and working against us something to think about. NO, You will NOT be forgiving for this. PERIOD.

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