Ken Mehlman has gone back “in” again, local gay repubs “out” him anew as gay, and Mehlman’s male host allegedly sexually assaulted a young man

As you may know, Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman, who also was the head of Bush’s presidential campaign last year, was recently outed by a Bush campaign official in GQ magazine as a heterosexual. Well, it appears that out-heterosexual Mehlman may be back “in” again. While at the same time, some loyal gay Republicans just outed him as gay. And Mehlman’s host at the event is allegedly a closeted gay man, married to a woman, who has a police report accusing him of sexually assaulting a young guy.

According to the big gay paper in Ohio, Gay People’s Chronicle, Mehlman is back to refusing to answer questions about his sexual orientation, and what’s more, he’s now giving really really really odd answers for an “out” heterosexual. Says the Chronicle:

“[You] have asked a question people shouldn’t have to answer,” said Republican National Committee chair Ken Mehlman to a reporter asking if he is gay….

Mehlman added that his sexual orientation, whatever it is, “changes nothing” as to how the party will operate under his leadership.

Excuse me?

Then we get this little zinger at the end of the article, after reading a few paragraphs of self-loathing from gay Republicans:

Four members of the Cleveland Log Cabin Republican group attended the dinner to hear Mehlman….

Fred Bachhuber [one of the members] said he expected not to hear a GLBT welcome from Mehlman.

“He just can’t do it yet,” said Bachhuber, “but as long as he’s sleeping with men behind the scenes, that’s all I care about.

First of all, thanks for outing him, Fred. Second of all, as a politically active gay man, all you care about is that Mehlman is that you think Ken is having sex with other men. That’s what cinches your support for the Republican party, that you think he’s a closet case doing guys, regardless of him embracing anti-gay position? Lovely.

Speaking of anti-gay, Mehlman told the gathering that the anti-gay constitutional amendment isn’t anti-gay. Uh huh. If you’re a gay man, you now just earned another reason for being outed.

But there’s more. Check out the host for Mehlman’s appearance – the local GOP party chair who is a man married to a woman and who allegedly sexually assaulted a 21 year old male college student in need.

The dinner’s sponsor, the Summit County Republican Party, is headed by Alex R. Arshinkoff, who was outed by the Cleveland weekly Scene in June, 2003.

The paper reported accounts of Arshinkoff’s presence at Cleveland area gay bars, including the Leather Stallion and the Grid.

Arshinkoff’s vanity license plate ARA?1 has been seen in Akron gay bar parking lots and cruising areas for years.

According to a December 27, 2002 Akron police report, Arshinkoff picked up a 21-year-old male Kent State student who was stranded and needed to get home.

The report says Arshinkoff asked the student if he was gay or bi, then began rubbing his thigh and grabbing his crotch, asking the young man if he wanted to make some money.

An officer saw the student jump out of the car, but let Arshinkoff go and police never investigated further.

A second incident concerned a sexual harassment complaint reported to a deputy clerk of the Summit County Board of Elections by a former Municipal Court employee, also male. No charges were filed.

Arshinkoff, in addition to recruiting and promoting anti-gay candidates, some of them also believed to be closeted gays, authorized a letter to be sent on behalf of the Summit County Republican Party thanking voters who signed petitions to put Issue 1 on the ballot.

“We need voters like you,” the letter said.

Jim King, the owner of Angel Falls, a mostly gay coffee shop in Akron’s Highland Square neighborhood, said he sent a letter to Arshinkoff, who used to come in the store twice a day, asking if it was true that the party paid for that letter.

“I just wanted to know the truth,” said King, “and I never heard from him again.”

Arshnikoff, who is married, has never publicly come out.

Did Ken know that his host is apparently an anti-gay gay – and one with a police report on him? And how does the religious right, yet again, put up with all of these flamers having these leadership positions in the party? Not to mention, the guy isn’t just reported to be gay – there’s a police report accusing him of assaulting young college students in need. And Ken was there to give the guy even more credibility.

Man, I love Republicans. You can be a GOP party leader AND not have to explain allegations that you sexually assaulted a 21 year old guy. Is this a great country or what?


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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