Good for him. Some doubted former GOP party chair Ken Mehlman’s sincerity when he came out as gay and joined forces with the national movement for marriage equality. We supported him. We got a lot of criticism for it. We were told that Mehlman has done a lot of harm to the community, and he has. We were told that he was still supporting bad Republicans, and he probably is. But at the time we said that it was a huge coup for the community having Mehlman on our side, and we were right. People change. Not always 100%. But any change can be helpful.
Here’s what I wrote about Mehlman’s coming out at the time:
Good for Ken. I know a lot of people will want to criticize him for heading up the GOP as a closeted gay man. He says he only recently came to terms with being gay. I suspect he always knew he was gay, but recently came to terms with accepting it, and embracing it. And good for him. He’s now doing the right thing, helping support marriage equality. I’m not going to fault him for that. Coming out is a horrendously difficult and complicated thing. It’s not rational.
Now, does that mean I oppose efforts to out people who are hurting our community? Absolutely not. I was there with the rest of them calling Mehlamn out for being a closeted gay man running a homophobic political party. Our long-time readers will remember Mehlman Mondays on AMERICAblog. I long talked about Mehlman being the only closet-heterosexual I’d ever heard of – a man not willing to admit he’s straight.
But that doesn’t mean we don’t embrace him now. And not just for strategic reasons. Mehlman, from what Ambinder says, is doing the right thing. He’s now using his position in the GOP to help our community on our number one issue: marriage. For that, he deserves our thanks.