Thursday, August 26, 2010

Gay Mehlman


A prominent Bushie Republican has come out of the closet:

Ken Mehlman, President Bush's campaign manager in 2004 and a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, has told family and associates that he is gay.

Mehlman arrived at this conclusion about his identity fairly recently, he said in an interview. He agreed to answer a reporter's questions, he said, because, now in private life, he wants to become an advocate for gay marriage and anticipated that questions would arise about his participation in a late-September fundraiser for the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), the group that supported the legal challenge to California's ballot initiative against gay marriage, Proposition 8.

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Privately, in off-the-record conversations with this reporter over the years, Mehlman voiced support for civil unions and told of how, in private discussions with senior Republican officials, he beat back efforts to attack same-sex marriage.

Well, good for him. I really do hope he's now "a happier and better person." But wouldn't it have been nice if he'd been a public advocate for gay rights while he was a significant public figure?

But of course he's a Republican, and being a Republican means being anti-gay, and it says something about his party (and about the American right generally) that he couldn't come out while he was a public figure and that he had to hide his views behind the ramparts of bigotry that surround the GOP.

Mehlman claims that he just recently realized he's gay, which is hard to believe. It's far more likely that he had to keep his secrets completely secret during his public life in politics. One wonders how he managed to get by without the freedom to be true to himself and with the need to play along with a party that objects strenuously to what is obviously a central component of his selfhood.

"It's something I wish I had done years ago," he says. Fine, but did he have no self-respect at all? Or am I just underestimating how hard it is for anyone, Republican or otherwise, to come out? I'm happy for him, but call me a skeptic.

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1 Comments:

  • there are few things that i cant get in this story.
    1. come out at 43. why? PR?
    2. Propaganda of single-sex marrage in cristian and religious country -is not it crazy?
    3. Bush supported his *come out*. what for?

    By Anonymous batya@israel, at 5:30 AM  

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