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08/26/2010

From FMA supporters to FMA scapegoats: Ken schmoozes with a new kind of Advocate

by Jeremy Hooper

More Mehlman, this time from a chat with The Advocate's ever-intrepid Kerry Eleveld:

ADVOCATE: There’s a lot of gays and lesbians and other people who are still angry about the 2004 election and the fact that that those 11 amendments were on the ballot. Is there anything that you would like to say about that in particular?

Ken Mehlman: Look, I have a lot of friends who ask questions and who are angry about it. I understand that folks are angry, I don’t know that you can change the past. As I’ve said, one thing I regret a lot is the fact that I wasn’t in the position I am today where I was comfortable with this part of my life, where I was able to be an advocate against that [strategy] and able to be someone who argued against it. I can’t change that – it is something I wish I could and I can only try to be helpful in the future.

But I understand the anger and I talk to friends about it – it’s something that I hear from a number of friends.

ADVOCATE: As the strategy developed, did it ever make you uncomfortable?

Mehlman: Yes.

There were a lot of people, including people that supported the [Federal Marriage Amendment], for example, that worried about this being divisive.

I obviously found it particularly challenging to deal with and, because I wasn’t in the place I am today where I’m comfortable with this part of my life, it was really hard and it was particularly hard because there was really nobody who knew this about me and so there was no one I could even talk to about it. So it was a period that I’m very glad is over.
The Ken Mehlman Interview [Advocate]

We're listening and trying to be sympathetic. But to have been so completely unaware of your own sexuality as an adult in your mid-to-late 30s? And regardless of that point: To have been so unaware of the unprincipled nature of civil discrimination no matter how much personal stake you might have had in its effects? Not only does Mr. Mehlman have to understand the anger -- he's also got to understand the confusion as well. This is not a dumb man we're talking about.

*CPAC '04:

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