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Bushie, not Barbie: Ken Mehlman to finally come out

by Jeremy Hooper

From Mike Rogers:

I am able to report ā€“ here for the first time -- that Ken Mehlman, the former Chairman of the Republican National Committee is set to come out of the closet in a column by Atlantic writer Marc Ambinder Friday morning or early next week.
Ken Mehlman is coming out [BlogActive]

Everyone comes out on their own time. But few do it after designing, contributing to, and making no apologies for a strategy that gay-baited to increase their boss and party's electability.


*FLASHBACK, 2006: ā€œIā€™m not gay, but those stories did a number on my dating life for six months.ā€ -Ken Mehlman, speaking to the NY Daily News

**UPDATE from Andy Towle:

Just got off the phone with Chad Griffin of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the organization challenging Proposition 8 in federal court, regarding former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman and reports that he is about to come out of the closet.

Griffin tells me that Ken Mehlman is chairing a major fundraiser in late September that has already raised over $1 million for the organization battling Prop 8. The fundraiser is co-chaired by prominent Republican donors Paul Singer and Peter Thiel and will be held at Singer's home.

A large number of other Republicans are co-hosts of the fundraiser including Mary Cheney, Margaret Hoover, John Podesta, and Steve Schmidt. Dick Gephardt is also among the hosts.


**MAJOR UPDATE: The Ambinder interview is now live:

"It's taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of my life," said Mehlman, now an executive vice-president with the New York City-based private equity firm, KKR. "Everybody has their own path to travel, their own journey, and for me, over the past few months, I've told my family, friends, former colleagues, and current colleagues, and they've been wonderful and supportive. The process has been something that's made me a happier and better person. It's something I wish I had done years ago."

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. He insisted, too, that President Bush "was no homophobe." He often wondered why gay voters never formed common cause with Republican opponents of Islamic jihad, which he called "the greatest anti-gay force in the world right now."

Bush Campaign Chief and Former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman: I'm Gay [Atlantic]

Look, we're glad that Ken is out. Everyone should be free to be, as much as they can as soon as they can.

But at the same time, we cannot allow revisionism about what went down during the Bush era. We lived them. Through tears. Ken profited from them. For years.

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