Main | Thursday, June 20, 2013

NYT Ponders Legacy Of Ken Mehlman

The New York Times is wondering what Ken Mehlman's legacy will be regarding LGBT rights.
Mr. Mehlman, 46, remains the hyper-intense, guarded strategist he was in his Bush days, with the same habit of looking past people instead of meeting their eyes. He shuns most interviews and still deflects personal questions, as he did back when rumors about his sexuality swirled. “I have a happy life today, and I had a happy life before,” he said. Freed of the burden of secrecy, he lives in the gay-friendly Chelsea neighborhood and summers in the Hamptons. Another friend called him “more and more comfortable in his skin.” He dates, but said he was not ready to marry.

He will not talk about any guilt he might feel for serving as the 2004 campaign manager, when Mr. Bush, courting Christian evangelicals, called for a federal ban on same-sex marriage and conservatives marched to the polls. Mr. Mehlman was rewarded with the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee, a job he held until 2006. Some who once taunted him now praise him, saying coming out is difficult and anyone can change. “If you’re going to have an epiphany, do it like Mehlman,” said John Aravosis, a gay blogger. Others are still furious. “I doubt Ken Mehlman will ever be anything more than a bitter footnote in the history of our movement,” said another blogger, Joe Jervis.
As these things usually go, I was interviewed for twenty minutes and only one sentence from me was used.  Here's what I had hoped would make it into the article: "I'm not the right person to ask. You should be talking to the millions of gay people living in the 21 states that enacted marriage bans under Ken Mehlman's direction."  Hit the top link and read the full article and the comments. Most readers aren't very forgiving either.

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