Bush Aide Mehlman: I'm Gay

BY Advocate.com Editors

August 25 2010 4:15 PM ET

Ken Mehlman, President Bush's 2004 campaign manager and the former
Republican
National Committee chairman, has come out in an interview
with The Atlantic.

Blogger Mike Rogers, who has outed gay politicians who have taken antigay stands, announced Wednesday that Marc Ambinder would interview Mehlman, who was in the forefront of George W. Bush's 2004 reelection campaign, which was accompanied by a spate of state ballot initiatives to constitutionally ban marriage equality.

"It's taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of my life," Mehlman told Ambinder. "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."

Several Republicans and other Bush aides have denied Mehlman is gay, as has Mehlman himself. He once told the New York Daily News, "I'm not gay, but those stories did a number on my dating life for six months."

Mehlman said he wanted to come out publicly because "he wants to become an advocate for gay marriage." He said he anticipated questions would be asked about his participation in a late-September fund-raiser for the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the group that supported the legal challenge to California's ballot initiative against marriage equality, Proposition 8. Mehlman is cochairing the event with Republican donors Peter Thiel and Paul Singer.

Mehlman served as White House political director in the Bush administration and, with the help of Bush aide Karl Rove, managed Bush's reelection campaign. The American Association of Political Consultants named him the Campaign Manager of the Year in 2005.

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