By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com February 24 2012 5:55 PM ET
Just because Republican strategist Ken Mehlman is gay and actively lobbying for marriage equality from New York to Maryland doesn't mean he's stopped supporting the likes of John Boehner.
Mehlman, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, is listed as an event co-chairman for a fundraiser to benefit "Boehner for Speaker" in March, according to a copy of an invitation obtained by the Huffington Post. When President Obama announced a year ago that his Justice Department would abandon the Defense of Marriage Act in court challenges, it was Speaker Boehner who riled LGBT activists by committing taxpayer dollars to fund a defense team.
Also listed as an event host for the fundraiser is R. Clarke Cooper, president of the Log Cabin Republicans. And headlining the event is former vice president Dick Cheney, who reportedly volunteered to call wavering Republicans in Maryland to help convince them to support marriage equality.
None commented for the report in the Huffington Post.
Mehlman was widely praised for directly lobbying lawmakers in New York when it came down to Republicans in the Senate who would cast the deciding votes. And in New Hampshire, where Republicans are trying to reverse a marriage equality law, Mehlman wrote an op-ed in the Union Leader newspaper calling on them to stand down. Then in Maryland he was listed among members of the GOP who made calls to wavering Republicans and helped convince them to join the cause. His lobbying for marriage equality began in California, though, where he regularly helps fund raise for Americans for Equal Rights, which is the group backing a legal challenge to Proposition 8 that could land in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Still, Mehlman's donations continue to Republican candidates, even those that oppose marriage equality, according to a recent report by Change.org on campaign disclosures. Mehlman gave $2,400, for example, to Roy Blunt (who voted in favor of amending the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage) in his quest for a Senate seat in Missouri, and to Arizona's John McCain despite the senator's opposition to gays and lesbians serving openly in the military.