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Mehlman Sorry for Pushing Bush's Antigay Agenda

Mehlman Sorry for Pushing Bush's Antigay Agenda

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Nbroverman

The gay GOP strategist Ken Mehlman now says he's sorry for pushing George W. Bush's antigay efforts.

Facing a war-weary electorate in 2004, Bush pushed a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage -- many believe this helped propel him to victory. Mehlman, at the time closeted, was part of Bush's inner circle and walked in line with Bush's antigay baiting. He says now he regrets not standing up to Bush or adviser Karl Rove.

"At a personal level, I wish I had spoken out against the effort," he tells Salon.com. "As I've been involved in the fight for marriage equality, one of the things I've learned is how many people were harmed by the campaigns in which I was involved. I apologize to them and tell them I am sorry. While there have been recent victories, this could still be a long struggle in which there will be setbacks, and I'll do my part to be helpful."

Mehlman has been an outspoken supporter of marriage equality since coming out, and he's successfully lobbied Republicans on the issue in a number of states, including New York, Maryland, and New Hampshire. Meanwhile, Mehlman is cochair for a March fund-raiser for Republican John Boehner, the speaker of the House. Boehner is no friend of marriage equality, though -- as speaker, Boehner has spent hundreds of thousands defending the antigay Defense of Marriage Act after it was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge. DOMA prevents the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages legally performed in states, meaning gay spouses pay more taxes and are provided fewer rights than opposite-sex couples.

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Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.