It was long rumored and often spoken of in Washington DC circles that the former head of the Republican National Committee, Ken Mehlman is a big gay girl. He has now "officially" come out a gay in an article in the Atlantic. Several of the leading gay bloggers have come out in support of the very difficult step of coming out as gay and have given him an "atta girl" for doing it.
From John Aravosis at AmericaBlog Gay:
Good for Ken. I know a lot of people will want to criticize him for heading up the GOP as a closeted gay man. He says he only recently came to terms with being gay. I suspect he always knew he was gay, but recently came to terms with accepting it, and embracing it. And good for him. He's now doing the right thing, helping support marriage equality. I'm not going to fault him for that. Coming out is a horrendously difficult and complicated thing. It's not rational.
Now, does that mean I oppose efforts to out people who are hurting our community? Absolutely not. I was there with the rest of them calling Mehlman out for being a closeted gay man running a homophobic political party. Our long-time readers will remember Mehlman Mondays on AMERICAblog. I long talked about Mehlman being the only closet-heterosexual I'd ever heard of - a man not willing to admit he's straight.
But that doesn't mean we don't embrace him now. And not just for strategic reasons. Mehlman, from what Ambinder says, is doing the right thing. He's now using his position in the GOP to help our community on our number one issue: marriage. For that, he deserves our thanks.
Now my take:
Ken Mehlman is an assh@le! He presided over the Republican Party during one of the most hateful, bigoted and downright heinous times for Gay American citizens in this country. He demonized gay and lesbian citizens as a tool to gin up the homophobic bigots in this country to vote for Republicans in elections. He is completely responsible for that. The Republicans saw that the best way of rallying the religious right to their cause was to make sure that they knew that the Republican Party and Conservatives in general were the ones who would keep the fags in their places and the white Christianists in power. Mehlman knew this. He participated in this. He planned this. He executed this. How many ruined lives is he responsible for? How much pain and degradation is he responsible for? As a gay man, closeted or otherwise, he organized, funded, and participated in people like himself being used as grist for the Republican Party's "hate the fags" agenda.
Rather than embracing this scumbag and congratulating him for the journey he has made, and accepting his help in future outreach efforts, as some have suggested, which to me is just as bad as what he did for Republicans, he should be outcast. He is pariah. He is not to be forgiven so blithely. He deserves to be shunned for considerably more time so that he can appreciate and learn from the damage that he has done.
That man is a disgrace to his ruby slippers.