Ken Mehlman, a former official in the
Bush administration, announced Wednesday he's gay.
Mehlman managed President George W.
Bush's 2004 re-election campaign and once chaired the Republican
“It's taken me 43 years to get
comfortable with this part of my life,” he said in an
interview published Wednesday in The Atlantic.
The former GOP strategist, who in 2006
denied rumors he's gay to the New York Times, traded politics
to become an executive vice-president with the New York City-based
private equity firm KKR.
He said he recently decided to come out
of the closet because he wants to become an advocate for gay
Mehlman insisted that he was sorry for
not speaking up on the issue during his time in politics.
“I can't change the fact that I
wasn't in this place personally when I was in politics, and I
genuinely regret that. It was very hard, personally,” he said.
But outing blogger Mike Rogers wasn't
“I want to hear from Ken that he is
sorry for being the architect of the 2004 Bush reelection campaign,”
Rogers wrote on
his blog BlogActive.com. “I want to hear from Ken that he is
sorry for his role in developing strategy that resulted in George W.
Bush threatening to veto ENDA or any bill containing hate crimes
laws. I want to hear from Ken that he is sorry for the pressing of
two Federal Marriage Amendments as political tools. I want to hear
from Ken that he is sorry for developing the 72-hour strategy, using
homophobic churches to become political arms of the GOP before
Rogers, who outed Mehlman in 2004,
wasn't giving any ground, and he pressed on: “And then there is one
other little thing. You see, while you and I had the horrible
feeling of being treated so poorly by our president, while teens were
receiving the messaging 'gay is bad' giving them 'permission' to gay
bash, while our rights were being stripped state by state, Ken was
out there laughing all the way to bank.”
“This man has been living a lie at
our expense,” he added. “Let's not let him get on the gravy
train of gay love.”