Outing blogger Mike Rogers has given
former Bush administration official Ken Mehlman, who
came out gay Wednesday, an anti-gay award.
Mehlman managed President George W.
Bush's 2004 re-election campaign and once chaired the Republican
He denied rumors he's gay for years,
including in a 2006 interview with the New York Daily News. GOP
operatives and friends have also long denied knowledge of Mehlman's
sexuality. Several dismissed the question as offensive.
an interview published Wednesday in The Atlantic, Mehlman
comes clean, saying it has “taken me 43 years to get comfortable
with this part of my life” and “It was very hard, personally,”
in reference to his remaining in the closet during his political
For Rogers, who first outed Mehlman in
2004, the news was vindication.
“It's always nice to know that my
reporting is validated as correct, even if the media has been hiding
it for six years,” he said in
a blog post at his website BlogActive.com.
Mehlman, who has since traded politics
to become an executive vice-president with the New York City-based
private equity firm KKR, said he decided to come out of the closet
because he wants to become an advocate for gay marriage.
Rogers' Roy Cohn Award recognizes
high-profile gay men and lesbians who work against the interests of
the gay community.
He called Bush's 2004 Mehlman-managed
re-election campaign: “the most homophobic national campaign in
“Ken Mehlman is horridly homophobic
and no matter how orchestrated his coming out is, our community
should hold him accountable for his past.”
Rogers is best know for calling former
senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) a hypocritical gay man when he accused
him of sexual encounters with men in a Washington D.C. public
restroom long before his infamous 2007 arrest in a Minneapolis
airport restroom sex sting operation.
The Roy Cohn Award is named after a
central figure of the 1950s McCarthy hearings. Senator Joseph
McCarthy started a wave of panic when he claimed the State Department
had been infiltrated by communists. Cohn helped McCarthy prosecute
the alleged communists, which fueled the hysteria and blacklisting
that followed. McCarthy and his team also targeted gays and
lesbians. Cohn denied rumors of being gay even after he was
diagnosed with AIDS in 1984, claiming he was dying of liver cancer.