Ken Mehlman, the former chief of the
Republican National Committee, has said that Republicans ought to
embrace gay marriage.
Mehlman's August announcement that he's
gay drew both cheers and
In an interview with conservative
glossy The Atlantic, Mehlman announced he would be fundraising
for the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), the group formed
specifically to support the challenge to California's gay marriage
ban, Proposition 8. A
ruling that found the law unconstitutional is currently on appeal.
Mehlman's New York City fundraiser
raised more than $1.2 million for the group.
Gay marriage, Mehlman argues, is a
conservative value that Republicans ought to embrace.
“I do hope the Republican Party in
the future, will look in the mirror and leaders in the party will
think about where we stand and say, 'You know what? The party of
Lincoln ought to be about letting adults who love each other to be
married.' And the party of Lincoln ought to be about giving people
more personal freedom,” Mehlman
told the website The Big Think.
After Mehlman came out, many gay
activists criticized him for working against the interests of the gay
community, particularly as manager of President George W. Bush's 2004
re-election campaign. That year, eleven states approved gay marriage
bans with the backing of the GOP.