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 jeers.

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.