Gay Former RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman Launches Marriage Equality Non-Profit

Ever since former chairman of the Republican National Committee Ken Mehlman came out in 2010, he’s been trying to rectify the damage he perpetrated against the LGBT rights movement as architect of George W. Bush’s anti-gay campaign in 2004.

Mehlman’s latest step is a new non-profit designed to make the conservative case for marriage equality, Project Right Side. He introduced the campaign in The Wall Street Journal today (via ThinkProgress):

Some misperceive the issue of marriage equality as exclusively progressive. Yet what could be more conservative than support for more freedom and less government? And what freedom is more basic than the right to marry the person you love? Smaller, less intrusive government surely includes an individual deciding whom to marry. Allowing civil marriage for same-sex couples will cultivate community stability, encourage fidelity and commitment, and foster family values.


Conservatives don’t need to change core convictions to embrace the growing support for equal rights for gay Americans. It is sufficient to recognize the inherent conservatism in citizens’ desire to marry, to be judged on their work, and not to be singled out for higher taxes or bullying at school. These objectives can be achieved while also protecting religious liberty, as demonstrated by states enacting civil marriage with exemptions for religious institutions.

Of course, this was an argument made over 20 years ago by fellow conservative Andrew Sullivan, but the difference is Sullivan doesn’t actively lobby for noted anti-gay politicians. Still, Project Right Side has compiled some 16,000 surveys, including 2,000 voters in battleground states on Election Night, that show a majority in favor of marriage equality.

This election year, LGBT rights was not the divisive issue it had been in 2004, when Mehlman was behind the wheel effectively running himself over. It’s great that both sides are now beginning to agree on the value of marriage equality, but it’s also hard to trust someone who’s palling around with one of the biggest supporters of the Defense of Marriage Act.

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  • Eric Auerbach

    Good for him. He’s still an irredeemable piece of shit, though, and will remain so for the rest of his life.

  • jerry_pritikin

    It’s his way for finding a husband, after all those years of taking things in his own hand for the Republicans!

  • Taliaferro

    I trust him about as much as I would trust a rampaging rhino not to trample me. He made his money for years off the suffering of his fellow LGBT community members and now seeks redemption. Fine but he is still a snake as far as I am concerned.

  • breal

    The destruction that was done to the gay and lesbian community in 2004 is something that will take decades to heal. From a nationwide perspective, Ken was a proponent of separate but equal – some states its okay, other states it illegal. It will now take the action by Congress, the President and most likely the Supreme Court to undo what he did. His silly little nonprofit will not make a difference one way or the other. Im glad he had a change of mind, but the truth is what he did hurts, there should be no welcome mat for Ken. I hope his nonprofit fails, it was born from evil.

    And of course he had to mention protecting religious liberty, someone tell me what the fuck that means? How does gay marriage threaten religious liberty? The reason we don’t have marriage equality is because of organized religion.

    Your a jackass Ken. How about you take on the lunatics in your party and the religious whack jobs the way the rest of us do.


    in other news ….king herod opens day care center.

  • GreenmanTN

    So in other words he wants applause for speaking out against A PROBLEM HE HELPED CREATE IN THE FIRST PLACE!

    Yeah, well. Good luck with that.

  • 2eo

    @GreenmanTN: Like the GOP who started a grease fire with the economy and are blaming the democrats for trying to put it out while pouring water onto it constantly.

    The duplicitous nature of these vermin is harrowing. You want plaudits Mehlman, shut the hell up and work hard until you die and we might consider not dancing on your grave.

  • Cam

    Glad he is doing something. But let the fact that the community is still angry at him be a lesson to all the other ones out there that you don’t get to just harm the gay community and then expect hugs and kisses when you come out of the closet.

    Congressman Schock and Congresswoman Bachman are you listening?

  • kevininbuffalo

    No doubt Ken is hoping to collect a nice salary from his non profit. He’ll always be a douche in my book.

  • BJ McFrisky

    I so love it when people preach hate under the guise of tolerance. I love how snarky and nasty you “tolerant” people get when the words “gay” and “Republican” are used in the same sentence. It’s like throwing raw meat to wild lions and watching them ravage it—only more messy. And though some of your vindictiveness can be downright disturbing, never doubt the endless entertainment it provides to those of us not hiding under the liberal umbrella.

  • 2eo

    @BJ McFrisky: Stop talking about kids, it’s sick.

  • jeff4justice

    Are there not enough groups working towards equality already?

    Equality Matters
    Fight OUT Loud
    Freedom to Marry
    Get Equal
    Join the Impact
    Marriage Equality USA
    National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
    Out & Equal
    + an Equality group in nearly every state (like Equality CA here in CA)

    How many of these groups ever did anything in my hometown? 0

    These groups duplicate the same objectives and expenses while many of them have 6-figure salary earning executive directors.

    There’s a lot of profit in nonprofit.

  • GreenmanTN

    @BJ McFrisky: Ken Mehlman isn’t just “a gay Republican” you tool! He masterminded the GOP’s use of gay rights as a “wedge issue” to get the Religious Right and Social Conservatives to defeat gay rights initiatives and pass anti-gay legislation. The anti-gay laws in many states are a DIRECT RESULT of Ken Mehlman’s actions.

    And the whole time he was doing this he was gay himself. But NOW that he no longer has an influential position he comes out and makes a few piddling statements in support of gay rights, expecting to be applauded for it? Well fuck him and fuck YOU for defending this POS and trying to spin into some pity-party for you poor abused gay Republicans. You’re like abused wives- no matter how bad they treat you you go crawling back on hand and knees. “Take away all my rights! Tell me I don’t deserve them! I don’t care, I just LUUUUVVV YOU!”

  • 2eo

    @GreenmanTN: He knows this, he’s just using it as a troll issue, like he does with everything.

  • balehead

    Three years from now..he will be charged with embezzling all the funds…most non profits are pretty corrupt these days…. just you wait…

  • Scribe38

    @GreenmanTN: That was awesome… lets move to a state that allows gay-marriage get legal and adopt some dogs

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