No big GOP tent for you, homos – all RNC chair candidates support ‘sanctity of man-woman marriage’

Michael Steele is fighting to keep his job as lawn jockey Chairman of the RNC and was at today’s National Press Club debate. Of course the inevitable questions about social issues came up and SURPRISE! — they all oppose marriage equality. Watch it (via The Wonk Room):

 - MICHAEL STEELE: “It’s foundational to who we are as a nation, how we define ourselves as people…not to the exclusion of others, not to diminish anyone’s individuality, but to say in a very supportive way that the family unit, the family concept, is an ideal that we aspire to.”

  – REINCE PRIEBUS: “It’s foundational in our lives… I don’t believe anybody should be denied dignity in this discussion, everyone should be loved. But at the end of the day, I believe that marriage – through the sanctity of marriage – should be between one man and one woman.”

  – ANN WAGNER: “It is the true fabric of our society.”

  – SAUL ANUZIS: “I think very straight forwardly, marriage is both a religious and a cultural institution that has existed for over 2,000 years…I think that our both belief in our kind of activity to promote marriage and promote the nuclear family is an important distinction that we have in America versus almost every other country in the world.”

  – MARIA CINO: “I believe in traditional family.”

***

UPDATE: In related news, on Huff Post, President of People for the American Way, Michael B. Keegan, has an interesting piece, “A Gay Tempest in the Tea Party“, about the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and the internal strife over the participation of GOProud.

In November, a group of Religious Right organizations, getting wind of the fact that GOProud planned to return to the CPAC in 2011, wrote to the conference’s organizers informing them that they would boycott the event if the gay group was allowed to participate. In a curious compromise, CPAC’s organizers said they would allow both GOProud and the far-right nationalist group the John Birch Society to participate. The protesters, including the National Organization for Marriage (apparently no longer interested in a beer summit), stuck to their boycott. Last week, in a great culture wars coup, they were joined by two of the nation’s most prominent Religious Right groups, the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America. Soon after, WorldNetDaily founder Joseph Farah chimed in with a call to “purge” the conservative movement of gays and gay rights supporters.

The Religious Right’s joint tantrum over the presence of gay people in the conservative movement is hardly going to derail CPAC, which has lined up an impressive slate of speakers, including Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Haley Barbour, Rick Santorum, and Mitch McConnell. These politicians, adept at harnessing the energy of the Religious Right and the bank accounts of economic libertarians, are not going to be scared away by the latest iteration of the right-wing family feud. But they would be wise to stop and think about what it means for the future of their party.

The battle over gay groups at CPAC represents one of the biggest stress fractures in the Republican coalition–a small segment of the base devoted to denying rights and recognition to gay people is running up against an American public that really doesn’t mind gay people serving in the military and in increasing numbers doesn’t mind them marrying either. Although political expedience has kept anti-gay and even some gay groups allied to the GOP, as gay rights become an accepted fact of American life, the party will have to choose between including the excluders and including the excluded.

It doesn’t sound like Steele or his cohorts are getting the message and continue to pander to the fundie fringe.

 
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Latest: Nobody’s gonna forcibly tie Brown, Schwarzenegger to an appeals court chair

From the SF Chronicle:

(09-08) 16:53 PDT SAN FRANCISCO — The state Supreme Court dealt a setback to California’s ban on same-sex marriage today, refusing to order Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Jerry Brown to appeal a federal judge’s ruling striking down the voter-approved measure.



A state appeals court dismissed the [Pacific Justice Institute] suit without a hearing, and the state’s high court denied review today without comment.


*Read more: High court won’t order state to defend Prop. 8 [SF Chron]

The social conservatives will now resort to Plan D: Making sock puppet versions of the AG and governor, placing them on their arms, and pretending like the two showed up in court anyway.

***

**EARLIER: Jerry Brown’s sound reasoning for not appealing




Good As You

—  John Wright

Former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman Confirms in Interview: I’m Gay

Former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman has come out of the closet in an interview with The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder.

Ken_mehlman Said Mehlman: "It's taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of my life. Everybody has their own path to travel, their own journey, and for me, over the past few months, I've told my family, friends, former colleagues, and current colleagues, and they've been wonderful and supportive. The process has been something that's made me a happier and better person. It's something I wish I had done years ago."

Mehlman says he tried to stop Republicans from attacking gay marriage:

Privately, in off-the-record conversations with this reporter over the years, Mehlman voiced support for civil unions and told of how, in private discussion with senior Republican officials, he beat back efforts to attack same-sex marriage. He insisted, too, that President Bush "was no homophobe." He often wondered why gay voters never formed common cause with Republican opponents of Islamic jihad, which he called "the greatest anti-gay force in the world right now."

What does he regret?

"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 asks of those who doubt his sincerity: "If they can't offer support, at least offer understanding."

"What I do regret, and think a lot about, is that one of the things I talked a lot about in politics was how I tried to expand the party into neighborhoods where the message wasn't always heard. I didn't do this in the gay community at all."

He said that he "really wished" he had come to terms with his sexual orientation earlier, "so I could have worked against [the Federal Marriage Amendment]" and "reached out to the gay community in the way I reached out to African Americans."

Ambinder notes: "Mehlman is the most powerful Republican in history to identify as gay."

Read the whole thing here.


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

BREAKING: Former RNC chair Ken Mehlman comes out.

Holy cow.

Ken Mehlman, President Bush’s campaign manager in 2004 and a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, has told family and associates that he is gay.

He said that he plans to be an advocate for gay rights within the GOP, that he remains proud to be a Republican, and that his political identity is not defined by any one issue.

“What I will try to do is to persuade people, when I have conversations with them, that it is consistent with our party’s philosophy, whether it’s the principle of individual freedom, or limited government, or encouraging adults who love each other and who want to make a lifelong committment to each other to get married.”

“I hope that we, as a party, would welcome gay and lesbian supporters. I also think there needs to be, in the gay community, robust and bipartisan support [for] marriage rights.”

Okay, my thoughts.

Good for Ken. I know a lot of people will want to criticize him for heading up the GOP as a closeted gay man. He says he only recently came to terms with being gay. I suspect he always knew he was gay, but recently came to terms with accepting it, and embracing it. And good for him. He’s now doing the right thing, helping support marriage equality. I’m not going to fault him for that. Coming out is a horrendously difficult and complicated thing. It’s not rational.

Now, does that mean I oppose efforts to out people who are hurting our community? Absolutely not. I was there with the rest of them calling Mehlamn out for being a closeted gay man running a homophobic political party. Our long-time readers will remember Mehlman Mondays on AMERICAblog. I long talked about Mehlman being the only closet-heterosexual I’d ever heard of – a man not willing to admit he’s straight.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t embrace him now. And not just for strategic reasons. Mehlman, from what Ambinder says, is doing the right thing. He’s using his position in the GOP, past and present, to help our community on our number one issue: marriage. For that, he deserves our thanks.

As for the Democratic party, I hope someone at the DNC is starting to sweat. We now have the former head of the Republican party who is to the left of Barack Obama on gay marriage. There’s a virtual groundswell of senior Republicans coming out for marriage equality. It can’t be going unnoticed in the gay community. And while it doesn’t mean 70% of the gay vote will now go Republican instead of Democrat, it does mean that growing numbers of gays and lesbians will find the GOP a legitimate alternative to the Democratic party.

And finally, how about that religious right? The Republicans lied to them about Mehlman for years. And Mehlam himself admits that he used his position as RNC chair to help stop the GOP gay-baiting. The religious right was totally pwned.

More on this, I suspedt, in the coming days.




AMERICAblog Gay

—  John Wright

Repulsive Anti-Gay Quisling Homophobic Scumbag Asshat Closeted Former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman Has Come Out

Maybe the M loft he bought in gay gay gay Chelsea this summer did (or more likely, brought) the trick, as Mike Rogers reports today that repulsive 2004 Dubya campaign manager and former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman is about to come out. [UPDATE: It's official. See update at the bottom of this post.]

In 2004 Steve Schmidt (then the Republican National Convention spokesman and later the McCain campaign’s senior strategist) lied to me when I asked him point blank about Mehlman. “Ken Mehlman is not gay,” he proclaimed. In 2006, Mehlman told the New York Daily News, “I am not gay, but those stories did a number on my dating life for six months.” It’s so nice to be proven right, me that is, not Ken. If this move doesn’t call for a Roy Cohn Award, I don’t know what does. Ken Mehlman is horridly homophobic and no matter how orchestrated his coming out is, our community should hold him accountable for his past.

As we saw with Jim McGreevy, many gay leaders will attempt to elbow themselves to the front of the line to say on cable TV how wonderful it is that Ken is now being honest with the American people. Someone will be quoted in the New York Times saying something like, “After so many years of working for the Republicans, it’s wonderful to see Ken be true to himself.” Or perhaps you’ll read a quote in the Washington Post about how “every gay person is on their own personal journey and we are happy Ken has decided to be so open about his personal struggle.” Next up will come the book, then the TV shows, and of course the speaking tour. I’ll only buy it if he is really sorry.

Mehlman’s crimes against his own people are motherfucking LEGION. Mike Rogers continues:

So, how can Ken Mehlman redeem himself? I want to hear from Ken that he is sorry for being the architect of the 2004 Bush reelection campaign. 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 Election Day.

We can be sure that GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans are positively drooling over the prospect of welcoming Mehlman onto their boards of directors. VOMIT.

UPDATE: It’s official. Here’s Mehlman’s statement.

“It’s taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of my life. Everybody has their own path to travel, their own journey, and for me, over the past few months, I’ve told my family, friends, former colleagues, and current colleagues, and they’ve been wonderful and supportive. The process has been something that’s made me a happier and better person. It’s something I wish I had done years ago. I wish I was where I am today 20 years ago. The process of not being able to say who I am in public life was very difficult. No one else knew this except me. My family didn’t know. My friends didn’t know. Anyone who watched me knew I was a guy who was clearly uncomfortable with the topic.”

Read the entire story on the Atlantic. Andy Towle is reporting that Mehlman has already agreed to chair a “major anti-Prop 8 fundraiser” for Americans For Equal Rights, Ted Olson and David Boies’ outfit. Gee thanks, shitbag. That’s like offering to help rebuild a house when YOU were the fucker that helped burn it down.

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

Report: Former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman to Come Out of the Closet

Mehlman

Mike Rogers of Blogactive, the blogger featured in Outrage, Kirby Dick's documentary which exposed closeted hypocritical politicians, reports that former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman is coming out of the closet:

"Ken Mehlman, the former Chairman of the Republican National Committee is set to come out of the closet in a column by Atlantic writer Marc Ambinder Friday morning or early next week. This will be on the heels of him being included in fundraising letter supporting marriage equality."

Mehlman has previously denied being gay. After the 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner, he said, "I’m not gay. But those stories did a number on my dating life for six months"

You may recall a segment of Larry King Live from back in November 2006 in which Bill Maher outed Mehlman. CNN edited the west coast feed and cut out the comments in which Maher outed Mehlman, also deleting the uncut version from YouTube.

The New York Times reported on the editing, but also wouldn't name Mehlman, saying that Maher "[speculated about some politicians’ sex lives."

At the time, a spokesman for Larry King Live told the paper, "When someone says something potentially defamatory that we don’t expect them to say live on the air, we typically won’t be liable for it. However, if we continue to rebroadcast it, without any reporting of our own or any comment from the subject of the accusation, we could be legally responsible for what that guest said."

Continued, AFTER THE JUMP

Rogers wants contrition, apology, and action:

So, how can Ken Mehlman redeem himself? I want to hear from Ken that he is sorry for being the architect of the 2004 Bush reelection campaign. 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 Election Day.

And those state marriage amendments. I want to hear him apologize for every one of those, too.

And then there is one other little thing. You see, while you and I had the horrible feelings 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 the bank. So, if Ken is really sorry, and he very well may be, then all he needs to do is sell his condo and donate the funds to the causes he worked against so hard for all those years. He's done a lot of damage to a lot of organizations, while making a lot of moeny. A LOT of money. It's time to put his money where his mouth is. Ken Mehlman is sitting in a ,770,000.00 (that's .77 million) condo in Chelsea while we have lost our right to marry in almost 40 states.

THEN, and only then, should Mehlman be welcomed into our community.

(image kat ruddy on flickr)


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright