Log Cabin Republicans
“Log Cabin Republicans is very supportive and appreciative of Ken’s coming out. Being gay and being conservative are not mutually exclusive,” said Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director R. Clarke Cooper. “As a fellow Bush alumnus, I also look forward to Ken helping me and our colleagues build a stronger and more inclusive Republican Party. Nothing presents a better argument for the equality of gay and lesbian citizens than the reality of our lives as responsible members of society. I am happy that Ken has come to a place where he can take a stand with integrity, and I welcome him as yet another conservative, common-sense voice to join with Log Cabin Republicans and all Americans in this important dialogue.”
“Coming out is a personal decision, and it can have a profound impact on families, friends, colleagues and constituents. We hope the fact that Ken Mehlman has reached this level of honesty will now encourage other political leaders to reject divisive anti-gay campaign tactics which, as Mr. Mehlman now admits, are purely cynical attempts to manipulate the American public,” Wolfe said. ”We look forward to the day when all political leaders, regardless of party, are able to be honest about themselves and their families, and still rise to positions where they can lead by example.”
Geoffrey Kors (Equality California)
“I’m glad he finally came out and glad he’s raising money and working to undo the tremendous damage he did to LGBT people. He needs to acknowledge the damage he caused and apologize for the lives he’s ruined, raise millions of dollars to overturn every one of the state constitutional amendments (banning same-sex marriage that) he helped pass, and spend the rest of his life working to achieve equality and justice for the community he is part of that he used for selfish political purposes.”
“The coming out process is a very personal and sacred one, regardless of one’s party, class or position of power and we’re glad that Mehlman has taken the opportunity to live his life openly and authentically. It is a stark illustration, however, of how damaging the closet can be when one puts ideology over personal integrity. Mehlman presided over the Republican Party at a time when the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans were used to ill ends – marriage amendments in dozens of states, vitriolic attacks on our families, our soldiers, our very lives – all for political expediency, votes at the ballot box, and power.
“Imagine what a different America it would be if Mehlman had drawn a line in the sand and said, ‘No. The lives of fellow Americans – an American like me – should not be used in this bigoted way.’ Ultimately, Mehlman’s story is a cautionary tale of the damage that can be visited on literally millions of people at the intersection of power and the closet. We recognize that this might have been a difficult decision for Mehlman. It’s ironic that he had to make this decision in an environment that is even more difficult and painful because of the policies and politics overseen and sanctioned by him. The next chapter of Mehlman’s life could be about the good that someone can accomplish when authenticity and integrity wins out. We look forward to working with Mr. Mehlman now on issues that many of us have been working on for decades.”
More reactions will be added to this post as they arrive.