He said he wishes he had come out while he was the face of a historically anti-gay Republican Party platform.
Mehlman acknowledged regret that he remained closeted when he led the RNC between 2005 and 2007 – a time when, as The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder pointed out, it was “stepping up its anti-gay activities.”
“The reason I wish that I had been in a different place then, as I am now, is I know the personal benefit of being comfortable with, and at peace with, an important part of your life,” Mehlman said. “Until you get there, it’s much harder. I’m very glad to be there.”
Many high-profile LGBT activists have already embraced Mehlman since his announcement. “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,” Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund President and CEO Chuck Wolfe said in a public statement.