Bush-Cheney Campaign Manager, Ex-Chairman of Republican Party Comes out as Gay
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Staffers at the nation’s then-largest gay newspaper chain told Raw Story at the time the Blade's editor thwarted efforts to run a story reporting Mehlman was gay. Chris Crain, the Blade's editor at the time, denied killing the story.
“If you talked to people on my staff,” he said, “you know how many times I’ve brought up in meetings that I wanted to nail this story. And I don’t want anyone to get it before me.”
The staffers asserted that Crain refused to print an article regarding Mehlman's sexual orientation.
Crain -- who was Mehlman’s supervising editor for a Harvard public policy journal in law school and partnered with him in an organization in the early 1990’s -- said he has not “credibly” confirmed Mehlman’s sexuality. He denied that their previous involvement had any bearing on his editorial decisions.
The Blade editor said he helped former Blade reporter Adrian Brune get onto a call with Mehlman during the campaign, instructing her to ask him directly about his sexuality, which she did not. Brune asked about campaign aides being gay and Mehlman “completely evaded” the question.
Brune said she repeatedly tried to interview Mehlman.
“The Bush campaign and Ken Mehlman were very restrictive with access,” Brune remarked. “I was always denied any sort of access; they largely ignored all of our requests.”
A secondary source, Brune said, “knew Ken Mehlman at Harvard Law School and everyone knew very well that he was gay, but there was no empirical evidence to back that up.”
Raw Story and blogACTIVE revealed in 2004 that both the then-Chief Financial Officer and the number two political adviser to the Republican National Committee were openly gay. Neither would answer questions relating to the party's policies.
Dan Gurley, the then-political adviser, has since championed gay issues.
The 2004 Republican Party platform denounced prejudice and trumpeted equality, despite the party's political positioning on gay issues. It said, "Ronald Reagan believed that people were basically good, and had the right to be free. He believed that bigotry and prejudice were the worst thing a person could be guilty of," and included a bolded section titled, "Ensuring Equal Opportunities," leading with the sentence, "Our nation is a land of opportunity for all, and our communities must represent the idea of equality for every citizen."
Such equality and freedom from prejudice didn't apply to gay Americans. The 2004 platform continued, "We believe that neither federal nor state judges nor bureaucrats should force states to recognize other living arrangements as equivalent to marriage."
The party's position continued, "After more than two centuries of American jurisprudence, and millenia of human experience, a few judges and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental institution of civilization, the union of a man and a woman in marriage."
In 2005, a top GOP official denied Mehlman was gay in a GQ interview.
"Ken Mehlman is not gay," Steve Schmidt, a senior official of the Bush campaign told Jake Tapper, an ABC News correspondent who wrote the piece for the magazine.
Tapper also interviewed Dan Gurley, the former National Field Director for the Republican National Committee, who acknowledged to RAW STORY and Rogers that he was gay in a phone interview last year. Gurley blamed liberals for the mailer he sent to Southern states that said liberals would ban the Bible and allow gay marriage.
“I would rather it not have been done,” Gurley told GQ. “But if the left had pursued civil unions as a positive affirmation of legitimate gay relations as opposed to calling it marriage, it’s highly unlikely a mailing like that would have existed.”