The role of George W. Bush’s campaign manager in N.Y. gay marriage vote

Worth reading from today’s Daily Beast — and note the quote at the end:

Ken Mehlman managed President George W. Bush’ s re-election drive in 2004.

Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman at the 2005 National Conference in 2005. AP

Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman at the 2005 National Conference in 2005. AP

Courting the evangelical Christian voting bloc so crucial to the Republican Party, Mehlman’s boss campaigned on a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. When asked by Tim Russert in 2005 whether homosexuality is a choice, Mehlman, famous for sticking like pine tar to his talking points, said, “I don’ t know the answer to that question.”

But last year, Mehlman, at the age of 43, announced that he was gay. Turning the personal political, Mehlman then worked alongside a host of tightly organized conservative donors and operatives to plot a victory for same-sex marriage in New York.

When the effort paid off, after days of high-wire suspense, arm-twisting, and a dramatic late-night vote, gay New Yorkers flooded into the streets—and packed the Stonewall, the bar where the gay rights movement was born in 1969. Mehlman, a man seemingly born in a well-pressed suit, basked in the victory, relaxed in a flannel shirt.

“When Obama was elected, it was the same kind of feeling, a real joy and real happiness with people pouring out into the streets,” Mehlman said.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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78 comments Add your comment

GaBlue

June 27th, 2011
2:09 pm

Congratulations to those who worked so hard for this victory, and who fight the good fight for freedom every day! Equality: It’s what’s for dinner!

FinanceBuzz

June 27th, 2011
2:18 pm

A sad day for America. But no law can make it right.

Sadie Fields

June 27th, 2011
2:47 pm

I love it when hypocrites come out of the closet. GWB knee Mehlman was gay– but chose to go down the path of hypocrisy.

Keith

June 27th, 2011
2:48 pm

Ever notice how gays don’t want to answer the question of whether it’s a choice or a brith defect?

TwoCountryBoys

June 27th, 2011
2:57 pm

Keith 2:48:
For myself, my partner and most it’s not a choice. Go ahead and call it a birth defect if it lessens your fear of what you don;t understand. Bu tell me, would you prevent someone born without arms from marrying?

Bill

June 27th, 2011
3:01 pm

Without G-d, all is permitted. And if you believe in G-d, it has to be a choice because why would he condemn someone for this grievous sin if you had no choice. Inclination/choice – yes. Born that way – no

Aquagirl

June 27th, 2011
3:02 pm

Ever notice how heterosexuals don’t want to answer the question of when they stopped beating their wife?

Oh Intown Writer...

June 27th, 2011
3:04 pm

Probably because if it’s a “Brith” defect it came from one or both of their parents, and they don’t want to drag their parents into it.
Ever notice how many families with a gay child actually have more than one gay child?
And often those folks can name at least one other gay person in their family tree?
Probably why the bumper sticker: “Homosexual: every good Southern family has one…”
Only regular exception i’ve come across: women who were victims of incest/sexual abuse for years, who cannot tolerate male intimacy.
If they don’t want to answer you about brith defects, it’s probably because they simply do not like you as a person to begin with, Keith.

jconservative

June 27th, 2011
3:05 pm

So, Mehlman changed clothing.

He took off his Republican suit and put on his “birthday” suit, so to speak.

And we have that stalwart Republican attorney Ted Olsen, Bush’s attorney in Bush v Gore and Bush’s Solicitor General of the US, guiding the main gay rights lawsuit (California Prop 8) through the federal court system to the US Supreme Court.

Republicans dedicated to their party’s “cultural issues” must be wondering who to trust.

Tyler Durden

June 27th, 2011
3:08 pm

If hypocrisy was gold, the GOP could finally afford all of the wars and tax cuts they like :-)

Glad for the folks in NY who fought the good fight to make this happen. Everyone deserves to be happy, regardless of the hypocritical fears of the GOP…

td

June 27th, 2011
3:09 pm

Aquagirl

June 27th, 2011
3:02 pm
Ever notice how heterosexuals don’t want to answer the question of when they stopped beating their wife?

Stereotypical feminist response (all husbands beat their wives). Try this one on: Ever noticed women don’t want to answer the question of when did you stop abusing your children?

Ah ha!

June 27th, 2011
3:14 pm

Just like Bookman donts wants 2 answer the Q: “When did you stop coddling your trolls”?

Last Man Standing

June 27th, 2011
3:19 pm

This is a subject of which I know very little. I know that I did not make a conscience decision to be a heterosexual, so I was born that way. Being a heterosexual, I don’t believe that God created anything more beautiful than a beautiful woman. The thought of homosexuality is repulsive to me, but I think that many or most homosexuals were born the way they are, and homosexuality is not a matter of choice for these people. If what I think is correct, they have a choice to make between abstinence and the practice of an act forbidden by the Bible.

brad

June 27th, 2011
3:20 pm

Bill, is your god the kind of god who will smite you down if you spell out the whole word? Just curious, as it makes you look even more neanderthal.

GaBlue

June 27th, 2011
3:21 pm

Click through pages of the news sites, and see the horrible, cruel, senseless, tragic things that are occurring in our community and all over the world. Murder, mayhem, war, natural disasteres, genocide, slavery, tyranny, corruption, rape, lies, greed, starvation, disease…. there seems to be no end.

Now… if the news that two consenting adults who love each other can commit to each other in monogamous legal marriage in NY still distresses you, GET HELP. Seriously.

informed

June 27th, 2011
3:22 pm

Bill – simple answer: he _doesn’t_ condemn people for what you’re calling a “grievous sin”

Oh Intown Writer – families with all straight children can also name at least one other gay person in their family tree – or if they can’t, it’s because that person has chosen to keep quiet about it. And there are plenty of gay people who have children, and most of those children are straight. Heritability in humans is complicated – there is a bit more to us than there is to a Medelian pea – and sexuality is particularly hard to pin down. The reality is gay/bi/lesbian/transgendered people can and do pop up in any family. AND, most gay people experience their sexuality as something that is not a choice.

There is also no evidence to support your statements about lesbianism resulting from sexual abuse by men. It’s a common misconception that is insulting not just to lesbians but to sexual abuse survivors.

Aquagirl – nice, thanks…

brad

June 27th, 2011
3:29 pm

GaBlue, they simply love an “us versus them” situation. It’s their worldview. Straight v. gay, white v. black, Christians v. Muslims, Americans v. everybody. Nuance and shades of gray are lost on them.

Hyhybt

June 27th, 2011
4:06 pm

So… what would it take (besides hell freezing over) to get our own anti-marriage amendment removed?

Dumb and dumber

June 27th, 2011
4:17 pm

He was agin before he was fer it.

Sideshow Bill

June 27th, 2011
4:43 pm

For those that wonder if it’s a choice: “When did you decide you were straight?”

slick willie

June 27th, 2011
5:21 pm

is it possible for someone latter in life to “change” and become gay? if so, why can’t it work in the other direction?

findog

June 27th, 2011
5:37 pm

LMS, amen
AG, low blow [well placed]
td, get over yourself

Atlanta Biker

June 27th, 2011
5:52 pm

I won’t forgive Mehlman for being a hypocrite until he gets the anti gay marriage laws off the books everywhere. No time to relax, boy, you got a lot to make up for!

findog

June 27th, 2011
6:01 pm

yo slick,
I know of at least one case where a lady went straight in Alabama

PSS

June 27th, 2011
6:19 pm

Keith, you are a birth defect that should have been aborted first term

liberalefty

June 27th, 2011
6:25 pm

why is the bible belt the most racist and hateful? racist christians used the bible to deny blacks human rights,and dignity. now they use the same arguments against gays.

TNT Irish65

June 27th, 2011
6:51 pm

Now come forth, all ye lovers of ignorance and violence! See ye that there are those who are now free of your legal oppression, and spit at them with the vehemence of your ignorance!
When Keith, Finance Buzz and Bill get some real education and just a teaspoon of fact, they will have to twist it again to keep their minds closed to truth.
This is a great day for all Americans and citizens of the world! Whenever anyone gets an equal chance, we should all rejoice!

midtownguy

June 27th, 2011
6:59 pm

The Mehlman situations just shows that men will sell their soul for success/money. He sold his to GWB and the Republican party and he was just trying to buy it back.

Real Athens

June 27th, 2011
7:16 pm

LMS: Geesus K. Rist you’re so tiresome with your holier than thou banter and complete lack of self-awareness.

Here’s a list of acts forbidden by the Bible. Did you sin today?

Homosexuality, only applies to men- women aren’t prohibited. (Leviticus 18:22)
Consuming blood, blood in meat is not exempt. (Genesis 9:4)
Performing any work on the sabbath.(Exodus 20:10)
Cooking a goat in its mother’s milk.(Exodus 23:19)
Eating fat.(Leviticus 3:17)
The consumption of pork.(Leviticus 11:7-8)
Eating a fellowship offering more than three days old.(Leviticus 19:5-8)
Bestiality.(Leviticus 19:19)
Planting more than one kind of seed in a field.(Leviticus 19:19)
Wearing clothing woven of more than one kind of cloth.(Leviticus 19:19)
Cutting the hair on the sides of your head or clipping of the edges of your beard.(Leviticus 19:27)
Tattoos.(Leviticus 19:28)
Consulting a psychic or spiritualist.(Leviticus 19:31)
Being a psychic or spiritualist, punishable by death.(Leviticus 20:27)
Touching the dead carcass of a pig.(Deuteronomy 14:8)
Eating aquatic creatures lacking fins or scales.(Deuteronomy 14:9-10)
Transvestism.(Deuteronomy 22:5)
Consuming the meat of strangled animals.(Acts 15:28-29)
For women, speaking in church.(1 Corinthians 14:34-35)
If you are a slave, disobedience.(Ephesians 6:5)

Time to take a giant leap forward into the 21st Century, dude.

Look before I leap...

June 27th, 2011
7:26 pm

Mehlman’s hypocrisy tangibly damaged millions of gays in this country.
What is amazing to me is that the conservatives who condemn Islam and Islamic states seek to create a Christian “Utopia” here in the US that would be a virtual clone of the intolerant and oppressive societies one sees in Saudi Arabia and Iran. In short they seek a country whose guiding prinicpals would be to deny basic human rights and liberties to all who disagree with them. Mehlman was in excellent company in that regard.

Truth Squad

June 27th, 2011
7:26 pm

why is the bible belt the most racist and hateful?

Not to defend those types, but you can be chased down and beaten to death if you are the wrong race on the wrong street in NYC and other more enlightened cities. Down here, the worst that happens is that you get pulled over, or robbed. I can’t recall anyone being chased and beaten down because his kind isn’t allowed in an Atlanta neighborhood, so I don’t know about “more racist”? I know that is the perception and why, but I don’t know if that is the reality.

That said, even Focus on The Family and others know that the Christianists have lost this war already. The outcome of the fight for full equality- not just marriage, but employment, benefits, housing, and more – is already known. It’s generational. As generational changeover progresses (or accelerates if Republicans are successful at destroying Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare), we’ll be done with this idea that citizens do not have the same rights under civil law.

We could luck out, and through attrition on the Supreme Court, overturn these wretched Marriage Amendments passed in the states. This is Big Government Conservatism folks. Next time someone tells you they are for “small government” and at the same time they want government to pick and chose who can get married, you know they are Big Government Conservatives.

Sexual orientation is not a choice. I have yet to meet anyone straight or gay, who experienced a moment when they looked at the girl or at a guy,felt the same way, then made a choice. I really think people do not know the difference between a sexual act which is voluntary, and sexual orientation, which is not. To argue that it is a choice is to argue against science (it exists in nature, there are differences in the brain and brain chemistry, etc..) and to argue that we’re all bisexual and just decide we’ll go straight, so to speak.

Perhaps the gay bashers (yes, that is what you are when you deny equality under the law for whatever reason) can share their bisexual “choice” moment with us all? When did you decide to be straight and how did you know?

Alabama Communist

June 27th, 2011
7:29 pm

No doubt your paper headline gets the attention of the Gay Community and Crossdressing Republicans ..” BEHIND The Gay Marriage Issue In New York”

Look before I leap...

June 27th, 2011
7:36 pm

@Last Man Standing: ” If what I think is correct, they have a choice to make between abstinence and the practice of an act forbidden by the Bible.”

Why are you so worried about what goes on in anyone’s bedroom other than your own?
Do you honestly believe it is your right to tell any adult not living under your roof what they can and cannot do?
So you believe in the Christina Bible…bully for you. There are millions of citizens in this country who do not share your delusions.

Look before I leap...

June 27th, 2011
7:42 pm

@Alabama Communist:
Wow! Is that what passes for humor in Alabama?

RF

June 27th, 2011
7:43 pm

If sexuality were a choice, who would honestly choose to be different, to be stared at and looked down upon by the rest of society? I don’t know may who would choose to set themselves so apart from society. Most would choose to look the right way and fit in with the “norm” for whatever situation they lived in during their lives. Many, many gay people lie to themselves and the world in order to maintain their position in what most consider “normal” society. They even commit public hypocrisy if the price is right. If you don’t like the gay lifestyle, then don’t practice it. But I gotta tell you, we think many straight people are as crazy as they think we are. It’s not a choice folks, and I think it’s awful that you have to put yourself through all the emotional anguish of ‘coming out’ and dealing with so many people’s negativity and hatred. If you got that kind of reaction to announcing you’re heterosexual, what would you do? You’d live with the reactions and still be the person you are.

Dirty Harry

June 27th, 2011
7:48 pm

Look before I leap,
Isn’t it awesome that Christ loves us even if we don’t love Him? Now that’s TRUE love!! Thank you Jesus!!

Look before I leap...

June 27th, 2011
7:53 pm

@Dirty Harry:
Believe as you will. But if the Bible is to be believed, Christ had NOTHING to say about homosexuality. He also had very little to say about heterosexual relations.

Steve

June 27th, 2011
8:10 pm

Every time I read the posts here I realize how freaking stupid people are. Gays are reality. Deal with it, get over it, move on, and clean up your own house and stop trying to project all of your problems onto other people.

guy

June 27th, 2011
8:21 pm

It will be interesting at the end of time and judgement time beforehand who is right.I’ll be satisfied with the decision God makes.He will have the last word and He hasn’t been wrong yet. We’ll see!!!

Skram30082

June 27th, 2011
8:25 pm

Regardless of your opinion on NY’s action, it will be a frigid day in h*ll before all 50 states have passed a similar law. If we couldn’t even ratify the Equal Rights Amendment 30+ years ago, why would anyone expect this issue to truly be any different?

Jo Q Citizen

June 27th, 2011
8:32 pm

If sexuality were a choice, who would honestly choose to be different, to be stared at and looked down upon by the rest of society? I don’t know may who would choose to set themselves so apart from society. Most would choose to look the right way and fit in with the “norm” for whatever situation they lived in during their lives. Many, many gay people lie to themselves and the world in order to maintain their position in what most consider “normal” society. They even commit public hypocrisy if the price is right. If you don’t like the gay lifestyle, then don’t practice it. But I gotta tell you, we think many straight people are as crazy as they think we are. It’s not a choice folks, and I think it’s awful that you have to put yourself through all the emotional anguish of ‘coming out’ and dealing with so many people’s negativity and hatred. If you got that kind of reaction to announcing you’re heterosexual, what would you do? You’d live with the reactions and still be the person you are.

I Agree. God loves sinner but hates sin….. that’s wheIf sexuality were a choice, who would honestly choose to be different, to be stared at and looked down upon by the rest of society? I don’t know may who would choose to set themselves so apart from society. Most would choose to look the right way and fit in with the “norm” for whatever situation they lived in during their lives. Many, many gay people lie to themselves and the world in order to maintain their position in what most consider “normal” society. They even commit public hypocrisy if the price is right. If you don’t like the gay lifestyle, then don’t practice it. But I gotta tell you, we think many straight people are as crazy as they think we are. It’s not a choice folks, and I think it’s awful that you have to put yourself through all the emotional anguish of ‘coming out’ and dealing with so many people’s negativity and hatred. If you got that kind of reaction to announcing you’re heterosexual, what would you do? You’d live with the reactions and still be the person you are.

I agree. God loves the sinner but hates sin. I’d say gay folks are pretty much on an equal playing field with non gays.

social engineering

June 27th, 2011
8:39 pm

someone please tell me which party is truly pro-freedom. I don’t think it’s the one constantly spouting the constitution and the pledge of allegiance

td

June 27th, 2011
8:46 pm

Skram30082

June 27th, 2011
8:25 pm

The libs are not going to even attempt to have this type of legislation passed in all 50 states. They want to get just enough states to pass it so that it is considered legitimate. They will then set up plant couples to get married in these states, move to other states and claim that marriage is a right and because Georgia will not accept their marriage then the equal protection clause has been violated. This will not happen unless or until the current 5-4 majority on the SC is switched.

zeke

June 27th, 2011
8:53 pm

It most certainly is a choice, a perverted choice! It is not about equality or so called civil rights! It is about forcing this perverted lifestyle of a very small, insignificant, minute number of people on society as being normal! IT IS NOT!!!

Look before I leap...

June 27th, 2011
9:13 pm

@zeke.
You’re entitled to your opinion of course, even if it is totally lacking in fact.
Current estimates number between 25 million and 37 million people in this country are homo or bisexual. That number is not small, nor insignifcant nor minute.
Nor is anyone ‘forcing’ anything on society. What the gays are doing is DEMANDING the same rights accorded to every other citizen in this country. No one is taking anything away from you nor attempting to co-opt you into believing anything you don’t want to.
You don’t approve of homosexuality, fine. Your choice. But you have absolutely NO right to dictate to any other competent adult how he/she should or should not live his/her life.

Charles

June 27th, 2011
9:34 pm

Whether or not being homosexual is by birth or choice is moot. In either case, its a moral wrong, according to the word of God. Everyone has some struggle in their personality (lying, stealing, cheating, anger….). Just because a large block of people share the same moral struggle, doesn’t make it “acceptable”. As for equal rights, gay marriage is not an “equal right”, its a special right. All men are able to marry any woman they want to, and the same for women to choose a male mate – that is equality. However, giving people special rights to “marry whatever” they want is over and above what everyone else has. So now, let the social re-engineering begin for the rest of us……Thanks NY!!

gtfanfrom1951

June 27th, 2011
9:40 pm

God gave his answer at Sodom and Gomorrah and it has not changed! No man made law will ever make it right. God will destory the nation that turns their back on Him!

gtfanfrom1951

June 27th, 2011
9:43 pm

Genesis 19
Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed
1 That evening the two angels came to the entrance of the city of Sodom. Lot was sitting there, and when he saw them, he stood up to meet them. Then he welcomed them and bowed with his face to the ground. 2 “My lords,” he said, “come to my home to wash your feet, and be my guests for the night. You may then get up early in the morning and be on your way again.”
“Oh no,” they replied. “We’ll just spend the night out here in the city square.”

3 But Lot insisted, so at last they went home with him. Lot prepared a feast for them, complete with fresh bread made without yeast, and they ate. 4 But before they retired for the night, all the men of Sodom, young and old, came from all over the city and surrounded the house. 5 They shouted to Lot, “Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!”

6 So Lot stepped outside to talk to them, shutting the door behind him. 7 “Please, my brothers,” he begged, “don’t do such a wicked thing. 8 Look, I have two virgin daughters. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do with them as you wish. But please, leave these men alone, for they are my guests and are under my protection.”

9 “Stand back!” they shouted. “This fellow came to town as an outsider, and now he’s acting like our judge! We’ll treat you far worse than those other men!” And they lunged toward Lot to break down the door.

10 But the two angels[a] reached out, pulled Lot into the house, and bolted the door. 11 Then they blinded all the men, young and old, who were at the door of the house, so they gave up trying to get inside.

12 Meanwhile, the angels questioned Lot. “Do you have any other relatives here in the city?” they asked. “Get them out of this place—your sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone else. 13 For we are about to destroy this city completely. The outcry against this place is so great it has reached the Lord, and he has sent us to destroy it.”

14 So Lot rushed out to tell his daughters’ fiancés, “Quick, get out of the city! The Lord is about to destroy it.” But the young men thought he was only joking.

15 At dawn the next morning the angels became insistent. “Hurry,” they said to Lot. “Take your wife and your two daughters who are here. Get out right now, or you will be swept away in the destruction of the city!”

16 When Lot still hesitated, the angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and rushed them to safety outside the city, for the Lord was merciful. 17 When they were safely out of the city, one of the angels ordered, “Run for your lives! And don’t look back or stop anywhere in the valley! Escape to the mountains, or you will be swept away!”

18 “Oh no, my lord!” Lot begged. 19 “You have been so gracious to me and saved my life, and you have shown such great kindness. But I cannot go to the mountains. Disaster would catch up to me there, and I would soon die. 20 See, there is a small village nearby. Please let me go there instead; don’t you see how small it is? Then my life will be saved.”

21 “All right,” the angel said, “I will grant your request. I will not destroy the little village. 22 But hurry! Escape to it, for I can do nothing until you arrive there.” (This explains why that village was known as Zoar, which means “little place.”)

23 Lot reached the village just as the sun was rising over the horizon. 24 Then the Lord rained down fire and burning sulfur from the sky on Sodom and Gomorrah. 25 He utterly destroyed them, along with the other cities and villages of the plain, wiping out all the people and every bit of vegetation. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt.

27 Abraham got up early that morning and hurried out to the place where he had stood in the Lord’s presence. 28 He looked out across the plain toward Sodom and Gomorrah and watched as columns of smoke rose from the cities like smoke from a furnace.

29 But God had listened to Abraham’s request and kept Lot safe, removing him from the disaster that engulfed the cities on the plain.

Rick

June 27th, 2011
9:43 pm

The bible says that women are supposed to be submissive and are the property of men…it endorses slavery…and it condemns interracial marriage. Thank goodness, as a society, we moved beyond what the bible says in these areas. The same evolution is now happening with regard to the rights of gay people. Bravo to all the people who realize that we ALL are created in the image of the Lord.

Mr. History

June 27th, 2011
9:48 pm

It is all a matter of time before marriage equality is law throughout this country – and it will definitely be before hell freezes over. The older, closed-minded crowd obviously fears this, thus the vitriol on this blog. It is the younger generation that has become educated, and not dominated by fear, giving hope to a future America that is truly a free, equal society. The information age is ushering in something unimaginable just a decade ago, and it is scaring the bigots and hypocrites.