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Ken Mehlman comes out as gay, will appear at AFER fundraiser; Former Bush campaign manager and GOP Chair takes heat for past actions

Background

Shortly after this news broke yesterday, Karen Ocamb posted this piece on LGBTPOV. We’re cross-posting it on the Prop 8 Trial Tracker, as Mehlman will be raising money — reportedly $750,000 according to the Advocate — to support the American Foundation for Equal Rights and their case against Prop 8, as Karen explores in-depth below.

The discussion about Mehlman coming out of the closet is heating up across the media and the blogosphere, given his role in masterminding George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election as well as his tenure as Chair of the Republican Party. Both ABC News and the Advocate posted follow-up interviews with Mehlman last night in which he responded to questions about his past role in undermining marriage equality. For NOM watchers, Brian Brown makes an appearance in Kerry Eleveld’s Advocate piece, attempting to spin away the fact that his anti-equality agenda is becoming increasingly marginalized, as more and more conservatives come out in favor of the freedom to marry. — Eden

By Karen Ocamb

ELECTIONS RNC MEHLMANMarc Ambinder at The Atlantic blog broke the story: “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.”

Ken who, you might ask if you’re new to LGBT politics? Well, as Ambinder explains, “Mehlman is the most powerful Republican in history to identify as gay.” He was head of the Republican National Committee in 2007 and George W. Bush’s campaign manager in 2004. He is considered incredibly smart on messaging and has a donor and politico address book that is the envy of political consultants everywhere. He was also intensely despised as a closeted gay man who was using those brains on behalf of antigay politicians.

Ambinder says:

“Mehlman arrived at this conclusion about his identity fairly recently, he said in an interview. He agreed to answer a reporter’s questions, he said, because, now in private life, he wants to become an advocate for gay marriage and anticipated that questions would arise about his participation in a late-September fundraiser for the American Foundation for Equal Rights (AFER), the group that supported the legal challenge to California’s ballot initiative against gay marriage, Proposition 8.

“It’s taken me 43 years to get comfortable with this part of my life,” Mehlman said. “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.”

This is a big deal – as is, by the way, the fact that the AFER fundraiser Ambinder mentions is happening at the New York home of a huge Republican contributor Paul Singer, who is chair of the board of Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.

Bush MelhmanMehlman was at the center of the antigay political scene when Bush’s political director Karl Rove used antigay marriage initiatives as a way to get out the religious and conservative vote – winning in 11 states. Rove used the same tactic in 2006. Mehlman told Ambinder that he tried to “beat back efforts to attack same-sex marriage” and insisted that Bush “was no homophobe.” Ambinder writes:

“Mehlman acknowledges that if he had publicly declared his sexuality sooner, he might have played a role in keeping the party from pushing an anti-gay agenda.

“It’s a legitimate question and one I understand,” Mehlman said. “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.”

Mehlman was for years a target of outing by DC-based gay activist and blogACTIVE blogger Mike Rogers – who talks about his efforts to get media attention on RawStory. Rogers figures prominently in the Kirby Dick -directed 2009 documentary “Outrage,” which had a theatrical run before airing on HBO. The documentary is up for an Emmy award this Sunday.

In his interview with Ambinder, Mehlman

“admits to having mislead several people who asked him [about his sexuality] directly. 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.”

Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director R Clarke Cooper
Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director R Clarke Cooper
Clarke Cooper hs

R. Clarke Cooper, the new executive director of the national Log Cabin Republicans, told me he welcomes the news.

“Log Cabin Republicans is very supportive and appreciative of Ken’s coming out. Being gay and being conservative are not mutually exclusive. As a fellow Bush alumnus, I also look forward to Ken helping me and our colleagues build a stronger more inclusive Republican Party.”

AFER board president Chad Griffin – who was an executive producer on “Outrage” – is thrilled that Mehlman came out and told me that the GOP political strategist has been quietly helping AFER with their federal Prop 8 challenge for months.

“Ken over past several months has been a key strategic advisor to our team,” Griffin told me, regularly conferencing “non-stop for two months” with Griffin and Lance Black and others on communications and messaging from the moment the decision came down blocking cameras from the Prop 8 trial.

Griffin said Mehlman reached out first to AFER lawyer Ted Olson, who put

AFER's Chad Griffin and Ted Olson
AFER's Chad Griffin and Ted Olson
chad griffin and ted olson

Mehlman in touch with Griffin via email. “I wouldn’t do this unless I felt very strongly that he would fight on our behalf. He didn’t just call up and say ‘I would like to lend my name.’ He reached out to Ted Olson many months ago.” And Mehlman is responsible for bringing Paul Singer on board to co-host the fundraiser at his house. Griffin said:

“Our job is to bring together and work together with people who don’t currently support our work. What we should do is welcome him with open arms and hope that many others follow him. And we shouldn’t underestimate that the youngest person in history to chair a major political party, a former senior Bush White House aide – that that person is openly gay and lending strategic advice and guidance and well as opening up his tremendous network of contacts – which is unparallel. We are very good at talking to ourselves. But it’s important that we take a step back and realize how significant this is to have someone advising us who knows how to win voters in the center and right.”

Griffin is very well aware of the consternation Mehlman’s coming out may cause among some LGBT activists over the 2004-2006 hey-day of antigay GOP activism. But he is philosophical and optimistic.

“That was then, this is now. There’s a long list of people who were against marriage equality – Democrats and Republicans. We are in a new age. I don’t care where people were in the past. If we are going to win equality, we have to welcome every single person to our side. That was a different time and place and today is today – we have to look forward. Ken is a tremendous asset to our efforts.”

225 Comments

  • 1. Ben  |  August 26, 2010 at 12:40 am

    With any luck, more will discover compassion for others with this news. I know — and probably lots of us here know — how difficult it is to deal with feeling attractions outside the « normal » as it is put forth, and coming to terms with who you really are. We're seeing a paradigm shift in acceptance, I think, because so many who remained closeted out of fear are finding their voices.

    ( Long story short, subscribing! )

  • 2. BradK  |  August 26, 2010 at 12:42 am

    All of the forthcoming recriminations notwithstanding, this is great coup for our side. And, as Karen pointed out, a huge slap in the face to NOM, etc.

  • 3. RandyinPhila  |  August 26, 2010 at 12:46 am

    Just a quick question, I have been following since the beginning and just now the thought struck me about what’s next. I have been filled with a lot of optimism and while I know we have a lot of work to do, I really see Marriage equality as a done deal, we will get there, this team will help us get there, it will take time and be painful, but I believe it will happen. So what’s next will the AFER continue to exist, will it help make us truly equal? There are still several areas that are just as important, if not more important than marriage equality that we need to make right. DADT, the right to not be fired or evicted because we married someone of the same sex, and so on. I really hope that this team will continue, they are incredibly focused and effective, more so already than several of our traditional activist organizations have been in the last 20 years. I have been supporting them financially when I can, as much as I can; I just hope they are going to stick around for the long haul.

  • 4. Kathleen  |  August 26, 2010 at 12:48 am

    Good morning everyone.

  • 5. Don in Texas  |  August 26, 2010 at 12:52 am

    One more brick in the wall of discrimination falls. Mehlman's announcement is tremendously good news.

  • 6. John B.  |  August 26, 2010 at 12:54 am

    And he wonders "“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.” Um, hello??? Were you paying attention to what was going on during all those elections, Ken???

  • 7. Scott  |  August 26, 2010 at 12:55 am

    I don't know how to feel about this. Mehlman, along with thse other folks in the GOP who have had a change of heart lately, actively worked to harm people.

    How many folks were alienated from their friends, family, and society at large due to their actions? How many gay kids suffered deep, long-lasting emotional damage after their families were whipped into a homophobic frenzy during the 2004 and 2006 elections? And he did all this from the closet, so that he wouldn't suffer the same burden.

    My brain tells me get over it…do what's right…be a better person. Recognize this is a good thing…heal wounds…accept Ken…accept anyone who has come around. But my heart still tells me "fuck em".

  • 8. Straight Grandmother  |  August 26, 2010 at 12:59 am

    "One more brick in the wall of discrimination falls." Classic, simply classic.

  • 9. Alan E.  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:03 am

    To Mehlman:
    Money&Power > Self Worth

    He has a lot of work to do to gain my respect.

  • 10. BradK  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:06 am

    That could be said about any politician, really — including the Messiah currently occupying the White House.

  • 11. BK  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:06 am

    No matter what critics may say, I'm very glad he gathered the courage to 'come out' publicly. It must have been very difficult, especially with his background. Yes, he's probably hindered marriage equality. But if he's now willing to help, I say welcome.

  • 12. Alan E.  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:07 am

    Of course he was aware. He had a front row seat!

  • 13. Kathleen  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:09 am

    He not only had a front row seat, he wrote much of the script.

  • 14. Michael  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:14 am

    While he may feel good about getting that monkey off his back, he still has a lot to do to make up for all the evil he has done in the past. And let's put it plainly: he has done more to fight gay rights in the past 10 years in the US than nearly anyone else. I'm honestly unsure if he'll ever really be able to completely make amends.

  • 15. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:15 am

    thanks for your comments Scott :)

    My partner has little patience for people like this…but somehow he forgives me. I can related to Mehlman as I didn't acknowledge my true nature until same age, 43 and I campaigned against LGBT in my own way when I wrote this article.

    http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&l
    Life/nature has its way to bring us to truth…

    It is hard to accept hypocrites, though for some of us "that were one" it might be a tad bit easier.

  • 16. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:15 am

    Mea culpa, mea culpa; mea maxima culpa

  • 17. Jes  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:15 am

    The irony here is that he actively worked against equality, making it that much more difficult for those of us who've been fighting for equality to create a climate where people like him can finally feel safe enough to declare the truth about themselves, so they can then work for equality.

  • 18. aaron  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:16 am

    I'm not buying it. I suspect that he was told to come out at this time by the Republican establishment in order to somehow help win votes in November. They kept him down until his coming out could be used to their advantage. Conspiracy!

  • 19. chamisaguy  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:18 am

    for a bracing, balancing dose to the whitewashing here and in the media of Mehlman's "past" and future worth– and to see some very recent financial donations he's made to anti-LGBT politicians and campaigns, I'd suggest you check out joemygod dot blogspot dot .com

    I know the situation presents lots of questions for forgiveness, damnation, shunning, pragmatic use of the man's talents by "our" side now, etc. Yet there's a very long history captured in print before your eyes on Joe.My.God's blog — and lots of sentiment. Catharsis before absolution? Maybe necessary.

    And the Goebbels of 2010 allusion struck me, too…..

  • 20. Cat  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:19 am

    Let's hope he uses his high-profile status to undo some of the harm he has contributed to, and not fade away like so many others in the political arena who come out. If he is sincere about improving the position of LGBTs, he will be an experienced and knowledgeable ally with insider information. That would be great.

  • 21. Bolt  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:22 am

    Good morning everyone, I just completed writing a rant about this guy, and then deleted it.

    Republicans are creepy!

    Have a nice day, and be well.

  • 22. Anonygrl  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:22 am

    I am glad he has come out, and support him in that.

    However, like anyone who has done INCREDIBLE harm, he has to make ammends. This is not like a deathbed conversion that gets one into heaven with a quick confession; I think that Mr. Mehlman owes a lot of reparation for his past works. If he continues to work for good, and makes some seriously large donations of the monies he earned by attempting to destroy LGBT rights, I can see that forgiving him, eventually, would be ok. But in the same way that I am wary of lessening of jail time for murderers who "find Christ", I don't think that he should be allowed to skip paying for his crimes just because he has come out.

  • 23. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:24 am

    When Mehlman is as brave and open as Gregory to come here and courageously post his past, maybe I'll start feeling some empathy for his ongoing exploitation of the heterosexual privilege he "enjoyed." To Gregory, I say "Huzzah!!!" I am impressed with your courage.

  • 24. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:25 am

    I'll say it…… AMEN!

  • 25. Jim  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:33 am

    I can't help feeling that this man made a decision that he wanted to be a power player in the Republican Party, rather than come out as a gay man and ruin his chances. Simple. Also, it seems that he was not celibate, but was only closeted to family and work associates. He wanted his cake and to eat it too. Fine, I know it's ain't easy being gay, but watch this one closely. He has a lot of making up to do.

  • 26. Kathleen  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:43 am

    Oh Gregory, I'm so sorry you have gone through so much suffering and I'm glad you've come to a place of honesty and, hopefully, peace with yourself. And ditto what Kate said about courage. Thank you for sharing that with us.

    Huge HUGS and KISSES xoxoxo

  • 27. Sagesse  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:44 am

    Since I have no horse in this race (I'm Canadian, and I'm straight), I leave it to my friends here who have experienced Mehlman's internal conflicts, and been harmed by his past political activities to grant forgiveness… or not.

  • 28. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:46 am

    Thanks Kate :) I've been trying to think of appropriate way to respond to your calling me brave but I'm struggling…. I am touched by your kind words and brought tears to my eyes, thank you….

    I don't find myself courageous. I love my x-wife, who is one of the most marvelous people I know… but it wasn't until I met my partner of 3 years that I discovered what it felt like to be blissfully/romantically in love. I THRILL at the slightest smile or touch of my partner's hand. The day I met my partner my view of the world radically changed.

    Gosh! I'm having a hard time explaining what I feel! In

    summary: the day I met my partner changed me forever. No going back. I will continue working to repair any damage I caused…even if it was innocent.

    Love to all –

    Gregory

  • 29. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:46 am

    and Kathleen :) hugs to you too!

  • 30. Ķĭŗîļĺę&  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:48 am

    Good morning, Kathleen and everyone (even though it's evening in Russia, hehe).

  • 31. Alan E.  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:49 am

    Gregory, I'm sure a lot of us here know and understand the exact feelings you described. All I can say is that it's great!

  • 32. fiona64  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:53 am

    Gregory, I found that I had to stop reading because I was going to cry here at work.

    Thank you for sharing that article nonetheless. I think it helps people to understand the kind of shaming, &c., that goes on in ex-gay ministries — and how people are forced into the closet.

    I honor you for sharing it … for telling people what your experiences were. I have learned that everything we experience makes us who we are, even the things we might wish we had *not* done. What matters is the *now,* if you ask me. You are safely able to be who you really are, and are happy. That is something I wish for everyone.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 33. Kathleen  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:54 am

    lol. Love you, Bolt!

  • 34. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:55 am

    I know you claim you're not expressing it well, but you are — there is simply NOTHING like being oneself! I hurt so much for you when I read what you had posted at the LDS site, and I found myself wanting to know the next chapter — the part when you finally quit fighting against who you are and found peace. How long after you wrote that painful article did you finally recognize who you are and let yourself through that door to self-acceptance? How did you come to see that it was your church who was wrong, not YOU????

  • 35. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:58 am

    Wow…just when I think I have healed….I'm trying to help people at work with computer problems and I find myself sobbing at my computer….

  • 36. MJFargo  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:00 am

    People who finally choose to escape from their self-loathing should be embraced. Forgiveness isn't really pertinent here since most of us won't interact with this individual (although practicing forgiveness can build one's own character and lower blood pressure :) ). But I doubt anything we could do or say to punish this individual would be as harshh as what he's put himself through.

  • 37. Linda  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:05 am

    Like many of you, I am conflicted by this. I can understand the time-consuming process many of us have gone through to come to terms with our nature; but his efforts against us were huge and effective. And I do feel a bit resentful that he now gets to benefit from the accomplishments our side has made in spite of his hateful efforts against us. Lucky him! He rode the side of hate until our side was adequately paved; and now he hopes for a smooth ride on our side.

  • 38. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:06 am

    Gregory, we never completely heal from that sort of damage. But we do get better …. and better ….. and better. At some point, the scabs over those wounds are strong enough in our "selfness" that they make it possible for us to live and love for the rest of our lives. But they're never gone. You can see that right here in the posts of all these dear folks, those of us who have endured your type of history, and those precious straight allies who so empathetically imagine themselves in our situations; they have their own versions of those scabs.

  • 39. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:11 am

    Gregory, may I add, WELCOME HOME!

  • 40. ElsieH  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:11 am

    It's news like this that makes be wonder about what's behind the obsessive bigotry of the likes of BB and NOM et al. Are they shouting from a shrinking closet?

  • 41. Dave in CA  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:12 am

    Okay, I am willing to accept that this can be a tremendous coup for the marriage equality folks. But like others have said, I want to see him commit to the three Rs of Repentance:

    Regret,
    Responsibility
    Repair

    1) Publicly give voice to his Regret for using the LGBT community as a political wedge issue during previous political campaigns. Show publicly and repeatedly what the closet does to us, using himself as an example.

    2) Take Responsibility – whether direct or indirect – for the harm he has caused. Whether he actively took part in it or not, he was *there* when Rove used the election cycles to write anti-gay marriage law into many of the states' constitutions. In this case, his (public) silence was consent. He needs to own his part in it – a lame excuse that he privately "tried to push back" does not fly .

    3) And finally, Repair that damage. I want to see him go state by state, into each of those that enacted anti-LGBT laws during the Bush/Rove years, and actively work to undo those same laws. Put his money and mouth and connections to work and fix it. Renounce and denounce NOM, Focus on the Family, and their kind. Work those Republicans in those states. Let his views be known to Scalia, Thomas, and Alito.

    This goes beyond raising merely raising $750K at a private fundraiser. Public, clear, visible Repair out among the Republicans.

    I am glad to see this turn of events today. But when I see him doing all those things, I will buy into and believe his personal change of heart.

  • 42. Ann S.  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:13 am

    Good morning, Kathleen and everyone else. Good morning, Louis, Brian and Maggie.

    And Ken? Wake up and smell the coffee already.

  • 43. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:15 am

    Perfect, Dave; absolutely perfect. Now, if we can just get him to read your post — and act on it!

  • 44. Franck  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:16 am

    I say amen to this. Growing up in a strongly catholic family led me to live over 9 years in denial. During these 9 years, I harmed myself and others. I can say I turned into a monster while trying to hide from who I was… Then came one suicide attempt, and at least two years of self-loathing and depression. How I'm glad I finally got rid of that.

    – Franck P. Rabeson
    Days spent apart from my fiancé because of DOMA: 1161 days, as of today.

  • 45. Carpool Cookie  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:22 am

    I'm very glad you're here, and offering support. I think you certainly do "have a horse in this race", as believing in civil rights and freedom for all transcends orientation or nationality : )

    A climate of equality anywhere in the world helps all of us.

  • 46. Martha  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:23 am

    Thank you for sharing this. Have you ever thought of expanding your story? It's important to tell our stories or others interpret them for us, especially those of us coming from a religious/spiritual life. I grew up in Christian Science in the 40s and without a vocabulary for what was happening inside my body. I married twice, had five children and every once in awhile, the feelings returned. In my head I would say, "Oops! Stop it." At age 74 I came out of my self imposed closet and have been writing a memoir for the last five years. An interesting fact: Google gay memoir and there are over a million hits, less than half of that number for lesbians, but your story is important for you struggles through the religion you clearly loved. I found my spiritual life nourished in the Episcopal church.

  • 47. Carpool Cookie  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:26 am

    Well, if he can follow a plan like that, the next few years of his life certainly won't be boring!

    We should all chip in and send him some boxes of Wheaties.

  • 48. Mark  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:29 am

    National Coming Out Day is Monday, October 11. Wouldn’t it be great if EVERYONE, Democrat or Republican, came out on that day this year. The time is NOW, more than ever. As they said in the Wizard of Oz, “Come out, come out, wherever you are!”

  • 49. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:34 am

    Taking deep breaths and much tissue used.

    To respond to Kate –

    I worked so hard to be the good Mormon boy and father I was socialized to believe I should be.

    I met my partner and I was just overwhelmed by two clashing worlds. Early on I shared with my Partner I was a Father and Mormon (actually on the High Council for those of you who might know what this is…more sobbing…my goodness!)

    He said that he wanted to be with me but I needed to be divorced, not just separated. It was difficult yet easy…hard to let go of familiarity but EASY to follow my heart. (ridiculously hard-sobbing, so glad I have a private office).

    There are so many elements of this story that perhaps I'll blog and share later, one moment that stands my daughter (9 at the time) who wrote me the sweetest note wishing that I could be happy…she gave me a lucky coin to put in a pocket and a pretty pink pen-necklace to wear around my neck as I was packing my suitcase to leave my old home for good. I wear it often close to my heart. ..

    There is a line in a movie with Drew Barrymore called "Ever After" where she was contemplating the ridiculousness of a peasant girl marrying a prince…She told Leonardo Divinci something about " a fish can fall in love with a bird, but where will they live?" I felt I was embarking in a world where I had no Idea how or where to live but followed my heart and ever grateful I did!

    My partner(also recovering Mormon..though get "saw the light early on…and has been condemned by his family much) and I have had indescribably intense discussions as I faced each one of my socialized beliefs. Little by little he (a brilliant sociologist! LOL!) helps me see where my thoughts, ideas, responses come from.

    I am SO grateful I can love my "unorthodox" teenager with all of my heart with out religion clouding my vision. I am so grateful I can love and accept all LGBTQQXYZZZZZ people without thinking there way is not valid because of some stupid commons sense. more crying….

    I don't hate those people/systems who socialized me. We all act in our own way. I cannot emphasize enough though how GLAD I am to be away from religion. I can appreciate it is good for many…it is NOT good for me!

    couple of more personal stories, I introduced my partner very quickly to my parents. My dad, who has absolutely no comprehension or experience with Gay people looked my partner straight in the eyes and said "Do you love my son?" My partner stated confidently yes! and my dad intuitively said "I think you are just what my son needs" (sobbing) . My mom said "I don't know any scripture that says we should only love some people" she hugged and squeezed my gorgeous Latin partner very close to the point of embarrassment. and she smile broadly and said OH! I can see why Greg loves you! (bless my dear mom who always say whatever is on her mind)

    Thank you all for helping me discharge a little more of my feeling evidently buried alive…wow…guess I better get back to work.

    Lots of Love

    p.s. my partner, who talks like Ronnie sometimes has also helped me absolutely embrace Ronnie's tirades even though in the past I would have written off someone "like that" Love and light to you Ronnie wherever you are… Thank you God and life for opening up my heart!!!!! sobbing.

  • 50. Jim  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:34 am

    Yes, really well said, Dave.

    What Dave wrote is really the basis for the start of an open letter from equality proponents to Mehlman. I bet Mehlman will read such a heartfelt letter if it's posted at Prop8TrialTracker.

  • 51. AndrewPDX  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:39 am

    Good Morning/evening/day/night/whatever :)

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
    Andrew

  • 52. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:39 am

    This is a very powerful act, as shown by what happened in Denmark along these lines.

    When Denmark fell to the Nazi
    armies in 1940, the German occupation authorities
    immediately decreed that all Jews wear the yellow Star of
    David on their sleeves at all times, to facilitate their
    identification for transit to the concentration camps. Legend has it that the very next morning King Christian X, the aging Danish monarch, came out of the palace for his morning walk wearing a yellow Star of David on his coat, thus expressing his solidarity with the persecuted minority. Word quickly spread about this silent and non-violent act of defiance and soon many other Danes were wearing the symbol on their sleeves. Though historians disagree about the actual prevalence of this simple act of Danish resistance, there is no doubt that the population’s compassion and resistance contributed to the fact that almost all of Denmark’s Jews survived the barbarism of the holocaust that took the lives of most European Jews.

  • 53. JefferyK  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:41 am

    This man is scum. He has damaged the lives of all gay Americans. Drawn-and-quartered would be too good for him.

  • 54. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:41 am

    thank you all :) Wow Martha!! 74 – You go girl!!!

  • 55. Ann S.  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:42 am

    Gregory and Martha, thank you so much for sharing your stories here with us. They are very moving indeed.

  • 56. babs  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:44 am

    thank you for sharing this. by the time I finished reading I had tears in my eyes. As a mother to a young gay son, I felt the "possibility" of his orientation when he was just an infant, I nurtured and accepted that "possibility" through out his development, I have such a difficult time understanding how we can turn against each other because of LOVE and who we love. I feel for Ken Mehlman, too.

  • 57. Sagesse  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:44 am

    Some intel from Change.org on Ken Mehlman's political contributions.

    Ken Mehlman Is Gay. But He Still Wants to Elect Plenty of Anti-Gay Politicians
    http://gayrights.change.org/blog/view/ken_mehlman

    Note from one of the comments (should be fact-checked)

    Actually, the Federal Election Commission [url deleted to avoid being held up in moderation] lists his total individual political contributions at $126,050.

  • 58. GRod  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:48 am

    Gregory in SLC. Thank you for being so open about yourself.

  • 59. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:49 am

    Gregory, you and your partner are both remarkable men, and our community is fortunate indeed to have your voices. And your parents! Can you clone them and send each of us rejected "kids" our own pair of them?????? (Heck, I'd even settle for one.) Are your parents still involved with the LDS church? If so, how are they handling that? "Our" own Sheryl and Fiona here at this site perhaps already know them…….

  • 60. homer  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:52 am

    I'm not going to forgive him until the constitutional bans on same sex marriage and civil unions that took place while he was in charge of the Republican party are overturned. It was well known that he was gay back in the 2004-2006 period, the same time he was promoting anti-gay ballot measures as a way to get Republican votes.

    He is our modern-day Roy Cohn and J. Edgar Hoover.

  • 61. Dave in CA  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:52 am

    I had one other thought about Ken Mehlman, and going state by state to undo the damage.

    He could start with Texas:

    1) the GOP has a virulently homophobic party platform in its current iteration.
    2) Laura Bush has already said she is accepting of same sex marriage.
    3) If, as Ken says, Bush himself is "not a homophobe", then get the Bushes to help him get his message out: homophobia and gay-baiting and fear-mongering should not be part of the party's platform in Texas.

    As far as denouncing and renouncing NOM and Focus on the Family, et al… didn't Focus on the Family already tell their followers to stop supporting the Republican party (based on Michael Steele's strip bar bill tabs)? Well, tit for tat is how I see it.

    I challenge Ken Mehlman to show the country – and his fellow Republicans – that he means it. Beyond that, Mr. Mehlman, think of the enormous positive deposit this puts into "karma account" – to express it in those terms!

  • 62. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:59 am

    Dave, your suggestions are so spot-on, that I join with others here encouraging you to somehow make it available to him. We could all add our names to it.

  • 63. JPM  |  August 26, 2010 at 3:00 am

    Some different perspectives

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

    http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2010/08/repulsive-an

    and indiemcemopants

  • 64. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 26, 2010 at 3:01 am

    OT: A couple of questions about the 9th Circuit of Appeals.

    Does anyone know if there is a possibility that they will televise? Do they ever televise? Does someone have to request it?

    I heard their courtrooms are much smaller than Judge Walkers…will CC be allowed in?

  • 65. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 26, 2010 at 3:02 am

    subscribing

  • 66. Ann S.  |  August 26, 2010 at 3:03 am

    That article led me to another about Ann Coulter (who has ticked off Joseph Farah of World Net Daily by agreeing to appear at GOProud's upcoming Homocon, LOL). Farah uninvited her to speak at an upcoming WorldNetDaily event.

    But Farah's words set off a blitzkrieg by Coulter, who happens to really like blitzkriegs. Coulter went on to call Farah "swine" and "a publicity whore," and that Farah "could give less than two shits about the conservative movement as demonstrated by his promotion of the birther nonsense. He’s the only allegedly serious conservative pushing the birther thing and for one reason — to get hits on his web site." Wow. Forget Judy Garland. I'd say Ann Coulter is the right wing version of Joan Rivers.

    LOL! The article is here.

  • 67. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 3:06 am

    OK; I just can't resist the image:

    Bush, in the doorway of Air Force One, a la Nixon:

    "I am not a homophobe; I am not a homophobe!"

  • 68. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 26, 2010 at 3:06 am

    Tricky questions Kate – I love my mom and dad for always accepted and supported me in my life for the little things and big things.

    About church and my parents. I don't thing they are really aware of the political maneuvers of Mormon Church and prop 8. I'm just waiting for right moment to discuss. As they are both in their 70s and live far a way its tricky to coordinate. They are active and my mom prays in the temple for good to come to all her 7 children. My siblings have been mostly supported, albeit a little "weird ed-out" by my seemingly change of heart. I hope to share Bible Tells Me So, Prayers for Bobby and 8: the Mormon proposition when then timing is right.

    thank you dear "Sisters" Fiona, Sheryl and Santa Barbara mom and others. I appreciate Fiona's determined discussions about discrimination towards Hispanic persons too.

    I want to clarify something also, it wasn't just a post I made to LDS website. It was an article published in the Mormon church world-wide magazine called "The Ensign" The sesquicentennial issues celebrating modern-day pioneers. Even on this post there was a young person a while ago who shared with me her Bishop gave her a copy of article as evidence someone can change. I was glad I could apologize to her for my mis-guided publication. My sincere apologies to any others who have been touched negatively by my article :(

  • 69. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 3:12 am

    My gosh. It really does look as though some of the right-wingers are trying to jump onto the bus so they can end up as being seen on the right (as in correct) side of history…….

  • 70. Freddy  |  August 26, 2010 at 3:13 am

    LLB, did I see somewhere sometime before that you are located around the Tucson area? I just recently moved to Sierra Vista from GA and I am loving it here so far even with all the rain.

  • 71. Dave in CA  |  August 26, 2010 at 3:15 am

    I would be glad to revise and polish my comments but perhaps a professional writer would do a better job? Not fishing for compliments, but I want him to get the message and hear it loud and clear.

    Beyond that how could we be sure it even gets to him and not lost in the media ether? I could see posting it in news comments columns at CNN, MSNBC, even FOX, but I have no idea how to make this move up the chain — ?

    But I have no doubt that if Mehlman is serious, with his party connections and knowledge of the political ins and outs, he could make as much of a career out of this effort, as do Maggie and Brian and Tony Perkins — and be FAR more effective than they are.

  • 72. Brandy  |  August 26, 2010 at 3:15 am

    Greg, I was so moved by everything you've said. I went through something similar with my partner. She didn't accept herself for years and had a really hard time in the beginning of our relationship. It was hard on both of us, but she's finally accepted herself as a lesbian.

    I'm so proud that you were able to have the courage to change your path to the one that is right for you. Change is always hard. I'm also so happy that you were able to find such a wonderful, caring, and patient partner!

    As for Mehlman, I think that we should all support him. We can't go back and change any of the past, only move forward. I truly hope that we don't alienate him. He is really vulnerable right now and needs all the support he can get.

  • 73. Lesbians Love Boies  |  August 26, 2010 at 3:20 am

    Yes Freddy…hasn't the rain been wonderful? Although Tuesdays thunder was a bit much.

    Sierra Vista is great…I remember when the only stop light there was Fry Blvd…lol

    There is much to see/visit in Southern AZ. You will love it.

  • 74. Ann S.  |  August 26, 2010 at 3:23 am

    @Brandy, did your condo purchase close yet? I've been worried about it, what with the title company being so uninformed.

  • 75. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 3:26 am

    We do have some professional writers here, but I can't remember who they are right now……….

  • 76. Ann S.  |  August 26, 2010 at 3:27 am

    Fiona is a professional writer, and I believe there are others as well.

  • 77. Freddy  |  August 26, 2010 at 3:38 am

    I love thunder storms and the 1.5 inches of rain we got was great as well,

    I am looking forward to multiple trips to Bisbee and the coffee house there.

  • 78. nightshayde  |  August 26, 2010 at 3:42 am

    FWIW, I'd rather have them on the bus (even if a bit late) than standing in front of the bus, trying to block it. If they're paying a whole bunch of extra fare for getting to the bus late, even better.

  • 79. nightshayde  |  August 26, 2010 at 3:42 am

    But how does Joe really feel? ;o)~

  • 80. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 3:43 am

    Bisbee is a wonderful place! Lots of fascinating history in that area.

  • 81. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 3:46 am

    Ha ha; yes indeed nightshadye. It all makes me remember when even George Wallace "saw the light" about his segregationist policie as governor.

  • 82. Dave in CA  |  August 26, 2010 at 3:54 am

    Dear Mr. Mehlman:

    Congratulations on your decision to come out of the closet. It's exciting, isn't it? And how refreshing and invigorating – how empowering to breathe fresh air and to feel your soul awaken! It's no longer enough to merely exist and get through the day, but to really, really feel life again with all its gifts: to see the colors, smell the aromas, taste the food and know once more what it is to be a live, living human being.

    But can I tell you something? I am not buying it from you just yet. Yes, I know from experience how suffocating the closet is, and how it kills the soul, one cell, one breath at a time. I do sympathize. There is a big difference between us, however: you had a position of power, and you turned it not only against yourself, but against me, and my partner, and my friends. I am still resentful of the harm you helped cause, so be patient with my skepticism.

    (Psst. Now can I tell you something else? I was once a Republican. I still believe in small government, lower taxes, individual freedom and responsibility, self-determination and most of all, the Constitution of this great country. But you lost me years ago. When the Republicans decided they could USE ME, and my partner, and my friends as a wedge to divide this country, only to attain more power, you lost me. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, I did not leave the Republican Party – the party left me. In fact, it not only left me, it trampled me underfoot and stomped on my back on its way to take power. So once you threw me out, I left and vowed never to return. I am not a wedge, and neither are my friends, and we will not be used as one.)

    Today as you come out of the closet, I am sitting up and listening to you. Do you want to convince me of your good intentions? Most good people look for actions to back up spoken words of apology. You know, that bit about how actions speak louder than words? There are three things I need to see from you before I can take your words to heart:

    Regret – Responsibility – Repair

    1) Publicly voice your Regret for using the LGBT community as a political wedge during so many previous political campaigns. Show publicly and repeatedly what the closet does, and can start by offering yourself as an example. You sat in meetings with Rove as he formulated a plan to demonize the LGBT community to win votes. Now the public needs to not only hear, but understand, how that was wrong. And un-American.

    2) Take Responsibility – whether direct or indirect – for the harm you helped cause. Whether you actively took part in it or not, you were *there* when Rove used gay marriage as fear tactic during those election cycles, and as a result, discrimination laws against your own fellow Americans were written into many of the states’
    constitutions. In this case, your silence was indeed consent. Now you need to own his part in it – a whimper of an excuse that you privately “tried to push back” does not convince me.

    3) Finally, do everything you can to Repair that damage. Go into each of those states that enacted anti-LGBT laws during the Bush/Rove years, and actively work to undo those same laws. Put your mouth and money and connections to work and fix it. Let Scalia, Thomas, and Alito know what you have done and how you want to undo it. Renounce and denounce homophobic groups such as NOM, ADF, Focus on the Family (they have already renounced the Republican Party anyway), and any other groups of their kind.

    Do you want to really impress me and my friends? Start with Texas: remove the homophobia from that state party platform. Laura Bush already has said she is okay with marriage equality. And if, as you say, GW Bush was no homophobe, then he can enlist W. and Laura both to help get this message out. I can't forget how the President of my country stood in the Rose Garden and gave a press conference that he wanted to push an Amendment to treat me as something less-than before our country's courts. So if he is as you say, no homophobe, then bring him to your conversation now. Homophobia, gay-baiting and fear-mongering against Americans does not belong in any party platform. Who better to say this than a former President and an avowed Christian at that?

    So let your repair work start in Texas.

    All of this goes far beyond raising $750K at a private fundraiser that most of the public will never know about.
    There must be visible, measurable and widespread communication with Republicans if you want to get me attention and keep it.

    I am glad to see you take your first steps out of the closet today. Enjoy it, revel in it, breathe in that clean,
    fresh, invigorating air and celebrate coming alive again. I share in your joy. But at the same time, do your part to help me and my friends – your fellow Americans – gain those freedoms and protections that are ours by virtue of our country's Constitution.

    While today I can share your excitement and honesty, I am also watching and paying close attention to your follow-up, Mr. Mehlman.

    Sincerely,

    etc.

    * * * * *

    Okay, there's my first attempt at something more direct. The part about being a former Republican is true, but it's also true they lost me YEARS ago, and they have a long road to haul and many repairs to make before I can consider coming back. That part may not fit with others here but for what it's worth…

  • 83. Straight Grandmother  |  August 26, 2010 at 3:56 am

    Great observation Jes! I suppose that now means he has to work double time to make up for his past.

  • 84. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 26, 2010 at 3:58 am

    To Brandy –

    Interestingly enough, "coming out" was the easy part for me. Once I had the knowledge/belief that (as Ellen Degeneres would say) "Its OK to be gay" It was like a light bulb came off in my head…talk about an AH-HAH moment. I had been to therapy for years, discussed ad-nausea-um, read books, searched and searched and searched so much that when I finally had the answer….it was like "why didn't someone tell me this before" Well….many had tried to, I just couldn't see it until I experience true love for myself.

    There was a heart-wrenching moment when my 6-year old son was hanging on to my leg and screaming for me not to go…but I knew with absolute clarity I must be myself to be the best possible dad/person/example to my precious son. This has proven to be true as he hugs me warmly as I see him weekly and get calls and texts from him now he is older. Just took him to Disneyland recently with my partner…with a side-hope could get married….delayed until another day….but a great excuse when marriages are re-instated to go back to CA and maybe Disneyland too :)

    There have been relatives, church members, neighbors who are just "appalled" at me…I just laugh and smile and love them all! (laughing out loud!!! If anyone is observing me today I'm sure they would think me lunatic…though you psychologists out there could prob explain my emotional outbursts!) How can I possibly be self-deprecating or sad when I FINALLY found the answer I have been searching for every since I was a child!

    The real damage NOM and others to is withhold knowledge to some that "its ok to be gay" I will make sure I do what I can in my sphere of influence to help them understand that "its ok to be gay"

    So many thoughts….I think of our dear Straight Grandmother as I can't stop writing today… flood gates are open!

  • 85. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 3:59 am

    Dave, you do not need a writer — you did perfectly well. A few editing corrections, and it's good to go. Now, how can we make this go viral on the web?????

  • 86. Jim  |  August 26, 2010 at 4:02 am

    I am struggling with how to react to Mehlman.

    But I also am recalling this:

    1) The gay community fiercely opposed Reagan's 1987 appointment of Vaughn Walker as district court judge because of belief that Walker was anti-gay. Walker at the time was strongly supported by Ed Meese, Reagan's attorney general. That appointment stalled in Senate. President Bush I then appointed Walker to the bench in 1989. Walker turned out to be a strong supporter of equality.

    2) Ted Olson, President Bush II's solicitor general, led Bush's Supreme Court fight in Bush v. Gore, stealing the presidency from Al Gore. Olson turned out to be a strong supporter of equality.

    Mehlman, too, can redeem himself.

    We need conservative and moderate Republicans on our side. Equality/less government in private lives should and will have appeal to conservative and moderate Republicans who are willing to think independently of the radical religious right. Equality need not be and should not be a partisan issue.

  • 87. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 26, 2010 at 4:06 am

    I agree!

  • 88. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 4:06 am

    Well….. not counting that dreadful hole in the ground.

  • 89. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 26, 2010 at 4:08 am

    LOL! maybe…time will tell. Life has taught me all things are possible.

  • 90. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 26, 2010 at 4:13 am

    LOL! I agree!

  • 91. MJFargo  |  August 26, 2010 at 4:14 am

    I think it's very crucial to acknowledge that making this a human rights issue means it crosses the political spectrum, and those ideologies will remain distinct. I'm not applauding Mehlam or Olson for their politics, but I am for acknowledging the universal issues of GLB&T people's struggle.

  • 92. Mark M (Seattle)  |  August 26, 2010 at 4:19 am

    Great Big Hugs Gregory!!

  • 93. carpoolcookie  |  August 26, 2010 at 4:19 am

    Yet…..we're stuck with him.

    He's family.

    If there's any good he can do now, the constructive thing to do is to point him in the right direction and offer him support. Even if it's hard emotionally.

  • 94. Dave in CA  |  August 26, 2010 at 4:19 am

    No idea how to go viral – or at least, get it to Mehlman – someone just point me in the right direction!

  • 95. carpoolcookie  |  August 26, 2010 at 4:21 am

    That's fair. Though if he can help move us closer to that day, at least something might come of his life.

  • 96. RebeccaRGB  |  August 26, 2010 at 4:25 am

    Great! Where do I sign?

  • 97. fiona64  |  August 26, 2010 at 4:29 am

    ::standing ovation::

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 98. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 26, 2010 at 4:39 am

    OOOOOOOOooooooooo Dave, I love that idea! I don't get impressed by I'm sorry. or someone getting jailed, or whipping….. but to network with the Bushes with goal of getting them to back/support Gay marriage would be amazing! Thought doughtful many LGBT would believe sincerity.

    Story too long to tell, but I spent time with Laura Bush when she came to Salt Lake City after the Olympics…she is what my grandmother would call "A good egg"

  • 99. carpoolcookie  |  August 26, 2010 at 4:43 am

    Superb.

  • 100. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 26, 2010 at 4:46 am

    Wow! great idea Mark!

    and moving story Kate :) I'll do my homework and study about King Christian X to learn more about it. I no longer automatically believe things just because someone says them. thank you for mentioning the historical occurrence :)

  • 101. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 26, 2010 at 4:53 am

    ditto!

  • 102. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:01 am

    You're right to follow up. You'll enjoy the story when you do.

  • 103. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:05 am

    Ah…. and let's not forget that the dreaded Dick Cheney has a gay daughter…….

  • 104. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:05 am

    Hugs Kate to you for all you have contributed today :)

  • 105. Mark M (Seattle)  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:09 am

    That was awesome!!!!
    I am so highly impressed!
    You ROCK!!

  • 106. Anonygrl  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:13 am

    Brilliant Dave.. just brilliant.

  • 107. Mandy  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:15 am

    word

  • 108. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:16 am

    I love you, Gregory.

  • 109. Freddy  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:16 am

    So after putting a third coat of primer on the walls in the office and having a chance to think about my reaction to Ken Mehlman, I have to say, I actually might think I understand though definitely not approve or defend him. I believe that it was more about survival than anything else, in the way that the GOP was carrying on, Karl Rove trying to destroy anything that was related to the Dems and Bush pushing his agenda. I think he was just trying to hang on and roll with his desired peers, if he had come out of the closet and tried to support equal rights, he probably would have been cast out of the party and that would have been the end of him. Instead he continued to struggle with the conflicts of his personal life and his professional ambitions, now he has realized the error of his ways and it trying to make amends and pay his penance. Let’s not forget "Griffin said Mehlman reached out first to AFER lawyer Ted Olson, who put Mehlman in touch with Griffin via email”. At the same time we learn that Mehlman is holding this fund raiser for AFER, if the Prop8 trial goes our way, the D I’s will have to pay most or all of the legal bills for the Plaintiffs and there will be this fund that can be used to topple more of these unconstitutional amendments that discriminate against the LGBT community. One could even imagine (though farfetched), he could even persuade some of the members of the GOP to see things differently and be more equality minded in the future.
    Don’t get me wrong, I am not defending him, only trying to understand him.
    Now off to put a second coat of paint on the ceiling.

  • 110. Dave in CA  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:20 am

    Thanks – my pleasure to do it. Hopefully (with some minor edits and grammar corrections) it finds its way to AFER, and to Mr. Mehlman himself, and that he takes it heart.

  • 111. draNgNon  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:20 am

    totally. when I was growing up it was not so much so. nowdays I look at them and wonder, what goes on in their heads.

  • 112. draNgNon  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:24 am

    no. what are you talking about? you are judged by the company you keep. distance yourself form the scum.

    Roy Ashburn is scum too.

  • 113. Sheryl, Mormon Mothe  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:28 am

    Gregory, thank you for sharing so much of your life with us. Your story and others like it, not to mention the stories of the wives that were left for other men, is why I am so glad that my son came to the acceptance of his gayness and did not try to be the "good Mormon."

    I hope you do not think of yourself as a hypocrite. You were doing what you believed was the right thing to do, you did not believe one thing but promote another. I hope that one day all Mormons will be accepting of their LGBT brothers and sisters. I think that day will happen, but it will be in the future. The more of us liberals that stay in the church and discuss these issues with others, the sooner that will happen.

    Again, thank you for sharing so much with us.

    Sheryl, Mormon Mother

  • 114. Alan E.  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:28 am

    These personal stories remind me of the day of the trial when many people wrote out their own personal history. It could have been the day that Chauncey was on the stand, but it could have been any other day since the whole trial is the story of our lives. That day, I sent my aunt the link to that page to have her read through all of your stories because her son, my cousin, had recently come out. Reading all of your personal histories gave her the opportunity to understand that even though everyone has a unique perspective, many of our experiences are the same. It really is about getting to know us and realize that we are people too. Keep on sharing!

    Now I have to go find that page tonight so I can read through them again.

  • 115. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:32 am

    Alan, would you please post that link when you find it?

  • 116. Brandy S.  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:36 am

    @Ann S.

    This is the Brandy buying the condo.

    We are moving into the condo next week. At the loan signing they tried to get us to sign as DP's again. But we had the marriage cert. on hand. One lady was all "Well sorry that's how our computer system handles it." Like I give a crap about their bigot software! But the other lady helping us with the signing told her that she could type over it and make the adjustments herself.

    She had to make the same calls I already did to confirm that our vesting was going in as married persons.

    And I keep having dreams that our neighbors are going to be like those people in the video someone posted where they stand outside preaching to us. bleh…

  • 117. fiona64  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:36 am

    Dear Gregory:

    While I accept your thanks and kind words, I must correct the impression that you (or anyone else) might have that I am LDS.

    I'm not.

    My parents converted when I was an adult, and continue trying to convince me that I really "must" be baptized in the church. I read a lot, thought a lot — and decided that surely they must be joking, since I see my life as more than doing crafts in Relief Society and having a bunch of kids (I don't like infants … there, I said it). I recognize that this is a huge generalization — but I don't like the role to which women in the church are relegated any more than I like their treatment of LGBT and people of color.

    The last time my dad asked (and said "Fine, I'll just do it after you're dead), I told him that I would never join a church that did such horrible things to its GLBT members.

    I know some very fine LDS people whom I love dearly. I understand why people stay in the church in which they are reared. I just could not do it and look myself in the eye whilst standing in front of a mirror.

    Love,
    Fiona

  • 118. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:39 am

    We are all Jews, we are all Blacks, we are all Gays.

  • 119. Mandy  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:40 am

    Personally I have no idea what to think about this. I never was in the closet so I have no idea what it is like to hide who I am. Does that make up for what he did, probably not but since I have never gone though the experience I can only hope that he will now push for equality and no matter what his reasoning this will be a good thing.

    It does remind me of college though. I went to UC Santa Cruz. I grew up in the bay so meeting people who were gay or transgender was not a big deal. But meeting a gay republican especially at UCSC now that was shocking.

  • 120. Freddy  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:42 am

    We are all real People!

  • 121. Ann S.  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:52 am

    @Brandy S., thank you for telling us. I'm so glad you stood firm about signing as married persons. Good for you!

    The software also doesn't care about the legal problems you might have had if you did not have your correct marriage status on your legal documents.

    Congratulations on the condo, and may you have wonderful neighbors who welcome you with open arms (and plates of cookies! Don't forget the cookies!).

  • 122. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:53 am

    I, for one, am definitely glad now to eat my words from back when Reagan appointed Walker. Gobble gobble, chew chew.

  • 123. carpoolcookie  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:55 am

    One of my favorite phrases is "Where do you begin? Begin where you are."

    Yes…his past is despicable. Yes, he now has a 4 million dollar loft in Chelsea he bought with the blood of his gay brothers and lesbian sisters. Yes, he knew he was gay when he contributed to constructing DOMA, etc.

    Be all that as it may…..

    His coming out can only do good for The Cause. We don't have to have him over to dinner, but he is showing the Extreme Right that gays are not "the other".

    It will be interesting to see just how hard he puts his shoulder to the wheel.

  • 124. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:56 am

    this Thread is getting so long…hope it ends up in the right place….Dear Dear Fiona! I almost spit a drink of water all over my keyboard when I read your post!

    I CELEBRATE YOU!!! good for you resisting a role for women you don't agree with. thanks for clarifications.

    It wasn't that long ago that if I heard someone say they don't like infants I would have been all offended or something….LOLROTF! I laugh with kindness at myself now when I think of all the common-sense ideas I had rolling around in my head. Why can't we all accept each other just as we are!?

    Thanks you thank you Thank YOU! for all your contributions to this community and the world! You are the BOMB!!! When they were asking for new writers for this site you were at the TOP of my list!

    ((HUGS))

  • 125. Alex O'Cady  |  August 26, 2010 at 6:09 am

    I don't post very often, but I've been addicted to reading the articles and comments on P8TT since it started.

    For what it's worth, I'm taking a "forgive, but not forget" stance with Mr. Mehlman. His story (granted, he has doubtless honed it to perfection before releasing it) strikes me as a grown-up, large-scale version of the high school quarterback who gets all his buddies to bully the gay kids with him so no one will suspect his secret. It's unfortunate that in his case, the "bullying" took the form of nation-wide anti-gay activism, but I see that as a result of the amount of power he has, in contrast with the limited scope of power of the hypothetical high school quarterback.

    With power comes responsibility, so I'm not by any means saying that I will just forget about everything he has done/helped to do. But I will never know what went through his mind. Whether it was fear, self-hatred, lust for power, whatever it was that motivated him to do what he did, that is truly for him to know and others to only guess at.

    So, I forgive him his transgressions. He says he regrets the past, so I will take him on his word. But I will not forget the past, and I will not trust that he is an ally. He has to prove that. Dave's suggestions in his wonderful letter would be an excellent way to do that.

    I think forgiveness and trust are miles away from one another, and Mr. Mehlman has a long road ahead of him. I don't see a problem with offering him the support and encouragement our community is so good at providing to help him down that road.

  • 126. Judy  |  August 26, 2010 at 6:21 am

    What would have come of this headline had it been true in, say, 1942: "Hitler Decides He's Jewish"

  • 127. Ozymandias71  |  August 26, 2010 at 6:24 am

    This is a hard one for me… really, really hard. I guess it's appropriate, since my best qualities are the ones that are the most challenging – in this case, I think it's forgiveness.

    For me, unlike the other 'conservatives' that came Out (or were Outed), I have seen Ken Mehlman's work first-hand… I suppose a lot of us here did but when I saw the timeline (2004-2006), I nearly broke down in tears.

    Oklahoma (where I live) wasn't actually that bad a place for LGBT folks to live – yes, there were the typical condemnations for 'abominable lifestyles' and such from the pulpit, but that was generally as far as such messages went. I firmly believe that Sally Kern, had she made those infamous comments (that I'm sure you have all heard – if not, you might be better for it) before 2004, she would have been bounced out of state government in no time.

    In 2004, though, all that changed. Suddenly I was hearing the same messages on the TV and radio from Republican ads. People who I had figured to be rational, compassionate Americans suddenly began talking about 'the Homosexual Agenda' and how we were going to indoctrinate their children, and how we were unfit to be parents – it just keep snowballing and growing more angry, more strident and more fearful. Suddenly, George Bush was going to save American society from us, and how we were going to overthrow the country's 'Christian values', whatever those were. The rhetoric that I hear all the time from NOM and FoF now… well 2004 was the first time I can remember hearing it spoken aloud on the national media.

    It just kept building and building until I felt like I was under seige – heck, I wasn't even Out to more than a couple of people at the time so for my Gay and Lesbian friends who were fully Out, it was much worse. Naturally, Oklahoma passed its' Marriage Discrimination amendment with something like 70% of the vote, and hot on its' heels was legislation 'clarifying' that our state Hate-Crimes laws did not include crimes against us.

    I had moved to a friendly neighborhood in 2003, thinking that if I were surrounded by 'Out and Proud' LGBT folk, and straight allies, they could help me on my own way to coming Out publicly. By the end of 2004, I'd say about half of the LGBT couples in that neighborhood had moved out-of-state completely, and by Christmas 2005 I'm pretty sure I was the only Gay person left in my neighborhood, and even formerly open-allies were suddenly pretty quiet. I kept hearing about spontaneous lay-offs of Gay and Lesbian folk for no other reason than 'needs of the business'.

    It was a nightmarish time – and while much of my screed above was probably not planned by Mr. Mehlman and his co-horts (and it might even fall into the category of 'unintended consequences') I have seen enough pain and suffering first-hand that I really don't feel any pangs of forgiveness or compassion here. That he's supporting AFER – that's a good step. That he's supported anti-LGBT politicians – that's a BAD couple of steps in the wrong direction.

    Should I forgive and forget? No doubt. Can I forgive? Eventually. Will I forget? No. Not ever.

  • 128. Ozymandias71  |  August 26, 2010 at 6:27 am

    Bah – Italics gone wild! :)

  • 129. carpoolcookie  |  August 26, 2010 at 6:27 am

    Maybe he can get married in Washington DC right now, and donate all the presents to Tyhe Cause???

    Having former President Bush there, etc. in the receiving line would make for many good photo ops.

  • 130. carpoolcookie  |  August 26, 2010 at 6:28 am

    Damn typos.

    And No, I have not been drinking cough medicine again.

  • 131. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 6:29 am

    I love it!!!! Cookie, you are brilliant.

  • 132. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 6:30 am

    Mehlman needs to read this one, too.

  • 133. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 6:32 am

    Yeah …… and with a former President attending, the Secret Service would have to be there, too!!!!

  • 134. carpoolcookie  |  August 26, 2010 at 6:33 am

    If anyone here marries him, DO NOT sign a pre-nup.

    The divorce settlement goes to The Cause (but save your travel receipts, etc.)

  • 135. Freddy  |  August 26, 2010 at 6:39 am

    Kate, just who would they be Secretly be Servicing?

  • 136. Ann S.  |  August 26, 2010 at 6:39 am

    Thank you, very moving. I agree with Kate — Mehlman needs to read this, and know what he's helped to do.

  • 137. Joel  |  August 26, 2010 at 6:45 am

    Beautifully written!

  • 138. Dave T  |  August 26, 2010 at 6:47 am

    Actually, it seems kind of selfish to me – now that he's no longer in a position where he needs to/is able to cause harm, he gets to "unburden himself" and "[get] that monkey off his back". He couldn't do that back when his actions might have made a difference (and cost him his job, influence, etc.)?

    Someone else commented (sorry, I don't remember where I saw this – it might have been here or over on joemygod) that his actions have probably cost the lives of LGBT teenagers in this country – what could he possibly do to make up for that?

  • 139. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 6:50 am

    Oh, Freddy !!!!! I am laughing again to the point of pants-peeing! Just wait 'til Straight Grandmother reads this one!

  • 140. Jennifer Gail  |  August 26, 2010 at 6:51 am

    *Waves Hi! to fellow southern Arizonans*

  • 141. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Ah…. I see that my enthusiasm for this site and its people and their wit is making me break out in superfluous exclamation marks….

  • 142. Freddy  |  August 26, 2010 at 7:00 am

    Sorry Kate, just couldn't resist that one!
    Just one more reason we keep coming back to this site everyday, we just cant get enough.

  • 143. bJason  |  August 26, 2010 at 7:03 am

    My thoughts have been better expressed here by Dave, Alex O'Cady, Ozymandias71, and others.

    I am just thinking – Mehlman goes from Bush to AFER… this has to have folks on all sides spinning.

    I bet the Factory of the Chocolatey Pants has received many many orders today!

  • 144. Joel  |  August 26, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Well, here's a totally off-topic question:
    Is there a "critical mass" of married gay couples? From the posts here and elsewhere, it seems that there is no state in which at least a few gay couples who have valid, state-issued marriage licenses don't reside. Couples in the Midwest go to Iowa, couples on the East Coast have several options, and there are 18,000 plus couples with a California marriage license that is legal and valid; I would imagine that like Mark and me, many of these couples no longer reside in California, or never did to begin with.

    So, with gay and lesbian married couples living in every state, can't we now sue the federal government in a class action suit because they don't recognize our marriages?

    Perhaps I'm just showing my naivete here, or perhaps I'm showing my impatience with a system where we must plod state by state before the feds take notice.

  • 145. JonT  |  August 26, 2010 at 7:19 am

    Good Afternoon. :)

  • 146. carpoolcookie  |  August 26, 2010 at 7:36 am

    Well, I'm not sure I'm ever going to actually meet him.

    And I won't be joining his political party.

  • 147. JefferyK  |  August 26, 2010 at 7:52 am

    If I ever meet him, I will spit in his face.

  • 148. JonT  |  August 26, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Very nice Dave – hope he actually gets to read it sometime.

  • 149. PamC  |  August 26, 2010 at 8:42 am

    "the whole trial is the story of our lives"

    Beautiful phrasing, Alan; this really hit home to me. Again, the haters dwell desperately on their need to control everything, from information to belief systems to votes to gender, sexual expression, and breakfast (not yet, but the cereal aisle has the most printed propaganda in the store, lol)…

    We're fighting for our reality, our personal and collective stories, our experienced truths. There is no comparison.

  • 150. Dave in CA  |  August 26, 2010 at 9:30 am

    So have Maggie, Brian, Tony P, Peter La B, or James D offered any commentary yet on Mr. Mehlman today?

    I haven't seen much yet but once they put their heads back together from exploding, I am sure they will have something to say.

  • 151. Michael  |  August 26, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Honestly? I don't know. I'm not sure he can……

  • 152. Michael  |  August 26, 2010 at 9:36 am

    I hate to say it, but while your post makes sense, I honestly don't see it ever being completed.

    It'll also be interesting to hear what his former boss has to say about this pronouncement. Probably not much.

  • 153. Michael  |  August 26, 2010 at 9:37 am

    You'd probably be able to reach him through an address at this website:
    http://www.ken-mehlman.com/

  • 154. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Dave, have you thought of any way to get your letter to Mehlman? Maybe through AFER? What do you think about posting it as an open letter on every pro-equality site out there, hoping it will eventually make it to him? I know it's a long shot….. but in the interim, I'll bet the ranch that it will make a LOT of positive waves.

  • 155. carpoolcookie  |  August 26, 2010 at 10:08 am

    I don't think they'll comment at all.

    DENY DENY DENY is their style.

  • 156. chamisaguy  |  August 26, 2010 at 10:09 am

    I like this idea of open letters to several sites — somehow he'll get wind of it and either read it or have it read to him (on the TV news even)…..
    Good idea if you can't get it to him personally right now.

  • 157. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 26, 2010 at 10:11 am

    What gives me hope WRT Ken Mehlman is that, unlike Roy Ashburn, Mehlman has been working with AFER on the Prop H8 challenge for months already, and is already organizing fundraisers to help make sure money is there to cover any other expenses associated with this case. At least Mehlman is already taking action to make amends. that is more than I can say for Ashburn.

  • 158. BradK  |  August 26, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Here ya go, Dave:
    http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2010/08/how-

  • 159. Ann S.  |  August 26, 2010 at 10:15 am

    LOL, I love how Perkins promptly throws Mehlman under the bus. What an asshole.

  • 160. Dave in CA  |  August 26, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Great idea – I am on it!

    I also sent it to the contact email address for P8TT here, but I will try some of the other friendly blogs too.

  • 161. Jim  |  August 26, 2010 at 10:29 am

    FANTASTIC, Dave. Honest, sincere, to the point.

    Can Prop8TrialTracker make this a linkable/viral Letter From Dave with an opportunity for equality supporters to add our names?

  • 162. Dave in CA  |  August 26, 2010 at 10:36 am

    And here is my final version, for what it's worth:

    AN OPEN LETTER TO KEN MEHLMAN on the day he came out
    August 26, 2010

    Dear Mr. Mehlman:

    Congratulations on your decision to come out of the closet. It's exciting, isn't it? And how refreshing and invigorating – how empowering to breathe fresh air and to feel your soul awaken! It's no longer enough to merely exist and get through the day, but to really, really feel life again with all its gifts: to see the colors, smell the aromas, taste the food and know once more what it is to be a live, living – and loving! – human being.

    But can I tell you something? I am not buying it from you just yet. Yes, I know from experience how suffocating the closet is, and how it slowly kills the soul, one cell, one breath, one atom at a time. I do sympathize. However, there is a significant difference between us: you had a position of power, and you turned it not only against yourself, but against me, and my partner, and my friends. I am still resentful of the harm you helped create, so be patient with my skepticism.

    (Psst. Now can I tell you something else? I was once a Republican. I still believe in small government, lower taxes, individual freedom and responsibility, self-determination and most of all, the Constitution of this great country. But you lost me years ago:

    When I watched my friends die of AIDS while Reagan refused to even speak the word, I began to question my allegiance.

    When religious zealots began to direct the party's agenda, I backed away with mounting alarm.

    And when Republicans – under Bush and Rove and your leadership – decided they could USE ME, and my partner, and my friends AS A WEDGE to divide this country to attain more power, you lost me for good.

    So to paraphrase Ronald Reagan, I did not leave the Republican Party – the party left me. In fact, it not only left me, it trampled me underfoot and stomped on my back on its way to power. I can take a hint- I know when I am no longer wanted. Once you threw me out, I left and vowed never to return. I am not a wedge, and neither are my friends, and we will not be used as one.)

    And yet, today as you come out of the closet, I find myself sitting up and listening to you. Do you want to convince me of your good intentions? Most people look for actions to back up their words of apology. You know – that bit about how actions speak louder than words? There are three things I will need to see from you before I can take your words to heart: Regret – Responsibility – Repair

    1) Publicly voice your Regret for using the LGBT community as a political wedge during so many previous political campaigns. Show publicly and repeatedly what the closet does, and start by offering yourself as an example. You sat in meetings with Rove as he formulated a plan to demonize the LGBT community to win votes. Now the public needs to hear and understand that that was un-American. And it was wrong.

    2) Take Responsibility – whether direct or indirect – for the harm you helped cause. Whether you actively took part in it or not, you were *there* when Rove used gay marriage as a fear tactic during those election cycles, and as a result, discrimination laws against your own fellow Americans were written into many of the states’ constitutions. In this case, your silence was indeed consent. Now you need to own your part in it – a whimper of an excuse that you privately “tried to push back” does not convince me.

    3) Finally, do everything you can to Repair that damage. Go into each of those states that enacted anti-LGBT laws during the Bush/Rove years, and actively work to undo those same laws. Put your mouth and money and connections to work and fix it. Let Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito know what you have done, the part you played, and how you want to undo it. Renounce and denounce homophobic groups such as NOM, ADF, Focus on the Family (they have already renounced the Republican Party anyway), and any other groups of their kind.

    Do you want to really impress me and my friends? Start with Texas: remove the homophobia from that state’s GOP party platform. Laura Bush already has said she is okay with marriage equality. And if, as you say, GW Bush was no homophobe, then enlist GW and Laura both to help get your message out.

    I can't forget how the President of my country stood in the Rose Garden at a press conference and announced that he supported an Amendment to treat me as “Something Less-Than” before our country's courts and Constitution. So if he is as you say, no homophobe, then bring him into this conversation – now! Homophobia, gay-baiting and fear-mongering against Americans does not belong in any party platform. Who better to say this than a former President, a Republican and an avowed Christian at that?

    So let your repair work start in Texas.

    All of this goes far beyond raising $750K at a private fundraiser that most of the public will never know about. There must be visible, measurable and widespread communication with all of America if you want to get my attention and keep it. Show me all of that and you might see come back your way.

    I am glad to see you take your first steps out of the closet today. Enjoy it, revel in it, breathe in that clean, fresh, invigorating air and celebrate coming alive again. Open your soul to all that expression of love and humanity. I share in your joy. But at the same time, do your part to help me and my friends – your fellow Americans – gain those freedoms and protections that are ours by virtue of our country’s Constitution.

    While today I can share your excitement and honesty, I am also watching and paying close attention to your follow-up, Mr. Mehlman. Under our Constitution, equality before the law is not a party issue and it does not get put up to a vote. You are in a unique position to say it now – loudly, clearly, and proudly!

    Dave Billnitzer
    Altadena, CA

  • 163. Ann S.  |  August 26, 2010 at 10:39 am

    You go, Dave. Standing O, here.

    Love,
    Ann

  • 164. Dave in CA  |  August 26, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Didn't Perkins already throw the Republicans under the bus anyway not too long ago – something about not sending them any more money, after Michael Steele's escapades at the strip bars?

  • 165. Kate  |  August 26, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Dave you fill me with the pride of knowing you.

  • 166. Sagesse  |  August 26, 2010 at 10:58 am

    That's really funny. I'm sure TP did not intend it that way.

  • 167. Dave P.  |  August 26, 2010 at 11:06 am

    I'm also of the opinion that his actions from this point forward and his efforts to correct past actions are what really matter (BTW, great letter, Dave!).

    And I think something that we really ought to watch closely are his political donations. As has been pointed out by Sagesse at 9:44 AM, it is pretty disturbing that he has CONTINUED to make contributions to anti-gay politicians quite recently, long after leaving his position in the administration. This one fact makes me question his motives and it will be very telling to see where his money goes NOW, after has has come out.

    Follow the money, follow the money.

  • 168. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 26, 2010 at 11:22 am

    I agree wholeheartedly. And Rick, Eden, ANYONE at Courage Campaign–can we get this as a linkable letter that ALL of us can add our names to and that gets sent to Ken Mehlman, either directly or via contacts at AFER.

  • 169. Sagesse  |  August 26, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Way to go, Dave. Nicely done!

  • 170. Kathleen  |  August 26, 2010 at 11:35 am

    I've been away from my computer all day and just came back to find all of these amazing stories.

    So now I'm in tears, trying to explain to my bf why I'm sobbing. It's nearly incomprehensible to me the amount of suffering so my of my friends here have come through.

    I don't really have the words right now but I'm so glad you're all here – among the living, among friends, and here on this board to share with us.

    I love you all so much. I wish there was a way to hug everyone here. right now.

  • 171. Kathleen  |  August 26, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Maybe Mehlman was Maggie's one gay friend; she always claimed she had one.

  • 172. Sagesse  |  August 26, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    Wayne Besen on:

    Ken Mehlman's Difficult Path to Redemption
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wayne-besen/ken-meh

  • 173. Paul in Minneapolis  |  August 26, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    What an amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us. It makes my coming out story look like a walk in the park.

    It's so easy for people like me to forget that most GLBT people didn't have it as easy as I did. The ignorant aren't the only ones who need to hear accounts like yours; people like me need to hear them, too. I'm most appreciative of your willingness to share your experiences here.

  • 174. Show us what really happe&hellip  |  August 26, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    […] even Ken Mehlman, the former Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair under George Bush II, has come out of the closet and supports Judge Walker’s heroic and historic […]

  • 175. Straight Ally #3008  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    I'm impressed by the level of forgiveness and understanding of the P8TT community. I can understand the feeling that certain people are at the point of no return, and any future action is irreparably tainted by their past, but AFER and others are not talking this route. Mehlman's expiation will have to be truly spectacular – he's a wealthy and influential man, and hopefully he will hold some sway over his former political cronies. Perhaps potential forgiveness incumbent upon following through on his promises.

  • 176. Brad  |  August 26, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    This is excellent, Dave.

    P.S. to Dave/Courage Campaign: I'm a professional editor, so I'd be happy to copy edit the letter. The letter is great as it is; I could just tweak a few commas and capitalizations if Dave requests that.

  • 177. Dave in CA  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Hi Brad:

    I am more than happy to have your assistance! Let's send this little tortoise of truth out into the world.

  • 178. Bob  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    ditto, what are we going to start doing, becoming like Alveta, or Velvetta or whatever her name is,

    are we going to start some kind of judgement about people's coming out , or how they do it, or what they did prior.

    we all got shit in the closet, and we all have the potential to change once we step out.

    Gregory in Salt Lake City, I just read your story, and I need to say thanks, Especially for having the guts to admit, your trying to please the church, and do what they wanted, probably caused a lot of pain for a lot of Rainbow people behilnd you. The significance of your admission is such a healing balm, for myself, and I'm sure for anyone else who struggled with thes issues.

    Hopefully this admission can be publicized in some way, so others can benefit from it. Our Rainbow Youth could benefit from reading this as they struggle with these issues.

    So good for you, but where do you go from lhere, how active do you become in your family,

    When are we truly accepted and comfortable, thanks for the shout out to Ronnie, cause he's a hero of mine, and personally, I've kicked up enough dust to alienate myself from my own family

    Gregory I'm so touched by your story , thanks again, and I would like to hear what you do with it from here on in.

    It's one thing for us to tell someone else what to do, but it's quite another doing it ourselves, and you my pal are doing it. Thanks

  • 179. Brad  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Okay, Dave, let me give it a copy edit for you.

  • 180. Brad  |  August 26, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    THIS IS A COPYEDITED DRAFT FOR DAVE. NOT FOR USE UNTIL DAVE APPROVES IT.

    AN OPEN LETTER TO KEN MEHLMAN ON THE DAY HE CAME OUT

    August 26, 2010

    Dear Mr. Mehlman:

    Congratulations on your decision to come out of the closet. It’s exciting, isn’t it? And how refreshing and invigorating – how empowering to breathe fresh air and to feel your soul awaken! It’s no longer enough to merely exist and get through the day, but to really, really feel life again with all its gifts: To see the colors, smell the aromas, taste the food and know once more what it is to be a live, living – and loving! – human being.

    But can I tell you something? I am not buying it from you just yet. Yes, I know from experience how suffocating the closet is, and how it slowly kills the soul, one cell, one breath, one atom at a time. I do sympathize. However, there is a significant difference between us: YOU had a position of power, and you turned it not only against yourself, but against me, and my partner, and my friends. I am still resentful of the harm you helped create, so be patient with my skepticism.

    (Psst. Now can I tell you something else? I was once a Republican. I still believe in small government, lower taxes, individual freedom and responsibility, self-determination and most of all, the Constitution of this great country. But you lost me years ago:

    When I watched my friends die of AIDS while President Reagan refused to even speak the word, I started to question my allegiance.

    When religious zealots began to direct the party’s agenda, I backed away with mounting alarm.

    When Republicans – under President Bush and Karl Rove and your leadership – decided they could USE ME, my partner and my friends AS A WEDGE to divide this country to attain more power, you lost me for good.

    So to paraphrase Ronald Reagan, I did not leave the Republican Party – the party left me. In fact, it not only left me, it trampled me underfoot and stomped on my back on its way to power. I can take a hint; I know when I am no longer wanted. Once you threw me out, I left and vowed never to return. I am not a wedge, and neither are my friends. We will not be used as one.)

    And yet, today as you come out of the closet, I find myself sitting up and listening to you. Do you want to convince me of your good intentions? Most people look for actions to back up their words of apology. You know that bit about how actions speak louder than words?

    There are three things I will need to see from you before I can take your words to heart: Regret. Responsibility. Repair.

    1) Publicly voice your Regret for using the LGBT community as a political wedge during past campaigns. Show publicly and repeatedly what the closet does. Start by offering yourself as an example. You sat in meetings with Rove as he formulated a plan to demonize the LGBT community to win votes. Now the public needs to hear and understand that this is un-American. And it is wrong.

    2) Take Responsibility for the harm you helped cause. Whether or not you actively took part in the strategizing, you were *there* when Rove used gay marriage as a fear tactic during those election cycles. As a result, discriminatory laws against your own fellow Americans were written into many state constitutions. In this case, your silence was indeed consent. Now you need to own your part of it. A whimper of an excuse that you privately “tried to push back” does not convince me.

    3) Repair the damage. Go into each state that enacted anti-LGBT laws during the Bush/Rove years and actively work to undo those same laws. Put your mouth and money and connections to work. Let Justices Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito know what you have done, the part you played and what you plan to do now to right the wrongs. Renounce and denounce homophobic groups such as National Organization for Marriage, Alliance Defense Fund, Focus on the Family (it has already renounced the Republican Party anyway) and other groups of their kind.

    Do you want to really impress me and my friends? Start with Texas: Remove the homophobia from that state’s GOP party platform. Laura Bush already has said she supports marriage equality. And if, as you say, George W. Bush is no homophobe, then enlist President and Mrs. Bush to help get your message out.

    I can’t forget how the president of my country stood in the Rose Garden at a press conference and announced that he supported an amendment to treat me as “Something Less-Than” in our nation’s Constitution and courts.

    So if President Bush is, as you say, no homophobe, then bring him into this conversation – now! Homophobia, gay-baiting and fear-mongering against Americans does not belong in any party platform. Who better to say this than a former president who is a Republican and an avowed Christian at that?

    So let your repair work start in Texas.

    All of this goes far beyond raising $750,000 at a private fundraiser that most of the public will never know about. There must be visible, measurable and widespread communication with all of America if you want to get my attention and keep it. Show me all of that and you might see me come back your way.

    I am glad to see you take your first steps out of the closet today. Enjoy this time, revel in it, breathe in that clean, fresh, invigorating air, and celebrate coming alive again. Open your soul to all that expression of love and humanity.
    I share in your joy. But at the same time, do your part to help me and my friends – your fellow Americans – gain those freedoms and protections that are ours by virtue of our nation’s Constitution.

    While today I can share your excitement and appreciate your honesty, I am also watching and paying close attention to your follow-up, Mr. Mehlman. Under our Constitution, equality before the law is not a party issue, and it does not get put up to a vote. You are in a unique position to say that now – clearly, out loud and out proud.

    Dave Billnitzer
    Altadena, CA

  • 181. Dave in CA  |  August 26, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Brad – that works for me! I am good to go.

    Now – how do we make sure it finds its way to Ken himself?

  • 182. Dave in CA  |  August 26, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    Brad, by the way – I should have also said: THANKS!
    That is awesome of you to clean it up for me like that.
    Thank you so much – you nailed it.

    Dave

  • 183. Straight Grandmother  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    Linda- "Lucky him! He rode the side of hate until our side was adequately paved; and now he hopes for a smooth ride on our side."
    Did you make that up, that part about the road being adequately paved? WOW! I htought that was a very conceise way to put it. I get so much inspitation from our forum members here.

  • 184. Straight Grandmother  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Yes, so how "gay" is he then? He has got to be gay enough to STOP his modus operendi and quit supporting those who do not support Equality for all and ending the Discrimination against GLBT people. As long as he keeps contributing to those who by thier votes do us harm, he is not gay enough for me. Seems to me that he is only half way out fo the closet. Time will tell if he comes all the way out or not.

    In the meantime we should take all the money he can drum up for our side. A war needs a war chest of gold. This is a culture war and we need cash also. As long as he can bring it in fine, but he does nto get a "Free Pass" until he stops giving money to organizations and political campaigns that is counter productive to our side.

  • 185. Straight Grandmother  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Double Standing O!!!
    All Hail Dave in CA

  • 186. Straight Grandmother  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    OH and Bonus points becasue he did use the actual word DISCRIMINATION! It is not us that has to change, we need to keep pounding the toher side that THEY need to stop DISCRIMINATING against us. Equality is what we want, ending Discrimination is what the other side must do. They need to change, not us. They need to stop Discriminating.

  • 187. Straight Grandmother  |  August 26, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    I can relate, I'm painting a bathroom.
    2 coats of anti humidity stuff
    fill in holes with plaster
    sand
    primer
    2 coates
    I am only on filling in holes with primer and about 1/4 wa through sanding some I got done yesterday.

    Most people would have just repainted the walls as is, but i like a nice job. A little bit of plaster here and there has come off and when I paint I want it to look good as new. My father taught me, and I have found it to be true, you can't take shortcuts and deliver the best job. Every time I sit on the throne I would be looking at that little gap where the plaster is missing, it would drive me nuts.

  • 188. Lynn E  |  August 26, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    Maybe I'm getting too cynical in my old age, but I thought this as well.
    Most of us have been party to actions which we later regret. I wish him well, but the damage is done. And he is no longer in a position to help minimize it. Time will tell.
    The Dems are unwilling to act for fear of losing the election, but their inaction will probably cause them to lose. Self-fulfilling prophecy. The GOP will promise anything to get back in power, and once in power will again pander to the religious right that they cannot control. If ever there has been a time for a viable third party….

  • 189. Straight Grandmother  |  August 26, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    LOL!!!

    Tha is what I like about our side, we have a sense of humor. The other side only has abmonation and damnation, how fun is that?

  • 190. BK  |  August 27, 2010 at 12:07 am

    Hahaha nice, Bolt. I was a Republican (sshhh! no condemning! i said 'was'!) until a few months ago. That is, until I finally recognized that I was gay. Now I could never be a member of that party – let's be honest, most Repubs *extremely dislike* the very existence of gays.

    Oh yeah. Btw, I'm an Independent now. Thank goodness. :)

  • 191. BK  |  August 27, 2010 at 12:15 am

    @nightshade, I agree for the most part with your comment. But I personally would rather have gay marriage opponents standing *in front* of the bus rather than pushing it off course from the side. It seems like it would be much easier to get rid of them.

  • 192. fern  |  August 27, 2010 at 12:17 am

    I read Dave's letter at 16:12 Belgian time (9 hours ahead of Cal) and I understand the feelings and here below are my feelings on the subject.

    To the NY Daily News forum: “another republican coming out bashed by gay bloggers.

    This is just a human tragedy with a good ending. We are all subject to our environment, we all want to be part of the group, or the winning team and we all hate rejection. For people to come out of the closet, any closets, they have to feel safe and confident enough and I'm sure those gay bloggers have been in the closet too and came out when they felt it was safe for them to do so. The only thing to blame is the unforgiving society we live in. "More light", were Goethe's last word.

  • 193. AndrewPDX  |  August 27, 2010 at 12:21 am

    :) and you inspire us in return, SG!

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
    Andrew

  • 194. Ozymandias71  |  August 27, 2010 at 12:27 am

    Pure. Awesome. :)

  • 195. Ozymandias71  |  August 27, 2010 at 12:44 am

    Thanks for the link Sagesse – that article clearly articulated what I have been feeling since the story broke.

    From the article: "What can reasonably be offered, given the circumstances, is a pragmatic acceptance of Mehlman." Yeah, I like that statement a lot. I'm pragmatic enough (hopefully) to see the potential benefits of Mehlman coming Out, while balancing that expectation against anti-LGBT politicians he's been contributing to.

  • 196. Felyx  |  August 27, 2010 at 1:31 am

    OMG!!! This is so great! When someone like Mehlman finally feels comfortable enough to come out it means the tide has turned and the homophobes are becoming an extremist minority and nothing more. Sure there has been damage, but now that he is out he can be a profoundly powerful ally in bringing about equality!

    Reading all the support for Mehlman is so very refreshing. Sure he has done awful things, but now that he has overcome his fear he will be in a strong and powerful position to expedite change.

    Now if only Obama will step up to his 'Fierce Ally' rhetoric!!!

    Felyx

  • 197. Brad  |  August 27, 2010 at 1:52 am

    Dave, the thank you goes to you. You wrote a strong, honest , heartfelt letter that needs to be read and heard.

  • 198. Brad  |  August 27, 2010 at 1:55 am

    Dave,

    P.S.: You probably already it, but in cutting and pasting, I deleted a paragraph break in your letter between:

    I am glad to see you take your first steps out of the closet today. Enjoy this time, revel in it, breathe in that clean, fresh, invigorating air, and celebrate coming alive again. Open your soul to all that expression of love and humanity.

    AND

    I share in your joy. But at the same time, do your part to help me and my friends – your fellow Americans – gain those freedoms and protections that are ours by virtue of our nation’s Constitution.

  • 199. RandyinPhila  |  August 27, 2010 at 2:00 am

    How much does it cost to buy space for one Sunday in the NY times? It won’t have to be front page, somewhere good where the community will read it. We could probably cobble together the money for that. Then drop notes around all the sites to drum up anticipation for it in print, and I think it would go viral pretty quickly after that, it is his hometown paper after all…. Just a thought, I will go and see if I can find out how much that would cost….

  • 200. BradK  |  August 27, 2010 at 3:36 am

    The latest from Maggie's Farm (h/t JoeMyGod):
    http://nomblog.com/1733/

    This, like Tony Perkins rambling diatribe yesterday, seem to reek of desperation. Each an embittered last gasp attempt to foment (re)action on the part of an ever more disinterested — if not flat out disbelieving — band of followers.

    Consider Mag's inevitability tack here: "…The American people — including over 80% of Republicans and even 40% of Democrats — oppose same-sex marriage…we welcome the victories that will come in the battle that must necessarily ensue…" and contrast this to NOM's rhetoric over the Summer For Marriage (just not yours) Tour where the theme was more of an alarmist pleading along the lines of, "something must be done and we desperately need your money help!"

    In other words even after the comical failure of the hate-on-wheels tour and NOM's almost complete lack of visible support, they've moved from a message of "we must act fast" to "victory is assured".

    O'rly Mags?

    The last few weeks have been a watershed for the forces of Equality (hmmmm…FoE?). Even with the temporary setback of the Ninth Circuit's stay of Judge Walker's decision, the wheels have been set in motion to invalidate not only Prop 8 but the very essence of its shaky and duplicitous foundation. Polls which indicate a rapidly growing plurality of support for Marriage Equality, no doubt prompting Mags to spew her questionable statistics today. The very same right-wing elements of the Republican party who have made it their mission to marginalize — if not flat out exterminate — us for the past two+ decades have moved en masse to pounce on other scapegoats. Whether a sign that they've finally come around and aren't as repulsed as they once were, or the simple political calculus that hating on us doesn't offer the same ROI it once did, the result is the same. And Mehlman's "defection" this week has just been the icing on the cake. To be sure, he has done much harm, and it remains to be seen how much actual penance he's willing to do. But even on a symbolic level this is a huge blow to the Tony Perkins and the Haggie Gallaghers of the right. The very public cat fight between Ann Coulter and WingNutDaily is simply the candle stuck in the icing on that same cake. One by one the dominoes of discrimination are falling away.

    I look forward to more breathlessly erratic and rabid head-exploding missives from Camp Fringe. They may not go gentle into that good night, but they are going nonetheless. Nobody tell them just yet though — the entertainment value of their collective implosion is too sweet to watch. [:`)

  • 201. Sagesse  |  August 27, 2010 at 4:37 am

    "We will fight all attempts to redefine marriage to be something that it is not — a genderless, adult-centered sexual relationship centered on the alleged rights of adults and not the needs of children."

    I do believe that Maggie has just come right out and said that having two parents of the same sex is bad for children..

  • 202. Freddy  |  August 27, 2010 at 4:59 am

    Straight Grandmother, Oh how I wish it was just repainting the room. We bought a neglected house and I am in the process of putting it back together. That room started by removing the carpet, scraping off the popcorn texture from the ceiling and totally re-finishing that, removing and replacing the single pane, builders grade window with a new thermal window, re-framing the closet doors, painting over the dark blue paint that was beneath the chair rail that was removed, replacing the door frame and installing new closet doors, and lets not forget patching all the holes in the walls that had been textured with the knock down finish
    I am going through the house one room at a time and pretty much doing the same treatment to each room as I go along, not to mention replacing the shingles on the roof and repainting the outside. I totally understand what you said about taking the time and doing the job right, my partner was complaining to his mother that I was obsessing about making sure the ceiling was smooth, I like to have things done right and I am very critical about my work, I am constantly looking for imperfections in the tile work of the shower I re-tiled a few months ago.
    Well I need to get back to my projects, I hope all is well with you on the farm.

  • 203. Ann S.  |  August 27, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Someone needs to review their civic lessons on the separation of powers, and the checks and balances built into our Constitution.

  • 204. mikenola  |  August 27, 2010 at 10:05 am

    as an additional factoid 14 of the 18 signers belong to religions that believe the U.S is or should be a theocracy, including the roman catholic church, LDS and the Nazarene's..

  • 205. Ann S.  |  August 27, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Someone also needs to review their civics lessons on the separation of church and state.

  • 206. mikenola  |  August 27, 2010 at 10:12 am

    @Ann S. I agree with you but those that believe in the U.S. of Theocratic power, separation of church and state is an oxymoron and fictional horror story.

  • 207. Ann S.  |  August 27, 2010 at 10:14 am

    I know.

    ::sighs deeply::

  • 208. mikenola  |  August 27, 2010 at 10:17 am

    I wrote a short document outlining the resolution and the cosponsors links to the congressional tea party caucus and some of their religions.

    If these guys publish it or at least follow up on it you might find it much more worthy of a shudder than a sigh….

    they are damn scary to be elected officials.

  • 209. Richard A. Walter (s  |  August 27, 2010 at 10:31 am

    And that includes the notorious Mitch McConnell–the worst thing to EVER happen to the great state of Kentucky.

  • 210. Bob  |  August 27, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    @Gregory, wish I could hug you in person, I think of you often, and our similarities, although different churches, it is not easy to confront old demons.
    I also think of your partner, and the challenges for him, my partner keeps telling me I am obsessed with the church, maybe so,
    It sounds like we're not alone though, and for that reason I treasure your story and the fact you shared,

    Amazing to thnk it might push you to get involved, with your local network, I volunteered for years with the local Aids organization when I lived in the city.

    I also wonder how you are doing with the alcohol thing, cause drug addiction was also, a part of my process, as it is for many.

    I'm thinking of you Gregory, with love, cheers Bob

  • 211. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 27, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Hi again Bob :) about Alcohol…. I lost my interest in drinking (closet drinking I might add) the day I met my partner. It was something I did to cope but not interested in it now…

    I keep typing more and deleting…sigh…enough said for now…I'm loving the jubilation at Kathleen's success :) yay!!!!

  • 212. mikenola  |  August 27, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    This is slightly off topic but please read, it relates to political action an prejudice.

    18 Republican congressional representatives who want to influence the 9th Circuit Court and SCOTUS decisions on Prop 8.

    Representative Lamar Smith (R)- Texas, Dist.rict 2, has introduced a resolution, along with 17 co-sponsors, to chastise Judge Vaughn Walker and his ruling in the Prop 8 trial.

    The resolution, H. RES 1607, was introduced August 10, 2010 calls for “Disapproving Judge Walker’s Proposition 8 Decision on Same-Sex Marriage.”

    View the resolution here: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=hr111-1607

    The resolution has over 30 “Whereas” statements, each of which is separate talking point for the anti-gay media.

    The resolution concludes:
    “Whereas a handful of activists have put on trial the right of California voters to simply affirm a common-sense, historic public policy position: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that–
    (1) Chief United States Dist.rict Judge Vaughn R. Walker failed to conduct himself in an impartial manner before striking down California’s popularly enacted Proposition 8 and thereby redefined traditional marriage to include same-sex relationships; and
    (2) Chief United States Dist.rict Judge Vaughn R. Walker’s decision to strike down California’s popularly enacted Proposition 8 is wrong.”
    Of the 38 “Whereas” clauses, seven directly attack Judge Walker using dist.ortions of fact and claims of illegal behavior. Five directly misstate facts and three misstate that the overruling of certain of Walkers’ decisions as correcting “illegal” behavior.
    The resolution characterizes Prop 8 as “…the right of California voters to simply affirm the common-sense, historic public policy position” which completely trashes the fact that Prop 8 was a discriminatory removal of Civil Rights in a discredited campaign run by a group that refuses to comply with Federal and State campaign laws from coast to coast.

    The resolution all but declares that the Constitution allows for discriminatory legislation by a majority of voters on civil rights issues, which is in direct contradiction to the 14th amendment and Black Letter Law from previous SCOTUS rulings.

    The introduction of this resolution has only one viable outcome, to enshrine in the Congressional Record their bigotry, bought and paid for by their radical religious right wing constituents and deep pocket Religious institutions hell bent on making the United States a Theocracy.

  • 213. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  August 27, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Thank you Bob for your articulate reply :) your words are encouraging and give me ideas how to reach out to others…especially youth. We have a very active LGBT center for all ages here in SLC. So far I have not participated much but now I will!

    It was just AMAZING the evening that prop 8 passed…seemed downtown Salt Lake just erupted in rage toward the Mormon Church as THOUSANDS paraded around the SLC temple. Others like me have HAD ENOUGH of being treated as if we are not good enough, or worthy or of value or defective….. A day later after posting and I guess I’m not done with the tears because here they come again.

    Based on the feedback from all of you it seems my story could help others. Bless you and all for taking time to read and feel and even cry with me. I’ll work on getting story published and out there so maybe some of these kids will not have to endure the same.

    ((Big HUGS))

    Gregory

  • 214. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  August 27, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    home video of Salt Lake Protest:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmLATGyDcvo&feature=related

  • 215. Bob  |  August 28, 2010 at 4:23 am

    Gregory, glad to hear alcohol is no longer an issue, whew, happy for you,

    yes let's get on with celebrating Kathleen's win, and work on a way to counter Nom's latest ad, cheers Bob

  • 216. Ann S.  |  August 28, 2010 at 6:20 am

    More on Mehlman from FireDogLake.

    He (Mehlman) 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.”

    Let me give Mehlman a hint. In 2001 and 2002, the Republican White House in which Mehlman operated felt it more important to kick gay Arabic and Farsi translators out of the military, rather than let them use their skills to fight against that “greatest anti-gay force in the world.” By 2006, the Bush DOD had removed upwards of 300 linguists.

  • 217. Ronnie  |  August 29, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    I agree this guy has a major hill to climb…..i kinda feel bad for him…. : I ….Ronnie

  • 218. Ronnie  |  August 29, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    I concur….<3…Ronnie

  • 219. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 31, 2010 at 4:35 am

    Kate – did my homework….I keep hearing words of "legend" or "story" even "fiction" about King Christian X. Seems the Legend is powerful though…as many powerful stories of the Bible. For Me Lord of the Rings by Tolkien inspires me far more than scriptures ever did.

    Here is an article that summarizes the various ones I looked at:

    " The legend says that when the Germans ordered Jews in occupied Denmark to identify themselves by wearing armbands with yellow stars, King Christian X of Denmark and non-Jewish Danes thwarted the order by donning the armbands themselves.

    A popular version of the legend has King Christian sporting an armband as he makes his daily morning horseback ride through the streets of Copenhagen, explaining to citizens that he wears the Star of David as a demonstration of the principal that all Danes are equal. And non-Jewish Danes respond to their king's example by wearing the armband as well, thus preventing the Germans from identifying Jewish citizens and rendering the order ineffective.

    Although the Danes did undertake heroic efforts to shelter their Jews and help them escape from the Nazis, there is no real-life example of the actions described by this legend. Danish citizens never wore the yellow badge, nor did King Christian ever threaten to don it himself. In fact, Danish Jews never wore the yellow badge either, nor did German officials ever issue an order requiring Danish Jews to display it.

    But the Danes engaged in symbolic gestures of defiance against their occupiers, such as wearing four coins tied together with red and white ribbons in their buttonholes. Red and white are the Danish colors, and four coins totalling nine ore represented the date of the occupation, April 9.

    In the book Queen in Denmark by Anne Wolden-Ræthinge the Danish Queen Margrethe II says about the legend:"It is a beautiful and symbolic story, but it is not true. The myth about the King wearing the star of David … I can imagine that this could have originated from a typical remark by a Copenhagen errand boy on his bicycle: 'If they try to enforce the yellow star here, the King will be the first to wear it!' To me, the truth is an even greater honor for our country than the myth."

    King Christian X became a prominent figure for the real views of the majority of the Danish population. The King made it his practice to ride his horse alone through Copenhagen every morning to underline his continuing claims for national sovereignty, unarmed and without escort. He became a national symbol for rich and poor alike, a positive contrast to German militarism and to the cult of the Fuhrer. In fact King Christian rejected many aspects of the occupation, made speeches against the occupying force and became known as a protector of the Jews.

    In December 1941, after an arson at the synagogue in Copenhagen, he sent a letter of sympathy to Rabbi Marcus Melchior. The welfare of the Danish Jews was of great importance to the king and the Danish government. "There is no Jewish question in Denmark" were the words of Foreign Minister Erik Scavenius to the German top Nazi Hermann Goring in autumn 1941.

    Tales of King Christian's snubbing of Hitler and the Nazis (some true and some apocryphal) began to circulate. When Hitler sent a letter of congratulations to King Christian X on the latter's 70th birthday in September 1942, the monarch's brief response ("My best thanks") was taken as an insult by Hitler, who recalled and replaced the German ambassador in Denmark. "

  • 220. AndrewPDX  |  August 31, 2010 at 4:43 am

    @Gregory
    <cite>"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."</cite> — Gandalf, from The Fellowship of the Ring

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
    Andrew

  • 221. Gregory in Salt Lake  |  August 31, 2010 at 4:53 am

    Hi Andrew :)

    Now I KNOW I'm an official "bawl baby" Your quoting Galdalf brings big emotions and tears …

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