Gay Republicans Complain of Intolerance—on the Left

Political reaction to Ken Mehlman goes against stereotype
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2010 2:54 PM CDT
Gay Republicans Complain of Intolerance—on the Left
A 2006 file photo of Ken Mehlman, then chairman of the Republican National Committee.   (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)

In assessing the fallout from former RNC chief Ken Mehlman's decision to come out of the closet, Jacob Bernstein points out in the Daily Beast that fellow conservatives seemed to shrug it off while "gay activists on the left pounced." Witness this diatribe from a PR strategist in the latter camp: "This man was the architect of this homophobia, teenagers killed themselves, families split apart as a result of what he did. Horrible things happened. He’s as good as a Jew that collaborated with the Nazis.”

Bernstein interviews several gay Republicans who complain of similar reactions not from righty evangelicals but from lefty homosexuals in New York and LA. He also points out that the Tea Party's libertarian streak seems to be more welcoming of gays than previous "social conservative movements." Is there a sea change afoot? Probably not, but Bernstein suggests that plenty of politicians in both parties assume their pro- or anti-gay positions more out of "political expediency" than heartfelt beliefs.
(More Ken Mehlman stories.)

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