Ken Mehlman, who headed the Republican National Committee between 2005 and 2007, has come out in an interview with the Atlantic's Marc Ambinder:
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 be asked 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."
Mehlman headed the RNC when the Republican Party was pushing anti-gay initiatives and increasingly speaking out against marriage equality. Former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie and Mehlman's longtime friend called Mehlman's coming-out "significant," but added that he remains opposed to gay marriage.