The Out100 recognizes the most compelling people of the year, so of course it's going to include some notables that also spark controversy. Today we announced a few more names, including Ken Mehlman, who is being honored in the Out100.
As we noted in the citation, Mehlman
became the most influential Republican in history to identify as gay and went on to play a quietly instrumental role in winning support for marriage equality in New York State, lobbying politicians in Albany and raising money for New Yorkers for Marriage Equality. "As someone who came out late in life, I can attest to the fact that it gets better," he says. "For a state as big and iconic as New York to be able to have accomplished marriage equality with a bipartisan approach was a momentous event, and one I was honored to play a small part in."
But that doesn't mean people are going to let him off the hook so easily. As Joe Jervis writes on his blog JoeMyGod:
"For all those millions of people made miserable by Ken Mehlman? Forgiven. The kids who killed themselves because of relentlessly vicious campaigns spawned by Ken Mehlman? Forgotten. The anti-gay politicians funded last year by Ken Mehlman? Ignored."
We also announced Tom Duane and Daniel O'Donnell, two politicians essential in the fight for same-sex marriage in New York State. Should we only recognize the steadfastly positive and not the ones who may have a more complicated track record?