Businessman, Political Strategist, 46
Many have not forgiven his complicity, passive or otherwise, in Karl Rove's former efforts to use same-sex marriage to mobilize Republicans, but Mehlman has traveled a long way since coming out in 2010 and scored a coup this year after persuading dozens of influential conservatives to sign an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in its review of Prop. 8. As well as being on the board of the American Foundation for Equal Rights, the group behind the brief, he has deployed his skills to help win victories for marriage equality in New York, Maine, Maryland, and Minnesota, and his influence can only grow as Republicans continue to play catch-up with public opinion on gay rights.
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