One Equal World

Ken Mehlman Launces New LGBT Equality Effort

Posted on: December 6, 2012

Ken Mehlman has been invaluable in his support for LGBT rights in the two years since he publicly came out. Raising millions of dollars to help pass marriage equality in Washington, Maryland, and Maine, Mehlman may just be the most important public figure involved in their success. The money he helped raise also attributed to the defeat of the anti-LGBT Constitutional Amendment in Minnesota.

But even with these huge successes under his belt, Ken Mehlman knows the fight is far from over, particularly in his political party—Mehlman is an influential member of the Republican Party. He’s used his political prowess to help spread the LGBT gospel, appealing particularly to his fellow Republicans and Conservatives.

“Conservatives don’t need to change core convictions to embrace the growing support for equal rights for gay Americans,” Ken Mehlman writes. “It is sufficient to recognize the inherent conservatism in citizens’ desire to marry, to be judged on their work, and not to be singled out for higher taxes or bullying at school.” Mehlman argues that the same principals that conservatives follow are in line with those of same-sex marriages and families, and that they don’t have to live in conflict—rather they should go together.

So, to keep the movement going, Ken Mehlman has started a new initiative, dubbed “Project Right Side.” The project will be devoted mostly to research and analysis to help “improve the political climate for gay and lesbian issues across the political spectrum.”

Already, through its own research and polls, Project Right Side has provided us with some insights:

  • A majority of Americans favor civil marriage for same sex coubles (49% to 46%)
  • These trends are growing quickly and across all demographics
  • The marriage-equality issue is more important to supporters than to opponents
  • A majority of independents favor marriage equality (58% in target states)
  • Republicans are increasingly supportive of legal protections for gay Americans (73% for employment nondiscrimination, 61% for safe-school protections, and 46% for same-sex joint tax returns)
  • Voters under 45 strongly favor marriage equality (60%)
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