Ken Mehlman, former RNC Chairman and campaign manager for President Bush in 2004, is out and proud of it. Not only has Mehlman raised a substantial amount of funds for projects like AFER and Marriage for All, but he’s also now created ac new gay rights project: Project Right Side.
This new project stems from the Republican/Conservative loss of the presidential election, though for Mehlman it’s something that’s needed to be addressed for a long time. As a Republican and a gay man, he often finds himself at odds with fellow Party members when it comes to his stance on LGBT rights. But he’s long felt that supporting same sex marriages and equality will go a long way in helping the Republican Party adapt to more modern societal norms while still keeping their values at the forefront.
“Conservatives — and I count myself as one — succeed when we attract new supporters to timeless traditions,” Mehlman wrote in the Wall Street Journal. “The Republican Party’s loss in this month’s presidential election resulted partly from a failure to embrace some of America’s fastest-growing constituencies. One area of significant change is in attitudes toward legal equality for gay Americans.
“Some misperceive the issue of marriage equality as exclusively progressive,” he said. “Yet what could be more conservative than support for more freedom and less government? And what freedom is more basic than the right to marry the person you love? Smaller, less intrusive government surely includes an individual deciding whom to marry. Allowing civil marriage for same-sex couples will cultivate community stability, encourage fidelity and commitment, and foster family values.”
Project Right Side is a research-based program that will focus on connecting Conservative and Republican beliefs with the LGBT agenda. It will include education and support for non-discrimination, same-sex marriage, anti-bullying, and civil rights. Different from other projects with similar visions of uniting the Republican Party with the LGBT agenda, Project Right Side will focus primarily on research and analysis.