On Saturday, October 13th, former Republican National Committee (RNC) Chair Ken Mehlman hosted a marriage equality event for Freedom to Marry New York. The event was a National Engagement Party that benefited Freedom to Marry’s national fund, Win More States. This November, voters in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington stat will vote on marriage equality initiatives.
The event was a star-studded affair, Ken Mehlman’s invitation going out to celebrities like Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Lance Bass, Alan Cumming, Ricky Martin, Jane Lynch, Edward Norton, and many more. Mehlman, who ran President George W. Bush’s campaign in 2004, has been a strong proponent for LGBT rights since he himself came out recently.
He’s worked actively with Freedom to Marry and the American Foundation for Equal Rights, providing a huge amount of support from an often-unlikely source—the Republican Party. The recent event he hosted has helped to build momentum as we go into the November elections.
And Ken Mehlman’s event marked another important factor in the Win More States initiative—Maryland, which has thus far not been included as one of Freedom to Marry’s beneficiaries, was on the list. Freedom to Marry has taken an incremental approach to winning over states, first focusing on one state, then two, then three, and now four. The inclusion of all four states shows that polls are in favor of passing marriage equality, and that LGBT advocacy groups are feeling confident enough to renew their efforts and call more people to action.
As we inch closer to the November elections, Mehlman’s support and events like this can only serve to do good. Little by little, we are seeing progress in the right direction, and hopefully after this fall, we’ll be four states closer to full marriage equality.