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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

There are only a few, very rare events in this world that bring the Editorial Board so much joy at once.

A blind person miraculously regaining sight, an early sighting of Halley's comet and flying swine are some of these events.

And when a former Republican National Committee chairman comes out from the closet, loud and proud, well, we can practically hear Alanis Morissette complaining she decided to sing and shout about that annoying-but-not-really-ironic black fly in her Chardonnay rather than this ironic gem.

Coming out to "The Atlantic" Wednesday, former Bush campaign chief and RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman, announced it took him 43 years to finally become comfortable with "this part of his life."

We applaud (loudly and obnoxiously) Mehlman's better-late-than-never acceptance of himself, but we can't help but ask, "Really, Mehlman? You couldn't have realized you were rather fond of men, you know, before your very own political party spearheaded the movement to support a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union solely between a man and a woman?"

We're just glad we're not the guy who's going to have to break the news to Mehlman that the political party he ran was responsible for crushing the gay rights movement and sending it to the equivalent of the Stone Age.

That's going to be an awkward conversation!

But we're most disappointed in our society. We're disappointed the gay rights movement has, indeed, become a partisan issue.

And that very partisanship was never more evident than in Florida's primary Tuesday.

Republican voters in the nation's fourth-most-populous state were given an ultimatum between the GOP's eventual gubernatorial nominee, Rick Scott, and the state's attorney general, Bill McCollum, who has, on record, gone so far as to not only oppose adoption rights for gay couples but to also say gay Floridians should not be allowed to foster children.

Scott is a self-described supporter of "traditional marriage," whatever that is, if anything. He elaborates on his staunchly conservative beliefs on his campaign website that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

We're disappointed the coming-out process of a Republican Party official draws more scrutiny than one of a Democratic Party leader.

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We look forward to the time when the knowledge that a former male Bush campaign chief likes boys and not girls will cause as much of a stir as fanny packs at Disney World.

Former chairman Mehlman's admission, even if at an older age and even after his political party attempted to forever etch discrimination into one of our nation's most sacred political documents, is proof that happiness, equality and individuality are, indeed, not partisan issues.

We applaud Mehlman's acceptance, and we hope not only the Republican Party but everyone - black, white, gay, straight - can follow suit and realize partisanship plays no role in equality. And we hope Floridians, especially, remember that when casting their votes in November.

Equality should be a unifying, bipartisan issue, drawing support from not some, but rather all members of Congress.

Because when we replace "gay" with "women" or "black," surely those movements for equality become a bipartisan issue.

And that's not equality. That's exclusion.

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