12/10/2010 12:47 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Ken Mehlman: 'Why Republicans Should Support Gay Marriage' (VIDEO)

Former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman, who announced earlier this year that he is gay, recently explained that members of the GOP need only to "look in the mirror" to understand that there is a viable path to supporting gay marriage in the "party of Lincoln."

"Well, as I've said and made some news about it earlier this year, I think that, I hope that people like myself and others can try to persuade people in the Republican Party that if you think about some pretty important issues that we all believe in, whether it's freedom, whether it's, frankly, the value of community, that on issues like, for example, the freedom to marry, the right to marry, it's consistent with the Republican philosophy to be supportive of two adults who love each other -- whether they be gay or straight -- having the right to get married," Mehlman said in an interview with The Big Think.

Mehlman continued:

"I do hope the Republican Party in the future, will look in the mirror and leaders in the party will think about where we stand and say, 'You know what? The party of Lincoln ought to be about letting adults who love each other to be married.' And the party of Lincoln ought to be about giving people more personal freedom. And the party of Lincoln, frankly, ought to be about encouraging the community that is built when two people who love each other decide they're going to spend their whole lives together. And that requires people to look in the mirror and it requires people in the past who haven't been on that side, to think about where they want to be on this issue."

After coming out in August, Mehlman told HuffPost that he planned on joining forces with gay rights activists to fight for marriage equality in California. He also maintained that there was a place at the GOP table for people who shared his values, a claim that may have been backed up by a recent study that showed support for the party growing among gays.

"I think the Republican Party is a diverse party with lots of different views, and I think it's a mistake to presume that people who disagree with what I think is the right answer -- which is freedom to marry -- are inherently motivated by divisive instincts," Mehlman said.