“I’m Gay”: Anti-Gay Rights Legislator in California Comes Out of The Closet Following Arrest

Last week, we discussed the arrest of anti-gay California Senator Roy Ashburn (R., Bakersfield) for DUI after reportedly leaving a gay bar with an unidentified man. He has now confirmed that he is in fact gay.

The statement came in an interview with KERN radio host Inga Barks when Ashburn stated “I’m gay. Those are the words that have been so difficult for me for so long.”

He explained his staunch anti-Gay voting record as “a reflection of how the majority of voters in his conservative district would have wanted him to vote . . .I felt my duty — and I still feel this way — is to represent my constituents, not my own point of view, not my own internal conflict.” Really? This is not exactly what the Framers envisioned of the role of a legislator in a representative democracy. Leaders are expected on occasion to lead, particularly on civil rights and liberties.” He voted against anti-discrimination laws and the recognition of out-of-state gay marriages. Last year, he opposed a bill to establish a day of honoring slain gay rights activist Harvey Milk.

He insists that being gay is not “something that has affected, nor will it affect, how I do my job.” That is the particularly pathetic part of the interview. Ashburn would like to continue to serve as a senator, voting against his personal beliefs to bar citizens from full civil rights. What exactly is the draw of public service to such a person? I would think that the father of four would have less difficulty explaining that he is gay than why he continues to vote against his own beliefs just to stay a state senator.

For the story, click here.

34 thoughts on ““I’m Gay”: Anti-Gay Rights Legislator in California Comes Out of The Closet Following Arrest”

  1. They still need to look inside and find out why they are attracted to pathological liars. Otherwise the pattern will repeat itself.

  2. ” Also unavailable people usually marry each other. ” Swarthmore Mom

    Actually I have to disagree. Some are ‘ unavailable ‘ while others genuinely fall in love with people who have learned to live as pathalogical liars for fear of the reprecutions that they will face if they ” dare ” to live their lives for happiness.

  3. You are right about the denial. Also unavailable people usually marry each other.

  4. Swarthmore mom…..Make no misteal, even if she has suspected in the past, she has likely spent many of her married life in denial. Most spouses in this type of situation do!

  5. Hopefully the senator’s wife had the awareness to have this figured out already.

  6. My condolences to the good senators wife who will spend the next months/years in therapy trying to work through the hurt and anger gained from living a lifetime of lies. Perhaps the good senator should have considered the consequences of his decisions long before shutting himself in the closet. I certainly hope that the Gay community does not now embrace him in any way!!

  7. Sen. Ashburn’s explanation of his anti-gay voting record has a decidedly false ring to it. It is more likely that his actions were motivated by a desire to avoid exposure. Fear, after all, is the usual culprit when we are attempting to fathom actions which are contrary to the actor’s innermost beliefs. I can’t imagine that Sen. Ashburn believes that his sexual identity is a legitimate excuse for denying himself the full measure of rights enjoyed by heterosexuals. Thus I view his voting record not as a reflection of his commitment to trumpeting the views of his constituents, but as merely another example of that most common of human weaknesses, hypocrisy.

  8. I don’t have a problem with representatives who represent their constituents. I don’t have a problem with someone who is gay keeping it private. I also don’t have a problem with an openly gay person voting against things like gay marriage, because that is what the majority of his constituents want him to do.

    I do have a problem with dishonest representatives. If you can’t be honest with your constituents, you shouldn’t be in office. Ashburn needs to resign.

  9. An interesting deviation from the story that ran in the Bakersfield Californian:

    “Numerous bloggers have asked whether Ashburn could have been blackmailed into providing a key vote in February 2009 for a controversial state budget deal that included tax increases.

    Ashburn said that was the most difficult vote of his legislative career and he felt all sorts of pressure — but nobody threatened to “out” him if he voted one way or the other.”

    http://www.bakersfield.com/news_alerts/x1543187857/Roy-Ashburn-I-am-gay

  10. Buddha,

    Isn’t Rice-A-Roni the San Francisco treat? Ya never know how they like their Sushi.

  11. Gay.

    You don’t say?

    In no way did anyone envision this play.

    Now stay.

    Home that is.

    Not because you are gay though. Rather because we have enough hypocrites in Washington. I’m sure Sacramento is no different.

  12. There is nothing to rectify as he was only serving the desires of his constituents. I don’t think we can even look forward to a recall since, allegedly, constituents of this sort don’t mind the existence of gays as long as gays are systematically/institutionally deprived of any hint of human rights!

    Perhaps, instead, Ashburn will he be nominated for governor since he’s such a brilliant beacon of Republican hypocrisy and the self-hatred, so readily attributed to others, but which has been proven so “useful” in his case.

  13. What exactly is the draw of public service to such a person?

    The way I look at it, there generally are four reasons why people run for office:

    1) Ideology sincerely held (e.g., Barry Goldwater or Bernie Sanders)

    2) Money (any one of a number of politicians in my native New Jersey over the years, to say nothing of politicians in Detroit)

    3) Power for its own sake (e.g., the first Mayor Daley)

    4) Recognition (i.e., people kissing your ass all day every day)

    I would guess the gentleman is motivated primarily by reasons 3 and 4, so ideology is irrelevant.

  14. So, he has confronted his demons. Now what is he going to do about them? How is he going to rectify his wrongs.

  15. Surprise, surprise! Who would have guessed that this anti-gay Republican state representative was gay? Just the fact that he was so adamantly anti-gay in his voting and public statements was a dead give away.

  16. Now, doesn’t the truth feel better, Senator? But, you’ve wasted so much time in denial. From this point on you are part of a group that will celebrate your truth and, hopefully, welcome you as you become one of those you villified and helped push into closets. Many others are still unwilling or unable to come out because of the senseless hate and fear that you’ve helped spread through society.

    We see this kind of hypocricy far too often with conservatives. I’m reminded of Sen. Jesse Helms’ intransigence on stem cell research until a family member was stricken by a disease that stem cells might help with. Orrin Hatch did the same thing. They don’t seem to recognize or care about other people’s pain or difficulties until it affects them.

    A more recent example of this indifference to people’s real lives is Sen John Kyl speaking in the Senate defending Jim Bunning’s theatrics stating that unemployment benefits (maximum $13,000) prevent people from seeking jobs. Yeah, John, that’s a real cushy pension. Never mind that most of the people who’ve lost their jobs have families, mortgages and other bills to pay.

  17. “He explained his staunch anti-Gay voting record as “a reflection of how the majority of voters in his conservative district would have wanted him to vote . . .I felt my duty — and I still feel this way — is to represent my constituents, not my own point of view, not my own internal conflict.” Really?”

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