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CA State GOP Rep Comes Out, Defends Anti-Gay Record

Jim Burroway

March 8th, 2010

CA Rep. Roy AshburnCalifornia State Sen. Roy Ashburn, the conservative Republican who was arrested last week for driving while intoxicated after having left a Sacramento gay bar, came out as gay today on a Bakersfield radio station talk show. Asburn, who has a solidly anti-gay voting record however, continued to defend his record:

“I am gay. Those are the words that have been so difficult for me for so long. It is something that is personal, and I don’t believe I felt with my heart that being gay would affect how I do my job,” Ashburn said.

…Radio talk show host Inga Barks wanted assurances that Ashburn would continue to vote in a conservative manner on LGBT rights issues. Ashburn responded, “I believe firmly that my responsibility is to my constituents. I will take a careful look at each measure and apply that standard. How would they vote on this? How would they want me to vote on this,” adding that most people understood what that means.



March 8th, 2010 | LINK

There are no words.

Such a man has the gall to reap the benefits of a semi-liberated gay community and then go to his office and try to damage that same community? He should step down if he won’t fight for his own people.

And why on earth does he give a flip about his constituency? Since when does the majority dictate the rights of a minority?

March 8th, 2010 | LINK

All epithets of “self-loathing” aside, this has got to be one pretty messed-up fellow.

March 8th, 2010 | LINK

It’s one thing to be closeted, but another thing entirely to try and screw with the laws and serve the interests of those who want to force the rest of us into the closet as well.

I won’t be surprised if the religious right crazies in Orange County turn their backs on him now. See where all your self loathing got you, Roy?

Ben in Oakland
March 8th, 2010 | LINK

he’s not in orange county.

I wrote aobut this joker in a letter to the Chron and to the bakersfield californian. If they don’t publish it, I will post it here.

Hypocrisy doesn’t even begin to cover it

March 8th, 2010 | LINK

Well, I’m glad he’s coming out on his own at least. I mean he could have done a Larry Craig with this one and tried to deny the obvious truth.

He’s been a douche bag with his voting record, but I think this interview is a demonstration of his cognitive dissonance. I have a hunch that this man might be in the middle of a turning point in his opinion on gay rights. So I’m holding out hope for him.

I hope I’m not wrong, though.

March 8th, 2010 | LINK

He’s finished politically for sure, but now that he’s a pariah, I wonder if he’ll ever be able to enter a gay venue in California. I’m sure there are gays that would want his face to meet their fists.

March 8th, 2010 | LINK

@Aaron “Since when does the majority dictate the rights of a minority?”
In every state in which there are laws on the books denying gays the right to marry where it was put to a simple majority vote. I’m sure the good people in California know very well the effects of the majority dictating the rights of the minority.
As for this guy, let’s hope he never shows his face in a gay bar again until he does the right thing and vote to support equality and not discrimination.

Timothy Kincaid
March 8th, 2010 | LINK

The sad thing about these guys is that they back themselves into a corner and when things are discovered they have no one to turn to.

Ashburn will not be supported by those who hate “the homosexual agenda” because, when it really comes down to it, they don’t like “the homosexual” any more than they do his agenda. His “friends” are going to suddenly find themselves unavailable (“Oh I can’t have dinner with you Friday, I have to shampoo the cat”).

And he won’t be welcomed into the gay community with open arms. He says that he’s going to continue to oppose equality and decency and act as an enemy of our rights.

So who will he have? Until he finally make peace with himself, pretty much no one.

Fred in the UK
March 8th, 2010 | LINK

Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgement; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion. – Edmund Burke, 1774

Frankly, what is the point of becoming a politician, to then do exactly what your best reading of the opinion polls tells you to do? (Obviously, politicians need to have an eye on the polls and re-election, but to never follow their own judgement and conscience appals me) If the public think that is how politicians should behave then surely they could save themselves some money by doing away with legislative assemblies and hiring a few professional opinion pollsters instead?

Not only are his claims both saddening and absurd on a personal level, but also on a political one.

Scott P.
March 8th, 2010 | LINK

This man is despicable. His self-hatred has guided his voting, not his respect for his constituency. His last statement was made in hopes of keep his office. Soon, those who voted him in will be calling for his resignation, and if that fails they’ll start a recall.

Any gay establishment that allows him in it’s doors should be boycotted. He should receive from us the same as he’s given us, the back of the hand! Until, and ONLY until, he apologizes for his actions against us we, collectively, should turn our backs to him. This is not some young boy, just figuring himself out, this is a man who used his power to harm our community. That puts him on the outside, where he belongs!

March 8th, 2010 | LINK

I hope his constituents turn him out of office for being a closet alcoholic who committed DUIs.

March 8th, 2010 | LINK

I can’t help but pity him. Oh I hope his political career comes to a screeching halt and he’s tossed out on his keister, but for the man himself I just pity him. I things are even better for the next generation so no man has to feel like they must live a lie and hate themselves so much like this man has done. It’s not just what he has done to himself, but the damage he has caused to his wife whom he has lied to for years and his children. Very sad.

Scott P.
March 8th, 2010 | LINK

John, he’s younger than I am, and I grew up in Utah, in one of the most repressive parts of the country, so I’ll save my pity for his family, but NOT ONE SHRED for him!

March 8th, 2010 | LINK

I said “pity”, Scott, not “excuse”. The man is sowing what he has reaped. I hope he is able to overcome what he had done and put his life back together, with honesty and atonement – outside of politics though.

Scott P.
March 8th, 2010 | LINK

“Pity” should be reserved for those who have been harmed. He knew who he was, he had honest options open to him. He could’ve looked in himself, seen that he was not intrinsically evil and realized that being homosexual is neither good, nor bad, that it’s just part of who you are. instead he chose to lie, to himself, his wife, his children and the voters. All the harm here lays squarely on his shoulders, no-one else’s. He used his position of power to further his career by standing against us, hurting us. if he’d remained neutral I might pity him, but he didn’t! He catered to those who hate us, just to keep his office. Let him flagellate himself for a few years, come to us begging for forgiveness, then, and ONLY then, will he have earned my pity.

March 8th, 2010 | LINK

At least ole Maggie has another anti-gay “gay friend” that she can point to when trying to sell her homophobic venom.

March 8th, 2010 | LINK

There’s a side of me that pities him also. I was a self-hating Catholic gay boy in my early teens also, and I could have grown up to be just like this guy.

That being said, he deserves to be tossed out of office. I hope that the gay community shuns him for a while too, and he has to go for at least a year or two without action, even if he offers money for it. That’ll give him plenty of time to think about what he’s done and consider ways to make amends.

March 8th, 2010 | LINK

So ironic that he was caught after leaving a gay bar. The ONLY reason this “man” could go to a gar bar is because the rest of us homosexuals have fought for civil rights so idiots like this man can go out and get a drink and pick up men without fear of being arrested (except for drunk driving, but that is another story I guess).

March 8th, 2010 | LINK

I predicted this exact outcome. Ashburn is even wearing his opposition to “special rights” for gays as a badge of courage. He provides the precise foil the GOP has wanted to defend themselves against charges of homophobic. Now they will say “Look, we aren’t anti-gay at all. Even this open homosexual disagrees with the lifestyle”. Ashburn even opposes allowing gays (like himself) from serving in the military because he thinks they would prey on young male soldiers. This is sick stuff.

Fred in the UK
March 8th, 2010 | LINK

The man has lost his reputation, his career and, I would imagine, his family. He has only himself to blame for his misfortune, he will have to live with himself for the rest of his days. He did, indeed, harm the gay community, but let us not imagine it was single-handed, other legislators who voted with him and voters and Republican activists who may have tried to oust him had he voted otherwise share some of the blame. Let us try to not to give ammunition to the other side who try to portray us as un-Christian monsters by appearing to hand out malice or revenge to a broken man.

March 8th, 2010 | LINK

So, does he realise that without all the rights that others have fought for even against votes like his, that only a few years ago, he would have been fired from his job for coming out? I wonder if he can appreciate that in years past, his wife could have had her marriage to him annulled, collected incredible payments from him, taken the kids, and he would have had no rights to see them…just for being gay. He would also have been arrested for indecent acts as well. That is only the tip of the iceberg. All of this, and yet, he will continue to vote for his constituents. I would ask who the hell he thinks he is, but clearly, he has no idea.

Rick Brentlinger
March 8th, 2010 | LINK

He hasn’t really come to terms with being gay yet. He still believes all the despicable things he was taught about gays.

Most of us struggled to come to terms with the lies about gays that we heard growing up.

Give him some time and he’ll probably change his mind and come to regret his anti-gay votes.

Emily K
March 8th, 2010 | LINK

you know, at least he came out. that way you don’t have to make any assumptions about him being a repressed closet-case. You can be aware that he is indeed, as a matter of fact, a self-loathing gay.

March 9th, 2010 | LINK

I think that the greater, proud, openly gay community should hold out it’s hand and say to Mr. Ashburn that we are ready to accept him into our fold, if he stops his discriminatory actions and instead chooses to promote equality.

To have him admit the error of his ways. His anti-gay ways.

After all, the opposition will be doing the same thing. They want his quill in their quiver, a la Ted Haggard, ex-gays, etc.

What better way to turn him around, than to show him that the greater gay community is not who he thinks we are.

Let’s not prove it to him by hating him and wishing harm upon him.

Since the “Christians” themselves are not acting like their “Christ”, why don’t we do it?

March 9th, 2010 | LINK

I understand the anger Scott and do not disagree with you about the mess he has created and now must clean up somehow, but what’s the point in my despising him? He knows what he’s done and what he must do now without my saying a word or wasting the energy is hating the man. He’s sowing what he has reaped. I wish him well in overcoming this – outside of political office.

March 9th, 2010 | LINK

He appears to be old enough to have had high school civics before Prop. 13 destroyed public education in California. In which case, he probably understands representative democracy a lot better than he lets on in those fatuous statements. If he doesn’t, even his conservative constituents should think about giving him the old heave-ho.

March 9th, 2010 | LINK

He’s just another insanely anti-gay closet case. Without folks like him, there would be no Gay Republicans.

March 9th, 2010 | LINK

This man should have been ashamed of his voting record, whether he is gay or not.

What a pathetic little man. If he is seen in a local gay bar, he shouldn’t be met with fists, but he should be escorted to the street (and told not to return).

March 12th, 2010 | LINK

As an immigrant living in the US, I know the term, “Uncle Tom” is not to be used lightly… But isn’t this a case of a gay Uncle Tom?

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