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Recently Outed GOP California Senator Roy Ashburn Speaks Out on Gay Rights: 'I am No Longer Willing or Able to Remain Silent'

California Republican state senator Roy Ashburn, who announced he was gay in March after being arrested for a DUI on his way home from a gay nightclub, spoke out about gay rights on the Senate floor today and voted on two separate bills.

The L.A. Times reports: Ashburn  

Ashburn was the only Republican senator to vote in support of allowing openly gay people to serve in the military, but he also voted against a bill that could remove a political obstacle to proposals to legalize same-sex marriage. Ashburn then took the unusual step of publicly explaining his votes on the Senate floor. 'I would not have been speaking on a measure dealing with sexual orientation ever prior to the events that have transpired in my life over the last three months,' Ashburn told his colleagues. 'However, I am no longer willing or able to remain silent on issues that affect sexual orientation and the rights of individuals. And so I am doing something that is quite different and foreign to me, and it’s highly emotional.' ... He has said his past votes reflect his constituents’ votes, but said Thursday 'The public supports allowing openly gay people to serve in the military.' The resolution passed the state Senate on a vote of 24-7. Ashburn said being gay did not affect one’s ability to serve in the military. 'The current policy of 'don’t ask, don’t tell’ is clearly out of date and discriminatory,' he said."

Ashburn voted "no" on a measure that would have clarified a clergy member would not be required to perform civil marriages that contradict his or her faith, the Sacramento Bee reports:

"He said he strongly supports provisions in the bill aimed at 'protecting the rights of those in the religious community against any repressions.' But he said he could not vote for the bill because language includes "civil" to describe marriages covered under the measure. 'This proposal occurs on top of the vote of the people on Proposition 8 and on the litigation that ensued and that the very likely event that marriage will be back on the ballot," he said. "I think that creates a confusing, untenable situation that is not helpful on this whole issue.'"

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  1. My views on homosexuals being allowed to serve openly is not entirely biblical, but practical. My view my even be considered moral. I do not agree that homosexuals should be allowed to be housed among male or female soldiers, because of current fraternization among homosexuals. Soldiers that are homosexuals male and female are currently allowed to be placed in the same barracks of their God given gender. This allows for a homosexual soldier in the military to fraternize with soldiers during showering, sleeping, & dressing. Fraternization is a privilege that’s not given to heterosexual soldiers especially in training. Fraternization is considered to be an unprofessional act that impedes the soldiers ability to protect their nation. Since soldiers are made to house with each other for months without sexual contact in basic training. It isnt practical to be openly attracted to the same gender. Or admit you are sexually attracted to people they will house you with when being recruited. I believe if one starts to open up their sexual preferences toward the same gender it will lead to more sexual contact in the military barracks. Since Don’t TELL, Don’t ASK was implemented current misconduct of homosexual soldiers in the barracks is ignored. Also knowing that soldiers are having sexual contact in the barracks is uncomfortable for a heterosexual soldier, that has to hear homosexual soldiers smacking on genitals in the barracks, as they go hungry, or without sexual contact from the opposite gender for months. Simply if one says they are homosexual they become unhousable in the barracks. You can not place a homosexual female with females, she will fraternize. You can not place a homosexual female among men, she will be rapped by large men in training. If you place a homosexual in private housing, then you are providing special privileges that’s not given to heterosexual soldiers. Now lets go into the bible about it. The bible states “ Its an abomination”. Straight soldiers say “Its unfair!“ I believe the desire isnt to remove homosexuals, but to stop sexual contact (fraternization) or sexual harassment. If the military isnt going to change the way it trains its soldiers, then GAYS still shouldn’t be allowed to be open in the military about who they desire to make sexual contact with. The military is a job and in any working environment it has to be safe and free of sexual harassment to the best of the employers ability. The military had attempted to make its working environment safer with Don’t ASK, Don’t TELL, and Don’t ACT like it AKA "DADT". The question is can the military implement open gays in the military without changing the military barracks. Where soldiers shower, sleep, and dress with each other?

    Posted by: Patweathington | May 27, 2010 6:07:26 PM


  2. The comment by Pat Weathington is strange in the extreme considering many nations seem to have found how to allow gays to serve in the military - quite successfully too.

    With regards to the views expressed also stemming from the Bible - I would counter that while one can be religious and serve - religion and one's particular religious convictions have no place in determining military policy. Separation of church and state mandate that.

    What a strange and archaic argument posed above - am I the only one to think so?

    Posted by: BosGuy | May 27, 2010 6:16:50 PM


  3. so any unprofessional act that would impede a soldier's job is deemed fraternization. So the mere fact of a gay soldier being in the barracks with straight soldiers would impede a soldier's job. I don't see how that's possible unless you are referring to homophobia, and to such a degree that it would paralze a person from performing the tasks required of them. In which case it's certainly the homophobe's problem (your problem, pat), not the homosexual's problem. May I suggest that a psychiatrist (I think prescriptions would be helpful) to help you get over your issues instead of the comments section of a gay blog, pat?

    Posted by: TANK | May 27, 2010 6:16:59 PM


  4. hey pat, just a quick question. is this "fraternization" you keep repeating over and over again just a euphemism for FUCKING?

    Posted by: alguien | May 27, 2010 6:18:58 PM


  5. Pat, I think you have far more important things to worry about that homos in the military... like when to use a paragraph break.

    Posted by: crispy | May 27, 2010 6:20:53 PM


  6. And the bible says a lot of things that you conveniently ignore, pat. So if it's all pick and choose when it comes to the bible (as it is with you), clearly the homophobia you use to do it doesn't require citing the bible, does it? It's justifying your bigotry sans bible that you just don't seem to have the intellect for...perhaps you think you'll be taken more seriously if you distance yourself from your own bigotry by blaming a book of fiction on it. You won't be.


    Posted by: TANK | May 27, 2010 6:23:16 PM


  7. I get so tired of this argument that gay men and woman are nothing but sexual preditors who spend all of their free time looking to molest unwilling hetero sex partners.

    Posted by: cb | May 27, 2010 6:25:09 PM


  8. I must say I am impressed, Mr. Ashburn. I did not expect anyone to break from the party of lunatics and "No"

    Posted by: ravewulf | May 27, 2010 6:27:41 PM


  9. His/her name is Pat. Perfect.
    (you can't make this stuff up, folks)

    Sooo basically, Pat, what you're saying is that our soldiers and sailors are incapable of controlling themselves; the codes of conduct that they agree to are no match for their libidos. You (and McCain, et. al.) seem to hold the men and women of our armed forces in very low regard; to you they're basically unsocialized perverts who can't be trusted... Sounds pretty insulting to me.

    Posted by: JesryPo | May 27, 2010 6:38:54 PM


  10. PATWEATHINGTON - you're a nut job.

    I'm glad Mr. Ashburn has broken with his party's bigoted stance. Thank you.

    Posted by: Steve | May 27, 2010 6:40:02 PM


  11. I love the idea that you can't place women soldiers among men because the men won't be able to stop themselves from raping the poor helpless women. LOL

    Just how are the Stone Ages this time of year? Weather getting warmer? The velociraptors roaming more frequently?

    Posted by: crispy | May 27, 2010 6:44:06 PM


  12. This took courage. I don't quite understand his position on the marriage vote, but he seems to be evolving quickly. Good for him.

    Posted by: BryanNYC | May 27, 2010 6:47:20 PM


  13. Assburned: You're only acknowledging your gayness because some newspaper outed your pathetic ass. Had it not, you'd still be deep in the closet working your discriminatory hocus pocus by waving your Republican wand. Do me a favor and go back to being batty for the Het team. Oh, one last thing, Fuck You.

    Posted by: Sean | May 27, 2010 7:08:13 PM


  14. Whatever happened to that heroic San Diego Republican senator? Don't tell me he voted "no" on this just a couple of weeks after his impassioned speech?

    Posted by: Rodney | May 27, 2010 7:17:43 PM


  15. Hey, Pat: You mean this?
    http://gaytube.nl/Fuck-the-Troops-p2-w065a1683c022d2077d34.html

    Posted by: Rodney | May 27, 2010 8:05:59 PM


  16. This "Pat Weatherington" commenter clearly understands neither the policy, nor homosexuality, nor the Bible.
    Being gay is not tantamount to being attracted to everyone of the same sex.
    Sex in the workplace does not follow as a result of allowing people to be honest about their orientation.
    And as for the Bible saying men lying with men is an "abomination:" As irrelevant as the Bible is to the US military and/or public service careers, that idea about the "abomination" is found in EXACTLY the same part of the Bible that says that getting a short haircut is an abomination, as is doing any work on Saturdays and wearing mixed fabrics.
    Not a peep from "Pat" though, suggesting that the military's uniforms are an abomination, or that they must be given Saturdays off or that they should all be forbidden from getting the military haircuts?
    That post is a complete failure of logic.

    Posted by: GregV | May 27, 2010 8:22:33 PM


  17. First of all, troll type person, no one (in their right minds) reads posts that long. Try editing your comments down to two or three lines next time. Second, as for Mr. Ashburn, sounds like he is finally coming out of the wilderness into the light.

    Posted by: Filberto | May 27, 2010 9:14:11 PM


  18. "I am No Longer Willing or Able to Remain Silent"

    So, yet another rabidly anti-gay in-the-closet GOP hypocritical senator gets outed and finally does the right thing by acknowledging the basic humanity of all gays. What of the years he has spent knifing his fellow gays in he back?

    Posted by: darkmoonman | May 28, 2010 8:12:07 AM


  19. @Pat Weathington: this is the same BS they said about allowing Blacks in the military. Please stop repeating prejudicial hysterical nonsense and crawl back under your rock.

    Posted by: darkmoonman | May 28, 2010 8:15:27 AM


  20. @Pat Weathington: So, "fraternizing" as you so incestfully put it, would not take place if gay soldiers were forbidden from serving? Tell that to the tens of thousands of "straight" soldiers who fiddle with each other regularly.

    Your bigotry is not nearly as shocking as your claim that lesbians cannot be housed with "straight" male counterparts because they'd be raped. Doesn't seem to me that the problem in such a situation is the lesbian. Not that that situation would ever arise, even. So, your lesbian rape/revenge fantasy is just that - in your own mind. And it's sick.

    Less shocking is your fantasy about poor straight soldiers having to hear two others "smacking" on each others' genitals. Did you mean "snacking?" I don't know what you think gay sex is all about, but no one smacks my genitals and gets away with it. As to "snacking," I'd like to think that people would be discreet and not make "snacky" noises when giving head in the barracks. Even I wouldn't like to hear it. Sounds awful. That is neither here nor there. More pressingly - and I know this is going to come as a shock - "straight" soldiers are snacking on each others' bits all the time. It happens. Sex happens. Doesn't make them gay or straight, it's a bj, and if no one finds out about it, guys (gay and straight and everything in between) give and receive oral sex with each other with what I assume would be for you an alarming frequency. (Or would this alarm you? You seem to have envisioned this fantasy rather explicitly...)

    As the others suggested above, your reading of the Bible, like every other homophobes', is selective. Modern society and the actual prohibitions in the Bible are almost completely irreconcilable. If you wish to be black-and-white about your beliefs (this is acceptable, that is not), then perhaps start with your foundational approach toward your religion: "I am going to accept all of the Bible verbatim," or "I am going to modify my views of the Biblical text and how I implement its teachings into my life based on the realities of modern society." You have to start with those questions before you begin to invent rules for everyone else.

    Oh, by the way: stop making rules for everyone else.

    Posted by: Andalusian Dog | May 28, 2010 10:53:23 AM


  21. Gays have served in the military since the beginning of time. I served in the Navy with two tours in a war zone and was pretty open and honest about my homosexuality. If anyone really cared they never gave me any indication of it. I was never treated differently by my shipmates, nobody ran screaming from the showers when I entered, I bunked next to a hundred different guys during my 4 years and yet never molested a single one of them or had any of them act as if they were concerned about the possibility. For those who are uncomfortable serving with gays there should be great relief as they would be able to know who was gay and could, if so inclined, avoid them rather than making friends with, sleeping next to, showering at the same time as, someone whom they thought was straight. Quite honestly I heard more prejudiced and bigoted talk against black and hispanic sailors than against those perceived, assumed or known to be gay but even those comments were infrequent and usually from the same (very) few people.

    And a side note to those opposing repeal of DADT - it's going to happen (just like gays getting married) so get over it and move on. Pick a new target for your misdirected and stupid hatred. The people in this country are far more mature than a few redneck racist (and Rand Paul) give them credit for.

    Posted by: ChrisM | May 28, 2010 11:31:59 AM


  22. "Pat" - another bigot who props up his feelings of inadequacy by telling himself that he's better than everyone else.

    Posted by: grego | May 28, 2010 12:29:09 PM


  23. I dunno. Sex can be such a morale booster.

    Posted by: anon | May 28, 2010 1:37:01 PM


  24. Viewed some of your post. Didn’t like them, but I am up to rebuking each one of you. Soldiers fight so we will have a free America, so people can post their homosexual thoughts. You can say all people that find homosexuality among normal men & women repugnant, homophobic to cover up your sexual behavioral issues, but it doesn’t change the fact that if you don’t have a genetic disability, then you have a mental attraction(mental illness). You have that right. And guess what? God will welcome every homosexual with behavioral problems that changes their ways. Even though you said I am a bigot for saying "homosexuality among normal people is an abomination, before God". Each homosexual without a DSD, wanting to be housed with people they may be sexually attracted to, is just nasty for it. Soldiers have a right to privacy from you too. View DSD, then tell me I am in the cave ages. We have DNA test, that remind us that some eunuchs AKA DSD homosexuals are to ill to go into the military. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1015520-overview
    If the military does DNA test, most of you will be found by MEPs to be to genetically defective to be considered fit for service. That is not to be offensive, but scientifically factual about people with a genetic DSD, that causes homosexuality. Each one of you with mental illnesses causing your homosexuality, need to stop riding in the law with people with genetic disabilities. I still feel my views on homosexuals being allowed to serve openly is not entirely biblical, but practical. My view may even be considered moral. I do not agree that homosexuals should be allowed to be housed among male or female soldiers, because of current fraternization among homosexuals. Soldiers that are homosexuals male and female are currently allowed to be placed in the same barracks of their God given gender. This allows for a homosexual soldier in the military to fraternize with soldiers during showering, sleeping, & dressing. Fraternization is a privilege that’s not given to heterosexual soldiers especially in training. Fraternization is considered to be an unprofessional act that impedes the soldiers ability to protect their nation. Since soldiers are made to house with each other for months without sexual contact in basic training. It isnt practical to be openly attracted to the same gender. Or admit you are sexually attracted to people they will house you with when being recruited. I believe if one starts to open up their sexual preferences toward the same gender it will lead to more sexual contact in the military barracks. Since Don’t TELL, Don’t ASK was implemented current misconduct of homosexual soldiers in the barracks is ignored. Also knowing that soldiers are having sexual contact in the barracks is uncomfortable for a heterosexual soldier, that has to hear homosexual soldiers smacking on genitals in the barracks, as they go hungry, or without sexual contact from the opposite gender for months. Simply if one says they are homosexual they become unhousable in the barracks. You can not place a homosexual female with females, she will fraternize. You can not place a homosexual female among men, she will be rapped by large men in training. If you place a homosexual in private housing, then you are providing special privileges that’s not given to heterosexual soldiers. Now lets go into the bible about it. The bible states “ Its an abomination”. Straight soldiers say “Its unfair!“ I believe the desire isnt to remove homosexuals, but to stop sexual contact (fraternization) or sexual harassment. If the military isnt going to change the way it trains its soldiers, then GAYS still shouldn’t be allowed to be open in the military about who they desire to make sexual contact with. The military is a job and in any working environment it has to be safe and free of sexual harassment to the best of the employers ability. The military had attempted to make its working environment safer with Don’t ASK, Don’t TELL, and Don’t ACT like it AKA "DADT". The question is can the military implement open gays in the military without changing the military barracks. Where soldiers shower, sleep, and dress with each other?

    Posted by: Patweathington | Jun 8, 2010 10:34:44 PM


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