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Watch: Pro-Gay Roy Ashburn Says He Won't Be a Hypocrite Again

Ashburn  

Republican state senator Roy Ashburn, recently outed after receiving a DUI while driving home from a gay nightclub, talked to NBC about how he'll no longer live as a hypocrite when it comes to casting votes.

Says Ashburn: ''My practice in my entire political career when it came to gay issues was to prevent any kind of spotlight from being shined my way, because I was in hiding. So casting any kind of vote might, could in some way, lead to my secret being revealed.... That was terrifying to me. It was paralyzing. So I cast some votes that have denied gay people of their basic, equal treatment under the law, and I'm not proud of it. I'm not going to do that again.''

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. As much as this man has had to deal with, I am glad he finally came to be honest with himself. Would it have happened without the DUI? Impossible to say. But at least he has the courage to accept his past actions and start correcting them.

    Posted by: Mark | Jun 1, 2010 9:17:33 AM


  2. Whatever happen to legislating based on your districts needs rather than with your personal hangups.

    Im glad he no longer is a hypocrite (is it a switch to turn off) but the fact that congressional acts have been passed or barred because of the whims that this person has something to hide seems scary for our government.

    Posted by: Chuck | Jun 1, 2010 9:24:58 AM


  3. I guess that blows Log Cabins long held claim that outing is NEVER good because NO politician has ever become more gay positive in their votes after being outed.

    Of course they never seemed to be willing to talk about Jim Kolbe, and his miraculous turn around on gay rights issues, after being outed.

    I don't know if they still make this claim now or not. I sure hope not. There are now plenty of examples of how untrue that claim was.

    Another point. There is a lot of discussion about the rightness or wrongness of outing, particularly of those who haven't done anything blatantly to hurt the gay community. What I don't hear, is people who have been outed, for whatever reason, later complaining that their life has been ruined or that they are less happy than they were when they were in the closet or that they wish they were still in the closet. They may claim that they wish they could have done it on their own but I've never heard someone say that they wish they could go back in time and have the opportunity to take a few more years to come out on their own.

    I'm not taking a position, one way or the other, on outing of non-homophobic people. Just making an observation.

    Oh, and by the way, I think there is a big difference between REPORTING facts, just as any journalist/tabloid would do on any straight celebrity/politician, and OUTING. I actually find it refreshing, in the sense that we are making progress, when the lives and loves of gay people, out or closeted, are reported on exactly the same way that straight people's are; including dirty laundry. After all, isn't equality and equal treatment what we're fighting for? How is it equal when the publications report on every detail of straight celebrities' and politicians' lives but then keep what they know about gay celebrities and politicians secret?

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Jun 1, 2010 9:29:22 AM


  4. In spite of the tsunami of hate-comments that will soon be posted (much of which will be valid), I hope this guy means what he says. Maybe he'll get a chance to undo some of the damage he's done and become a better, more whole person in the process.

    If not, he should be dragged out into the street and dismembered. Twice.

    Posted by: Yeek | Jun 1, 2010 9:37:05 AM


  5. Outing works!

    Posted by: Miles | Jun 1, 2010 9:53:46 AM


  6. ive never fully been an ends-justifies-means person, but whatever it took to lead him to this new (hopefully sincere) mindset, was worth it. i hope he follows through on this promise and sets a strong example for other politicians. we need as many advocates in government as possible, so let's give him the benefit of the doubt for now.

    Posted by: Matthew | Jun 1, 2010 10:36:56 AM


  7. I'm with Miles - outing our public officials *will* work as a strategy. I wonder to what degree Ashburn will be shunned because other closeted politicians will be afraid of him now....

    Posted by: Steve | Jun 1, 2010 11:02:56 AM


  8. His case highlights the impossibility of being a closeted Republican. Since the Republican party is nearly exclusively anti-gay, any Republican who votes pro-gay calls attention to himself. (A Democrat could stay closeted and still vote in favor of gay rights.) So cowardly closet cases in the Republican party lock themselves into voting against their own interests. A strong argument for outing them.

    At the end of the piece they quote him as saying his being gay has nothing to do with his view of public policy. Really? Seems like his being openly gay has everything to do with his change of heart on gay rights.

    Let's face it, with a few exceptions, straight and straight-pretending Republicans aren't interested in gay equality. When gay Republicans vote in favor of gay rights it's not because they're supporting their party platform but because it's hard for any self-respecting person to see themselves as a 2nd class citizen. In other words, being openly gay is practically a prerequisite for getting Republicans on our side.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jun 1, 2010 11:20:45 AM


  9. Funny thing happened to me when I came out. "Gay" was a label kind of way down there on my list of self-identifiers. Suddenly it was number 1. Still is. Suddenly I wasn't a white, protestant, anglo-saxon male at the top of the food chain. Suddenly I was part of a very persecuted minority. Suddenly I became VERY attuned to listening to the attitudes and complaints of native Americans, African Americans, Hispanics, women, and a host of others.

    I became very aware of just how hard it was for my Navajo student to be forced to loose his heritage. So have gay people. I know what it's like for a white state school superintendent in Arizona to tell Tucson it can't have an Hispanic Studies course. Gays can't have one either. I knew what it was like when I watched one of my older African American students maligned with a slur. I've been there to, by brother in God's sight.

    Suddenly, I knew how unfair being a white-centric society is. The subtleties. The slights. The pain. I began to more clearly see through other's eyes, and feel their pain as my own.

    And in the process, eyes and heart now wide open, I grew exponentially before God. And I was blessed with incredible friendships, just from being a bit more sympathetic and willing to listen.

    Good luck on the journey, Sen. Ashburn. Sounds like you've taken a few positive if painful steps in the right direction.

    Posted by: craig | Jun 1, 2010 11:59:05 AM


  10. Though it is never bad to have someone come to some kind of honesty with himself, because it's bore out in such a selfish way (since I was outed, I now find it okay to not be a bigot...) it's very difficult for me to like this man. I find him stunningly self serving and tragic. He's exactly what you wish no gay individual to grow up to be, someone who only does what's right when caught in a lie. Sad.

    Posted by: Bart | Jun 1, 2010 1:22:09 PM


  11. this guy was pulled out of his closet kicking and screaming and NOW it's ok that he is gay. he is the same sort as a jew who turned other jews over to the nazi's, not worthy of being forgiven.

    Posted by: lk | Jun 1, 2010 1:30:36 PM


  12. I expect he won't be re-elected, but I'm glad he's going out a more honest person.

    Posted by: Daniel | Jun 1, 2010 2:12:16 PM


  13. I won't forget, but in time I may be willing to forgive.

    Posted by: Jubal Harshaw | Jun 1, 2010 2:13:25 PM


  14. Too little too late.

    Posted by: TANK | Jun 1, 2010 2:18:15 PM


  15. The problem is that a lot of gays are really flighty, and would forgive (and likely forget about) almost anything. It's one of the reasons why gays aren't taken seriously...too nice. Another is that common sexual orientation does not a community make.

    Posted by: TANK | Jun 1, 2010 2:20:03 PM


  16. Let me speak to him in Republican lingo...

    From the Bible, in the book of Jeremiah: "Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots?" (Jer 13:23)

    Posted by: CB | Jun 1, 2010 3:42:42 PM


  17. In my humble opinion, I feel like Ashburn has a weakness of character that doesn't make him suited for public office. It's too late for him to start making amends with the community he, until forced out of his closet, was very unkind to. Like so many others, I don't find anything commendable out of this revelation of his to 'no longer hide.' Rather, it seems like a cheap political move to try to hold on to his job.

    Posted by: Greg | Jun 1, 2010 6:03:15 PM


  18. It is never too late as long as there is life. Anybody can change and nearly everyone deserves a chance at redemption. God talks everyday it's up to us to listen. Seems like ole' Roy is on a new path. I for one wish him well.

    Posted by: Dave | Jun 2, 2010 8:48:58 AM


  19. Watch out celebrities say they're proud to be gay at OURsceneTV.com!!

    http://ourscenetv.com/posts/397/proud-to-be-gay

    Posted by: OSTV | Jun 18, 2010 1:03:20 PM


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