Roy Ashburn Hub




Roy Ashburn Opens Up To The The LA Times

The LA Times snagged California State Senator Roy Ashburn for a lengthy and candid interview about his life before and after his infamous DUI arrest earlier this year and subsequent forced coming out. In the piece, Ashburn claims that the constituents in his conservative district were "shocked...to the core" by the revelation that he is gay.

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He's asked about his anti-gay voting record and while he apologizes, he does confess that he voted that way to prevent anyone from finding out about his sexual orientation. Said Ashburn:

"The best I can do is to say that I was hiding. I was so in terror I could not allow any attention to come my way. So any measure that had to do with the subject of sexual orientation was an automatic "no" vote. I was paralyzed by this fear, and so I voted without even looking at the content. The purpose of government is to protect the rights of people under the law, regardless of our skin color, national origin, our height, our weight, our sexual orientation. This is a nation predicated on the belief that there is no discrimination on those characteristics, and so my vote denied people equal treatment, and I'm truly sorry for that."

Ashburn also reveals what he believes to be the moment in his young life that initially sparked him to remain a closeted man all this time.

"Something happened that I guess caused me to realize that. When I was in sixth grade, the police had a raid in the sand dunes [near San Luis Obispo] and a bunch of gay men were arrested, probably charged with indecent activity. That sticks in my mind — the publicity and the shame around it. One of my teachers was one of the people. The talk among the kids, the talk among the adults, the talk in the community, the press — at that time the choice was pretty clear: If you were gay and open, it was a life of shame, ridicule, innuendo about molesting and perversion. It was a dark life. Given that choice of whether you come out or whether you're in secret, I mean, there really wasn't a choice."


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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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.'"


Gay California Legislator Roy Ashburn Wins Pink Brick Award

California State Seantor Roy Ashburn, who came out of the closet earlier this year following a DUI arrest that was preceded by a visit to a gay bar, has been awarded The San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Committee's 'Pink Brick' award, the SF Chronicle reports:

Ashburn "That arrest led to a firestorm of criticism about Ashburn's sexual orientation, as he reportedly had spent the evening at a gay club that was hosting the Miss Gay Latina Sacramento competition. In the aftermath, several people said Ashburn was a regular at Sacramento gay bars. Ashburn has one of the strongest records in the Legislature of voting against gay rights bills. He came out as gay on a Bakersfield radio program a few days later, but said on the program that he would continue voting against gay rights as that is how his constituents would have him vote. Apparently that didn't go over too well with the Pride committee."

It's the first time the award has gone to an out gay person. Past recipients include Miss California Carrie Prejean, San Francisco Archbishop George Niederauer, Fox's Bill O'Reilly and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger."

Ashburn recently received a 48-hour jail sentence, probation, and a $2,000 fine for the DUI.


CA State Senator Roy Ashburn Gets Jail, Probation for DUI

AshburnCalifornia State Senator Roy Ashburn, whose visit to a gay nightclub the night of his DUI arrest inspired him to come clean about his sexuality days later in a radio interview, pleaded no contest to driving under the influence in a Sacramento court today:

"He did not appear in court today and made his plea through his attorney. Judge Russell L. Hom sentenced Ashburn to three years of informal probation and 48 hours in the county jail, though he was given credit for one day for the night of his arrest and will serve the remaining day on a work project. The fine and other fees ultimately will cost Ashburn $1,900 to $2,000, said prosecutor Robert Clancey. Clancey said he thinks the punishment is appropriate, 'given his age, lack of history and cooperation on the case.'  ... 'He got no less punishment than anyone else' would, Clancey said."

He did, however, get the unintentional bonus of being forced to live his life honestly and openly as a gay man.


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