GOP Anti-Gay State Rep: ‘I am Gay’ Please ‘Pray for Me’

March 9, 2010

(ChattahBox)—-California Republican state Senator, Roy Ashburn, 55, came out of the closet on Monday, finally admitting the obvious: “I am gay,” he said. The conservative family values and rabidly anti-gay lawmaker, was charged with driving drunk last week, having a blood alcohol level of .14. He was stopped on a Sacramento highway driving erratically, after leaving a gay nightclub with a male passenger in his state vehicle. The anti-gay lawmaker has voted against every single equal rights measure for the LGBT community, since he became elected and he even went out of his way to attack his gay constituents. Now that he has admitted to being gay—–How could he possibly defend his anti-gay voting record? Ashburn says it’s “his duty” to discriminate against gay Americans, to properly represent his conservative bigoted constituency.

Roy Ashburn, a divorced father of four, has been living a lie for decades. And last week, the reality of his closeted gay life collided with his carefully crafted fantasy of a public life, of a conservative family values and rabidly anti-gay Republican politician. As Star Trek fans know, when anti-matter meets matter; the result is a catastrophic annihilating explosion. In homophobic right-wing circles his career, as a self-loathing phony hypocrite, who votes against equal rights for the LGBT community, is certainly over. But maybe he now has an opportunity to make amends for all of the harm and pain he has caused his gay constituents. Or maybe not. Ashburn says he plans to continue voting against gay rights, because the majority of his district holds anti-gay beliefs.

Ashburn gave his outing interview to conservative talk radio host Inga Barks on KERN AM 1180. He defended his attacks against gay Americans and spoke of the difficulty of finally admitting that he was gay:

ASHBURN: “Well, I am gay … Those are the words that have been so difficult for me for so long. But I am gay, but it is something that is personal. And I don’t believe — I felt with my heart — that being gay did not affect, wouldn’t affect how I do my job. Again, what happened through my own actions the other night changed all that.”

INGA: You know I’ve never felt it relevant about people’s private lives, about their sexual orientation. It’s never been relevant to me but I know for many this has been relevant. They felt that you were contradictory — if it were true — because of your votes. I would love you to respond to that:

ASHBURN: … My votes reflect the wishes of the people in my district. And I have always felt that my faith and allegiance was to the people there in the district, my constituents. And so as each of these individuals measures came before the legislature, I cast ‘No’ votes, usually ‘No’ votes, because the measures were almost always about acknowledging rights or assigning identification to homosexual persons.

INGA: Did you agree with those votes?

ASHBURN: I felt my duty — and I still feel this way — is to represent my constituents. […]”

Ashburn once attended an anti-gay marriage rally and told the crowd that “marriage between one man and one woman is fundamental to civilization.”

When asked about his Christian faith, Ashburn asked his constituents to pray for him:

ASHBURN: “I would ask people to pray for me. My faith is very clear and very firm.” […] “I pray to God that I can find peace, and I want to go back to work in the Senate and work hard for the people who sent me to the legislature.”

The LGBT community doesn’t buy Ashburn’s stance that it’s his “duty” to attack gay Americans. The Web site Queerty condemned Ashburn for voting “against his own people.” Queerty’s editors, said “voting for discrimination (or against its removal) is never okay, no matter what you think voters believe.”

Roy Ashburn, the newly openly gay state legislator, will term out this year, after serving in state office for 14 years.

You can listen to Ashburn’s hypocritical coming out interview here.

Photo Source: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press


3 Responses to “GOP Anti-Gay State Rep: ‘I am Gay’ Please ‘Pray for Me’”

  1. inga on March 9th, 2010 10:41 pm

    errrr…..among the facts you got wrong…you missed my name. It’s Barks, not Banks. Thank you.

  2. Sue on March 9th, 2010 10:53 pm

    Inga Barks:

    You were referred to as Inga “Banks” in the San Francisco Chronicle. The correction has been made. Regarding your claims: “among the facts you got wrong,” I would be interested in what falsehoods you claim to have found in my piece.


  3. Loren A Olson MD on March 10th, 2010 5:16 pm

    As an older man who came to his sense at the age of 40, I think I have some insight into why CA GOP State Senator Ashburn lived the life and lies he did. Many men who live a life in a world where heterosexuality appears compulsory have traveled the same ground. The psychological defense of denial is VERY powerful, when we wish so hard for something not to be true that we know in our hearts really is true.

    Of course it is upsetting that he worked so hard against the rights of the community he has now become a part of, but I am more concerned about how he lives his life going forward. Others who have gone through this before have ultimately become major supporters of LGBT rights. Others? Not so much.

    I would hope that the LGBT community can prove to be far more welcoming and affirming that the community he is leaving. We do not help our cause by continuing to throw bricks at him. What I believe we should do, is what others did for me when I came out, and that is to welcome him, embrace him, and show him who we really are. Nothing will change his mind more that he was wrong than for us to show him we are not who he thought we were.

    Senator Ashburn, welcome to the community of LBGT men and women.

    Loren A Olson MD

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