Early Wednesday morning, State Sen. Roy Ashburn (R-Calif.) was pulled over and arrested for drunk driving. Sources report that Ashburn — a fierce opponent of gay rights — was driving drunk after leaving a gay nightclub; when the officer stopped the state-issued vehicle, there was an unidentified man in the passenger seat of the car.
but wait, there’s more…
“I’m gay,” Ashburn told local radio host Inga Barks before returning to the Senate for the first time since his arrest. “Those are the words that have been so difficult for me for so long.”
Ashburn, a 55-year-old divorced father of four, claimed his 15-year crusade against proposed gay-rights laws in the California statehouse stemmed from his desire to vote the way his constituents wanted.
but his faustian fuck-up has come back to haunt him…
It is hard to imagine the pain that leads one to live the life, until last week, Ashburn had managed to keep out of the public domain. All things being equal, his private life is nobody’s business.
But things are not equal and Ashburn’s public acknowledgment this week that he is gay gives him the tragic distinction of being added to the cocktail party punch line of public officials guilty of the vilest hypocrisy.
This movie is hardly new. We have repeatedly witnessed others, such as former Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig, former Florida Republican Rep. Mark Foley, along with conservative evangelical pastor Ted Haggard, cruelly using their influence by day to dehumanize the same folk that they become by night.
In doing so, they wrap themselves in a cocoon of self-hatred, eagerly feeding on the nutrients of ambition as a way to not confront their own reality.
Ashburn’s DUI arrest after leaving a gay nightclub left him with little alternative but to address the rumors that had recently been circulating. Ashburn, who has consistently voted against gay rights measures during his 14 years in statewide office, told KERN radio in Bakersfield, the area he represents, that he is indeed gay.
“The best way to handle that is to be truthful and to say to my constituents and all who care that I am gay,” he said. “But I don’t think it’s something that has affected, nor will it affect, how I do my job.”
What Ashburn expects from his constituents is more than he was willing to grant his gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.
Ashburn is a paragon of the gay-is-evil brigade, and has made life hell for the lgtbi community in Canada. It may be cheap and shallow of me, but damn, i’m glad his chickens have come home to roost…