Ashburn admits to being gay

March 8, 2010

Republican state Senator Roy Ashburn admitted on a Bakersfield talk radio show Monday morning that he is gay. [Huffington Post]

On the Inga Barks talk show, Ashburn said, “I’m gay. Those are the words that have been difficult for me for so long.”

Ashburn expects to return to his Senate office in Sacramento later today.

He was arrested last week for DUI in downtown Sacramento, after allegedly leaving a popular gay bar in his state car with an unidentified male companion.

Ashburn, a divorced father of four, is a well-known conservative firebrand who has voted repeatedly against gay rights legislation in California.

Because of term limits, Ashburn will not be able to run for re-election.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I also would like to continue the conversation thread, but I think it’s better if I just continue posting on other stories of interest, rather than take up all kinds of space with a lengthy comment here. But I do have a few responses

hotdog: I notice that you associate the repos in particular with special interest, but it is equal across the board. Take a look at how much money insurance and big pharma donated to Obama, and then question whether his health care plan is reform, and whether the insurance co’s are ACTUALLY shaking in their boots or not (they are sleeping well). However, I do understand where you’re coming from, that is the general view of repos from democrats. And it is not necessarily wrong always… I think the tea partiers for example, who have represented themselves as lovers of liberty and small government, actually exemplify what you’re talking about complete with pro huge military spending, anti-immigration, racism, and legislating morality. But there also Republicans that are honest, compassionate, and support the little guy. This particular segment simply believes that big government and regulation simply contribute to corruption and crony-capitalism, and rarely improves what it promised to when it set out. Unfortunately, this is not a large portion of the party.

Cindy: Do you really think the hate crimes laws are responsible for reducing incidents? Generally speaking violence is spurred by very passionate, over the top emotional states. I sincerely do not think that in such a situation a perpetrator considers these laws. Furthermore, I think that reductions in incidents are probably from stats taken in schools and workplaces, where suppression of harassment doesn’t necessarily fix the problem, it just changes the stats. In fact, I think I’d rather know if someone was ignorant and/or didn’t like me, rather than have them smile in my face only to stab me in the back.

Briefly I would like to state a large amount of admiration for your viewpoints and literate presentation. If more folks on all sides would take such a measured look at things the acrimony and dysfunction in society would be decreased greatly-and perhaps progress would be made in solving our problems.

I think hard headed and evil political mind sets have sabotaged our system, because of the human condition (me first!) and our self centered ways regulation and mandated reform in many areas is necessary to check personal greed (economic and political). I’m of the school that a certain amount of orderly guidance is called for when large numbers of people with often conflicting aspirations have to share the same territory. No one would disagree, the only issue is: what and how much. Does anyone feel we should have no traffic signals? I doubt that, but if they didn’t work or favored only eastbound traffic or the vehicles coming from the ‘favored’ part of town then we would complain.

As I began to point out Ashburn has favored a narrow viewpoint-pro big ag, negative on individual rights.

I disagree with that standpoint and will always oppose it.

Thank you very much for the compliment hotdog. I do agree with your stance on the one-way traffic metaphor. It’s a lot like the idea of “Free Trade.” Free Trade is simply newspeak, as it is Free only for those who can pay to play.

I also agree with your reflections on the human condition and self-centeredness. But I strongly strongly believe that the natural order of competition without advantage is “nature’s way” and ultimately has the best outcome. I think that what history has actually shown is that the diea of attempting to control the traffic is a paradox with larger unintended consequences.

For example, there may have been greedy mortgage loan people and short-sighted home buyers in the mortgage crisis…. but without the government printing and redistributing fake money to buy the loans and protecting the big players from failure, the downsides of minimal regulation would have been limited by the failure of institutions that made bad loans and investments and there would not have been any market for the related derivatives.

Are you sure all the racists are republican?

Roger all inter-seed, he is not, but I am pretty sure Bush and Daddy Bush and good old Prescott Bush are/were, and still are!

well, and African-American activist once told me that he thought the biggest racists were the one’s that started the welfare state that led to the breakup of the African-American family. I wouldn’t call them overt racists myself, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

For example, did you know that if you control for absent fathers then African-Americans attend college in the same proportion as whites. Having a father around makes all the difference.

In any event, I guess it is too much for folks to expect that politicians would not live two lives… but it is the hypocrisy that even children can see that bothers us all so much.

Roger Freberg

Perhaps Ashburn should have focused his attention on introducing a bill to lower the legal BAC.

deedub, funny to lower the BAC level would make him go to jail easier, I think you meant raise the BAC level, another funny thing maybe the BAC level should be calibrated from what you have to start with, all of us should remember that there are impaired people driving who have had no drugs and nothing to drink,,,,,I’m taking your keys away friend we’re walking.

Anybody else having post appear then disappear?? I have posted on this article a few times today and twice it was up, then down ten minutes later. Yet some stay???????

Don’t know about post disappearing but 50% of the thumbs I hit don’t register. Yesterday my posts weren’t showing up until I completely logged out of the site and even then there was a 10 minute delay at times.

I think some of my posts disappeared from the Cove article, maybe this site needs some tweaking. I’d like to see more comments from others too, seems like there are just a few of us fighting it out. Where is everyone else?

Hot dog, I was instructed to terminate a response to the cove article, but didn’t see it until I hit submit, oops, good thing it was an apology for cursing, my fault the times are changing and I can live without fowl language, I’m very glad the moderator did not terminate my I.P. address permanently, thanks Cal Coast for putting up with me, and understanding.

All good now. Thanks.

According to Vote Smart, a non-partisan voting record tracking site, Roy Ashburn voted against bills supporting the following issues. There are many more that further describe the sort of corporate loving, individual hating person he is.

Campaign finance reform

Harvey Milk day

Recognizing out of state same gender marriage

Expanding privacy rules for Californians

Wage discrimination reform

End of life options counseling by health providers

Anti discrimination laws concerning insurance policies

He is not only a pasty faced hypocrite and dangerous driver but a threat to the well being of Californians.

I’m not going to say that your conclusion about this fellow is wrong, but I definitely tend to think that the process you used to reach that conclusion is faulty.

In order to make such a judgement, you need to read more than the titles of the bills he voted against. Some of those bills could have been laden with riders and unrelated legislation. In addition to that, it’s very common for both parties to trap politicians from opposing parties into situations where they have to vote for or against a bill despite the fact that doing so will make them look like creeps simply because of the title of the bill or something else in it, like funding for troops. Sites listing voting records are part of this giant scam…. as if giving people a bill title and a vote was an honest representation of reality.

Without more information, it is also possible that this guy actually has a great deal of integrity and stands up for what’s right even at the risk of political games designed to manipulate voter perception. Again, I’m not saying that’s necessarily the case, what I am arguing is that it is TOTALLY misleading to call someone anti-gay because they voted against gay rights bills. The fact that I see all these statements about him being anti-gay, but have yet to find any bigoted or ignorant statements from him definitely makes me think people are just being narrow minded and over generalizing.

Now that’s a well-formed argument, and an intriguing one at that.

Good points-but I did read up on those bills a bit. I don’t have the time to do extensive research but he is clearly the typical Repo-always support big business against the average Joe. I urge any readers to go to some sites to see who he is.

Our country is sick because of the influence of the big special interests-medical, insurance, energy, banking and finance, military, religious-you name it. Those guys own the Repos, and often buy lots of Dems too. The special deals those industries get is sucking us dry, and the money they spend keeps us bickering amongst ourselves instead of kicking them outa town. They look down on us as suckers, and along with W.C Fields famous quip, “Never give a sucker an even break”, they could care less about the public good. Those lecherous politicos who are in bed with them ought to be shot. And Ashburn is their darling.

Mkaney stop!! All these well written opinions of yours are making all the repo haters think. You are challenging people to think with their minds besides there gut.

EXCELLENT – EXCELLENT – EXCELLENT, You are so right about all the “unrelated stuffing” that ends up in those bills. It should be illegal.

More emphasis is being put on his homosexuality than on the fact he committed a crime that endangered innocent people. His DUI should be the focus of this whole issue. A person who holds public office is supposed to represent his constituency and his vote should not be based wholly on his own personal agenda. Just because a person is married, would it be right for them to vote for more rights for married people? Just because he’s gay it does not make him a hypocrite for voting against gay rights legislation.

Lilylu, There is nothing enigmatic about a person that has one or two drinks too many and then uses faulty judgment. He has been charged for that faulty judgment and will pay a dear price for it just like everyone else who makes that mistake. I recall that you mentioned he was driving a State owned vehicle (our vehicle), this certainly adds to the considerations, particularly when we undoubtedly are the ones that pay for his insurance and that will have to be addressed, but there is no enigma there, just like it’s a “slam dunk” that the Senator is gay, it’s just a fact.

What’s interesting is the question of what he is thinking when he cast his votes. Don’t you think that we should be more concerned with who the Senator really is ?

Nancy, I drink to that.!!! Good Call !!!!!! WE ALL NEED TO TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT KEVIN MCCARTHY, not because he’s gay, but because of who payed him a bunch of money,,,, opps,,, wrong article,,, the ax is coming.

I agree with Racket.

I have yet to find any evidence of statements this guy has made AGAINST homosexuality or homosexuals, and even as a gay man I do not support hate crime laws, laws against discrimination based on sexual preference (except in government and businesses who receive government contracts), or any other such nonsense. Aside from marriage, what rights exactly do we not have that others do? As far as marriage, the state should simply stop using the term marriage, recognize all unions (same sex and opposite sex) as contracts, and leave the “marriage” definition to the individuals’ churches/social groups.

Just as I enjoy the right to do as I please, other should have the right to have or not have whoever the heck the want on their private property, in their employ, or in their businesses. I do reserve the right to judge them or protest them for being ignorant. I know that is an unpopular view, but all attempts to legislate morality (and hate-crime and anti-discrimination laws ARE legislating morality, though you might see morality only as legislating the opposite) are a slippery slope…creating precedences which can come back to bite you in the *ss later. Freedom works both ways.

If anyone can find any statements this legislator has made that were actually anti-gay please let me know.

As a gay man you certainly do raise some interesting points. As a flaming liberal I say the hate crime laws are helpful in a society full of ignorant bastards that would put down, insult or physically damage someone else because they are ‘different’. I don’t think rednecks are required to invite blacks or gays (or liberals) to their parties, the rich are not required to invite the poor to their orgies of extravagance. But in public life all our citizens should be on a level playing field.

What this (expletive deleted) guy has said certainly pales in light of his votes and influence to keep gays ‘in their place’. I wonder what other damage he might have done, aside from this issue.

Saying that he was trying to keep gays ‘in their place’ is a huge leap when you consider the other possibilities.. e.g. that he shares my sentiments, that he was simply trying to represent his consituency (as racket stated), or that he just had issues accepting himself… I doubt it is the latter though, as it seems like it was fairly well known by the gay community in Sac and he was known to go to clubs.

Well stated. This is why I hate the fact that we always make laws, upon laws, upon laws, which usually almost always have loopholes and ALWAYS as you stated have unintended consequenses.

This has got to be one of the most interesting, intriguing and thought provoking threads I’ve ever read ! Everybody is interesting ! There are so many points of view and they all have merit.

Cindy “Ashburn, a divorced father of four, is a well-known conservative firebrand who has voted repeatedly against gay rights legislation in California.” It’s almost as addictive as crack, this site that is, being Gay is a choice, obviously this Guy likes/liked policing himself, he wanted his homosexuality to stay well packed away in the closet. Maybe now after his untimely arrest he can a least be happy with himself for excuse the pun, coming clean, for it is plain to see this is 2010 and it is not dirty to be Gay or Lesbian anymore. Example I met the most unoffensive Gay young man at shell beach coming from a party, this guy was from a foreign country and from my prospective was accompanied by about ten drop dead gorges women, my reason for having a conversation with him, remember I am/was a homophobic cheseburger, this guy was clean wearing only white shorts, tan, and overall turned out to be very cool, although more interested in his friends,the girls, this Guy was a beautiful women in a man’s body. It shocked me that I had encountered a tabooed Gay person and truly enjoyed meeting the individual, and his friends.

mkaney, please keep posting. I may not completely agree with everything you say (a rarity among most people, anyway). But as a social conservative, I really enjoy pondering your viewpoints.

I also agree with your viewpoint about not supporting hate crime laws. There are laws already on the books without need for more. As I see it, all violent crimes are hateful, and justice sees no color or gender. If we could only administer the proper justice, we could actually get get somewhere.

Gee mkaney, As a registered non partisan who primarily identify’s with the Dem’s and Liberals (but sometimes Republican’s) I didn’t think anyone else thought like I did, until you came along!

Except I disagree when it comes to the hate crime laws. I really think we needed to implement those stiff laws. Not that it had any great effect on the hard liners like the KKK and the skin heads, but it did make it’s point with the kids that roam the streets and think it’s OK to attack someone who is different. Those types of crimes were becoming very serious and more prevalent. Hate crime among teenage boy’s is way down thanks to those laws, IMO.

As for anti-discrimination, I’ve always believed that an employer has a right to hire who he wants. I have often wondered how effective affirmative action was, sometimes I think it did more harm than good for the minorities. Rather than being credited for their achievements, they were often begrudgingly viewed as having it ‘handed to them’. I no longer hear those grumblings and affirmative action is longer in place either.

This story is captivating because it raises the question: Does the character of the politician matter? Or is his service to his constituents the only thing that should matter?

In this case it seems that the character of the politician is not what his voters would want. I will make an assumption: If a voter is against gay rights they would most likely not vote for a homosexual. So should voters be informed of a politician’s personal life? Does it matter as long as he/she votes in line with his platform. Interesting stuff.

I think it’s a conflict of interest issue and he should of excluded himself from the vote on Gay issues, might raise some eye brows, but he could still sleep at night, a real man does not say/do one thing and vote for another.

I’ve got a “long shot” for you:

Perhaps Ashburn should be lauded for standing on principle (eg against gay rights legislation), rather than changing his vote to accrue personal benefits.

We expect our electeds to vote for their interpretion of their constituents best interests. We do not elect them to vote exclusively in the manner that benefits them the most.

(I told you it was a Long Shot.)

This is a case of a self-hating homosexual.

Interesting take on it. Possible?? Maybe.

I would love to know the current number of anti-gay republicans that have been exposed or come out as gay.

How about the current number of republicans involved in the fleecing of America or Democrats for that matter one country, equals one party, all these parties, Green party, Blue Party, Peace Party, without divine unity in this country, we soon will have to give Texas, Florida, and Alaska to China, for the protection they have given this country regarding our growing world debt. Wake up and make up, put this non-bipartisan baloney behind us and grow before it’s to late, I can see Houston as China town in a heart beat.