Ashburn remains on “personal leave”
March 7, 2010
Republican state Senator Roy Ashburn remains on a self-imposed personal leave, at least through Monday, following his high-profile DUI bust last week in Sacramento. [San Francisco Chronicle]
Ashburn, 55, was arrested and booked into Sacramento County Jail on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol just after 2 a.m. Wednesday. The conservative senator was driving his state-issued vehicle at the time of his arrest and reportedly had another man in the car with him.
Sacramento TV stations are reporting that Ashburn spent the night at Faces, a large gay dance club only a few blocks from where the senator, a single father of four, was stopped.
Multiple sources told the Chronicle that Ashburn has been seen regularly at local gay bars. One eyewitness is Christopher Calbadon, the mayor of West Sacramento, who is openly gay.
Ashburn, who has served in the Legislature since 1996, has consistently voted against bills that would expand legal protections for gay, lesbians, bisexual, and trans-gender Californians. He is considered among the most staunchest anti-gay legislators.
Geoff Kors, the executive director of Equality California, said that Ashburn has “one of the worst records of anyone in the Legislature” for expanding rights of LGBT people. Kors also indicated that Ashburn has refused multiple requests to even meet with the gay rights advocacy group in the past.
Bakersfield media have been peppering Ashburn with questions about his sexuality since 2004, without getting a firm response.
However, Charles Moran of Log Cabin Republicans, a national gay Republican group, predicts that Ashburn will still be dogged by his arrest. “The scandal will continue as long as he continues to be dodgy about personal aspects of his life.”