Ashburn calls on Republicans to support gays
July 20, 2010
State Sen. Roy Ashburn, the conservative firebrand who recently admitted he was gay, is calling on fellow Republicans to wholeheartedly support civil rights for gays and lesbians. [San Francisco Chronicle]
Ashburn made the call in an essay published on a website run by the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, a group that supports gay and lesbian candidates for public office.
“Gay people being treated with respect and having the same opportunities for a good life regardless of sexual orientation should not be topics of political debate,” Ashburn wrote. “How can it possibly be that there is a partisan political divide over equal rights in America?”
The Bakersfield Republican had a strong and consistent voting record for years against gay rights. He was arrested for DUI last March after leaving a well-known gay bar in Sacramento. A few days later, Ashburn admitted he was gay on a Bakersfield radio station.
“I look back ow knowing there is so much more I could have done to inform the public about LGBT people and to fight for equal rights under the law. Regrettably and selfishly, I took another path in my life and political career — I chose to conceal who I truly am and to then actually vote against the best interests of people like me. All this was done because I was afraid — terrified, really — that somehow I would be revealed as gay.”
Ashburn wants his fellow Republicans to do the right thing by supporting equal rights for all gays and lesbians.
“If we truly believe the greatness of America is founded on the individual achievements of ordinary citizens acting with the maximum amount of personal liberty, then there should be no debate over where Republicans stand on the rights of LGBT Americans.”
A new California Field Poll reports that two-thirds of California Republicans disapprove of same-sex marriage.