Friday, March 5, 2010

Closets Kill....Come Out Senator Roy Ashburn

For those of you who haven't been following the online ruckus that has resulted from the DUI arrest of Bakersfield senator Roy Ashburn I don't blame you...I have barely had time to offhandedly scan the internet myself and only heard about it when it was broadcast on a local radio station. Needless to say I sprayed my coffee all over the windshield of my minivan as couldn't believe what I had just heard...they really should warn you to put down your cell phones and beverages before announcing that kind of stuff....sheesh.

The it has emerged and reported in at least two queerty articles. The first breaking the story and the second clarifying details of the story and adding video testimony from West Sacramento Mayer Christopher Cabaldon. As I understand it Senator Ashburn was pulled pulled over and arrested on a DUI charge. It was reported that he had just left a local gay bar and that he had a male companion in the care with him at the time of the incident...AND he the Senator did all this in a state vehicle. You know you have to really be weaving badly to get pulled over in a car with state plates. Why is this a big deal? Because Senator Ashburn has been very outspokenly anti-gay in his duties as a Senator. He's fond of using the "traditional values/ gay marriage hurts kids" line to garner support in his ver conservative inland California senate district. He has been a consistent voice against gay marriage in California including, voting against a Senate resolution declaring Prop 8 an unconstitutional act. He also voted against California recognizing Same-sex marriages performed out of state. He voted against the creation of a holiday honoring Harvey Mile...three times!...and also voted against including sexual orientation as a protected class in the states insurance laws. He uses his voting record as his beard...we get it.

The circumstances surrounding his arrest leave him alot of room for denial. The owner of the bar in which he was arrested gave a statement that he did not remember seeing Ashburn in the bar on the night of his arrest...notice he did not say that he had ever seen Ashburn in his bar. Fair enough he serves alot of people and may not be aware of  who Ashburn is....its also possible that the Senators staff have been on the phone with him encouraging that memory loss. Also, the passenger of car isn't speaking up which leaves us to guess what they might have been doing at the time. So, without anyone to say that he had intoxicated himself at that establishment he could squash the gay rumor pretty cleanly.....exept for two things....

Local media already had an idea he was gay. Lois Henry of the Bakersfield Californian asked the Senator about his sexuality. his response:

"Why would that be anyone's business? Including The Californian's? I think there are certain subjects that are simply not relevant and this is one of them. It has no bearing on the job I do."

This would never be the response a straight man would give. This is closetgay avoidance manuever#2  and, in poker terms...a tell (#1 being the pronoun game).

The second item putting Senator Ashburns actions back into question are statements made by  openly gay West Sacramento Mayor, Christopher Cabaldon claiming that he has seen the Senator at gay venues on more than one occasion. Queerty includes a clip from local t.v. news CBS 13 in which the Mayor reports that he has spoken up before on the issue via facebook:

My question is...if Mr Ashburn has been voting this way all along and still participating in gay life, why has his sexuality been allowed to be the elephant in the room for so long. Is outing someone so taboo to gay men and women that we will allow our community to be hurt so much for so long before we finally say "enough is enough"? Did anyone recognize Senator Ashburn for who he was...I'm not sure I would had it not been for his DUI arrest and the scandal it generated. And the deeper question...did anyone care? If your no where near caring about marriage would you have said something about the Senators actions?
"It wouldn't bother me so bad to see Roy Ashburn at Badlands with a boy if he didn't have such a bad voting record on gay rights"

The senator is a divorced father of four...and now known to drive under the influence of alcohol. I sincerely hope we don't hear anymore "traditional values" speaches used against the gay community in the future as Senator Ashburn has lost the ability to stand on that platform just on the basis of his DUI.

I suspect that he will be able to pull a Charlie Crist and deny that the circumstances had anything to do with his sexuality...or that his sexuality in anyway has a bearing on his politics....which, of does. But we now know and the people of California know. I do not wish to damage or villify this man...even though he has done that to us. However, he is still activily engaged in hurting the gay community, in all its variations, while at the same time trying to live within that community undercover. That can't continue if we ever want to see the day when our lives are treated with equal respect under the law. Lawmakers like Senator Ashburn must be allowed to use their voices and influence to damage the gay community while at the same time expecting to be in its shadows. For this reason the truth needs to be known.


  1. As I wrote elsewhere, when it comes to hypocrisy - which is not exclusive to just straights, there are gay activists and bloggers just as hypocritical, if not more so - it's easier for people to be ignorant than actually do something, like contact someone. In this case, it would be posting a message on their facebook and doing alot of assuming as if it were an easy button or something.

  2. Pathetic closet cases..they are so pitiful. Seriously, I could just scream!! These politicians are the reason I cannot marry my partner here in Ohio. They are against gay marriage but getting trashed in a bar and going to a hotel and getting laid with a guy is fine! Shame on this creep!! I have said this before but it is proving itself over and over. One of the biggest obstacles to gay rights in this country are closeted married gay men. They are so miserable in their life choices they want to deny gay people who are out and happy their rights.... I seriously believe straight men could care least the ones I know. Moral of the story: Next time you see a politician who is vehemently against anything gay..and proudly displaying his wedding ring...BEWARE!!! That is the rule of not vote for him!

  3. Ugh! I. do. not. understand. these. kind. of. people!!! Of all the beards he could possibly use to stay closeted he really has to resort to hateful and discriminatory legislation?! REALLY???

  4. This is disgusting, it is also a hard question because on one hand they are actively fighting against and hurting our rights and then at the same time going out in "secret" into the community and hocking up getting their jollies, before going back home to their wives and families. It's like they create the 300 lbs gerla in the room when they do that, and they deserve to be called out on it, but on the other coming out should be a personal decision. It's hard because they are actively hurting the community, being openly hypocritical, and deserve to be called out on it the same as any politician.

  5. In the next to last sentence, you left out a "not".

  6. I read about this guy in the news.

    What an absolute cunt, he deserves a good kick in the nuts.

    It may be okay for 13 year olds to pretend extreme homophobia to avoid being thought gay but it isn't for middle aged politicians.

  7. According to the BBC, Ashburn has admitted he's a homosexual in a radio interview..Well duh! However, he also blamed his constituents for his voting record, "Mr Ashburn said his votes reflected the way his constituents wanted him to vote, not his own "internal conflict"." Way to stay classy and take responsibility. He further states he won't run for public office after his term is up. Total tool.

    Bryan-hope you and Jay are surviving second parenthood-just watched your video and I can't tell who looks more exhausted. PS. Your house looks clean:)

  8. “Family Values” California state senator representing Kern County, Republican Roy Ashburn (guess how he votes on gay issues?), goes to a gay bar near the Capital, picks up a scantily clad buddy, gets drunk, drives and receives a DUI. In my opinion the Republican Party has been taken over small portions of the republican party of “birthers, baggers and blowhards” (people who love to push their beliefs on others while trying to take away rights of those they just hate) and that’s who they need to extract from their party if they real want to win. Good Luck, because as they said in WACO, “We Ain’t Coming Out”. They are good at “Follow the Leader”. They listen to their dullard leaders Beck, Hedgecock, Hannity, O’Reilly, Rush and Savage and the rest of the Blowhards. The world is complicated and most republicans (Hamiliton, Lincoln, Roosevelt) believe that we should use government a little to increase social mobility, now its about dancing around the claim that government is the problem. The sainted Reagan passed the biggest tax increase in American history and as a result federal employment increased, but facts are lost when mired in mysticism and superstition. Although most republicans are trying to distant themselves from this fringe they have a long way to go. I guess Ashburn is the first on the list “2010 Republican Summer of Love”. Remember last year list of “2009 Republican Summer of Love”: state assemblyman, Michael D. Duvall (CA), Senator John Ensign (NV), Senator Paul Stanley (TN), Governor Mark Stanford (SC), SC Board of Ed Chair, Kristin Maguire (AKA Bridget Keeney). Do I hear Tammy Wynette, “Stand By Your Man” playing in the background? I remember not so long ago that other Orange County song favorite, “Stand By Your Tan” (for Tan Nguyen). But that’s another Orange County fool.

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  10. @ Monkeysee...

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  12. OMG the hypocrisy of politicians again I say why not just shoot them and be done this chimp is voting on your rights when in secret getting his rocks off with a guy...unbelievable and its not just in the US but in most other countries ... this makes my blood boil...Im going to tell you whom you can marry but Im going to do what I want when I want
    who would actually want to vote for this GIT again