State Sen. Roy Ashburn (R-Calif.), the fierce opponent of gay rights who was arrested last week for drunk driving after leaving a gay nightclub, confirmed in a radio interview Monday that he is gay. "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."
Here's how broken he is:
In 2005, Ashburn, who is divorced and has four children, co-hosted a "traditional values" rally in support of amending the state constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. The proposed amendment's language also likely would have nullified the state's domestic-partnership law.
Ashburn also opposed the state's proclamation of Harvey Milk Day, state laws that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, a resolution supporting repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and a variety of other measures supportive of gay people. He reportedly supported Proposition 8, the 2008 ballot measure via which voters amended the state constitution to repeal gays' right to marry ...
Will he vote any differently now?
"I believe firmly that my responsibility is to my constituents," Ashburn said. "And so, on each measure that may come before me, I will take a careful look at it and apply that standard. How would my constituents vote on this? How would they have me vote on this?"
Interviewer: "What do you want us to do with this information, Roy?"
"I would ask people to pray for me," Ashburn said.
Interviewer: "Are you going to live this _way_ in your district? I don't know how to ask you the question."
"I pray to God that I can find peace," Ashburn said. "I want to go back to work in the Senate and work hard for the people who sent me to the Legislature. We have tough times in California, a lot to do, and I want to get back to work. ... Now you know everything about me."