There was a lot of laughter after California state senator Roy Ashburn got nabbed for DUI outside Faces, a gay club in Sacramento. Ashburn’s a Republican and has voted against gay rights measures and attended at least one anti-gay-marriage rally, so his arrest was considered an easy, right-wing-hypocrite gag in the tradition of Larry Craig.
But Ashburn, who’s coming back from a leave of absence from his job, seems to have decided to hell with it, and today deployed the G-bomb: “I am gay,” he said on a local radio show today.
“We’ll work on getting the audio as soon as possible,” says California’s FlashReport.
Ashburn maintains that nothing about his orientation impacts his job — and, though saying “the words… have been so difficult for me for so long,” he indicated that admitting it won’t change how he votes, either. “I believe firmly that my responsibility is to my constituents,” he said. ” I will take a careful look at each measure and apply that standard. How would they vote on this?”
“What tiny bit of pity I had for Ashburn (and I did have a sliver),” says gayblogger Joe My God, “is now completely gone. Somebody start a Facebook group: 1,000,000 Gay Men Against Roy Ashburn Having Sex Ever Again.”
Ashburn is barred by term limits from running for reelection, but this move could be his shot at the big time. How great for the GOP would it be to have an openly gay anti-gay Congressman or Senator? It would be an identity-politics coup for the forces of repression. It might also encourage other Republicans caught in gay situations to declare themselves homosexual, and then explain that they are firmly against giving gay people civil liberties, not because they are ungenerous, but because they despise themselves.