Closeted Gay Politicians a 'Sad Cliche'

Hypocrites like Roy Ashburn aren't truly serving the people
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2010 5:22 AM CST
In this photo provided by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, state Sen. Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield, is seen in this booking photo.   (AP Photo/Sacramento County Sheriff's Department)
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(Newser) – When California State Senator Roy Ashburn came out of the closet following a DUI arrest this week, he made a curious argument about his virulently anti-gay voting record: He justified it by saying that it “reflects the wishes of the people in my district.” Meghan McCain finds it fascinating that Ashburn “seems to think there is a delineation between the public and private lives of an elected official,” she writes in the Daily Beast.

Yes, an elected official is there to serve his constituency. “But that only works if there is transparency and honesty. If Barney Frank votes against an anti-gay discrimination measure, at least voters know he is gay.” In the end, Ashburn is “just another cliché, another Republican forced out of the closet who offered a self-loathing apology.” It shouldn’t be this hard to be a gay politician in America, but being a “sad hypocrite” isn’t the answer.

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