Calif. Senate Gay Rights Foe Comes Out of Closet

Roy Ashburn admits he's gay after DUI arrest, media frenzy
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2010 2:10 AM CST
Updated Mar 9, 2010 6:43 AM CST
Calif. Senate Gay Rights Foe Comes Out of Closet
State Sen. Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield, is seen in this booking photo taken last week after his DUI arrest.    (AP Photo/Sacramento County Sheriff's Department)

(Newser) – Republican Roy Ashburn has capped a career battling gay rights in the California State Senate by coming out of the closet. "I am gay. Those are the words that have been so difficult for me for so long," Ashburn told a conservative radio host, addressing rumors that he had left a gay nightclub shortly before his arrest on drunk driving charges last week. "Through my own actions, I made my personal life public," said Ashburn, a divorced father of four.

Ashburn—who voted against numerous gay rights measures in his 14-year senate career—insisted that his votes reflected the wishes of his Bakersfield constituents. "It's unfortunate he helped spread the bigotry that forced him to stay in the closet," said the head of Equality California, a group supporting gay marriage. Ashburn announced months age that he won't be seeking re-election when his term expires this year, the Los Angeles Times notes.
(Read more Roy Ashburn stories.)

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