Sacramento Bee reported via the Associated Press yesterday that Sen. Ashburn decided to face the music and came out on a live radio broadcast.
I'm sure this is going to be fodder for all sorts of condemnation from the right-wing nut-jobs and we might even see the self-loathers from the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud embrace Ashburn as a conservative gay icon for bravely coming out while not compromising his values. That makes about as much sense as praising singer George Michael for bravely coming out after getting busted in a public men's room for soliciting BJ's from an undercover cop. Oh wait, that actually happened.
From the Sacramento Bee: Ashburn, who consistently voted against gay rights measures during his 14 years in the state Legislature, came out in an interview with KERN radio in Bakersfield, the area he represents.
Ashburn said he felt compelled to address rumors that he had visited a gay nightclub near the Capitol before his DUI arrest. "I am gay ... those are the words that have been so difficult for me for so long," Ashburn told conservative talk show host Inga Barks. The 55-year-old father of four said he had tried to keep his personal life separate from his professional life until his March 3 arrest.
"When I crossed the line and broke the law and put people at risk, that's different, and I do owe people an explanation," he said. Ashburn was arrested after he was spotted driving erratically near the Capitol, according to the California Highway Patrol. Shelly Orio, a spokeswoman from the Sacramento County district attorney's office, said a breath test showed the senator's blood-alcohol level was .14 percent, or .06 points above the legal limit.
The next day, reports surfaced that Ashburn had left Faces, a gay nightclub, with an unidentified man in the passenger seat of his Senate-owned vehicle. "The best way to handle that is to be truthful and to say to my constituents and all who care that I am gay," he said. "But I don't think it's something that has affected, nor will it affect, how I do my job."
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