California State Sen. Roy Ashburn, the ex-closeted gay drunk with a history of moving against queer Californians, is finally saying he’s sorry for his voting record. Sorry Roy, not good enough.
“My practice in my entire political career when it came to gay issues was to prevent any kind of spotlight from being shined my way, because I was in hiding,” he tells NBC Los Angeles. “So casting any kind of vote might, could in some way, lead to my secret being revealed. That was terrifying to me. It was paralyzing. So I cast some votes that have denied gay people of their basic, equal treatment under the law, and I’m not proud of it. I’m not going to do that again.”
Do you know what that soundbite is? It’s an on the record admission that he violated the oath he swore to when he took office. That he used his position of power to infringe upon the rights of others while serving personal desires. That he committed public service malpractice.
(Ashburn just got done voting for a measure supporting the end of DADT, but did not put his vote behind a bill that would help clarify clergy members do not have to perform civil marriages.)
And that despite every urge we have to give this guy a break, because he is a human, a gay human, and apt to make mistakes — he deserves no sympathy when it comes to what he helped contribute to: a less accepting, more divisive and discriminatory society.
“I’m sorry for that,” he tells the Bakersfield Californian. “In the past, I didn’t want to even vote on a gay rights bill because I didn’t want to bring the spotlight on myself since I had a big secret to keep. Most of the time I would leave the chamber and come back to vote no. I didn’t even know what was in the bills.”
Disgusting. A state lawmaker openly admitting he was willfully ignorant on the bills he was voting on so he could hide his little secret? That he was actively failing his job duties and his responsibility to his constituents so he could hide in the hallways?
He may not run for re-election, but he doesn’t deserve another single day with “Sen.” in front of his name.