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Is It Time to Leave CA Sen. Roy Ashburn Alone?

Ever since California State Sen. Roy Ashburn’s DUI arrest, we’ve learned he is a staunch opponent to gay equality, and a giant homosexual. But in the days since he blew well above a .08, he’s attempted to make amends. “I appreciate you,” he told constituents in a radio interview. “I believe that it’s an amazing responsibility and privilege to represent you in Sacramento.” It was during that same interview that Ashburn came out. “I am gay,” he said. “Those are the words that have been so difficult for me for so long.” So while Ashburn handles what’s arguably a private matter (misdemeanor DUI charges; coming out), and we’ve got to the bottom of his voting record (while he may be gay, he says his “votes reflect the wishes of the people in my district”), is it time to give Roy Ashburn some peace from persecution?

No.

He is still serving out his term.
Even though term limits will keep him from running again, and this scandal will keep him from a U.S. House run, he’s still keeping his California State Senate seat. Should he be pressured to resign over a misdemeanor DUI charge? Nah. He’s an asshat for driving while intoxicated, and by no means are we excusing the seriousness of the crime. People die because of drunk drivers. But he should resign because he’s a terrible human being and is voting against the interests of Californians. This is bigger than Ashburn, a gay man, voting against gay equality, the same way this situation would be bigger if Ashburn was a Latino politician voting against race-based hate crimes protections. We have a politician who is inflicting harm on his constituents, and now that he’s been exposed and showered with criticism, it’s time to bow out.

He’s unrepentant for voting against gays.
But we actually care very little about Ashburn voting against us while being gay himself. Ashburn’s own sexuality is immaterial here. He is a lawmaker who repeatedly voted against equal rights. A society must hold equality above every other tenant — above the ability to create jobs, bring back pork to the district, make schools better and streets safer. There is no functioning society unless every man and woman is considered equal, has the same say in a democracy, and enjoys the same rights and privileges as anyone else. (This is why Joe Scarborough’s argument about “obsessing” over gay marriage reveals him to be a flagrant imbecile.) Thus, there is no excuse to let someone serve in office if he does not believe in civil rights. Ashburn isn’t just a hypocrite. He is a cancer.

Just because he’s out doesn’t mean he’s our friend.
Asked whether he’s affected by criticism that he’s a hypocrite, Ashburn says, “I believe firmly that my responsibility is to my constituents. On each measure that may come before me, I will take a careful look at it, and apply that standard: How would my constituents vote on this?” That he lets what he thinks voters are thinking guide his lawmaking is fine — except when it comes to equality. Then his votes deserve common sense, for the same reason giving women the right to vote did, and allowing interracial marriage. Moreover, for the same reason that Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, as a Latina woman and raised since age nine by her mother, is not more qualified for her position but can be assumed to be better able to relate to the populous, so too could you expect a gay politician to understand why it’s so important for adults and children and families be equipped with one simple request: equality. But Ashburn just admitted he would fail on that account. “I voted as I felt I should on behalf of the people who elected me,” he says. Even if he should have understood, first hand, why those votes were atrocious.

Ashburn might not be a terrible human being, but he’s a plague as a lawmaker. And we don’t want him on our team.

By:           editor editor
On:           Mar 9, 2010
Tagged: , , , , , , ,

  • 56 Comments
    • Griffin
      Griffin

      Dude is evil!

      Mar 9, 2010 at 2:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Count Chocula
      Count Chocula

      No, it isn’t time to cut the self-hating loser any slack. It has only been a few days since his scandal broke. Unless you are gay or living in California, you still would not have heard this story. He is lucky so far. In this day and age, he should have known better. Was he simply waiting to get caught? Well, that day has arrived.

      I think that every gay outlet should at least wait a year before making him their poster child for all things gay and wonderful. When that happens, and it will, I’ll still throw him shade. On paper, Ashburn has made it clear that he doesn’t support the community. I’ll be saddened to see the community turn around and welcome this broken vessel with open arms. We are so selective, aren’t we? What we are willing to do to have someone with status added to our ranks. Just sad.

      Mar 9, 2010 at 2:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ionos
      ionos

      This piece of human excrement should be BANNED from every gay establishment in CA.

      Having said that, he is no better or no worse than thousands of self-loathing gay men whose hookup profiles proudly claim that they are “straight-acting” or “masc”, or who say they are “turned off by femmes”, or the ones who would do anything to sleep with “straight/bi married men” – all are examples of internalized homophobia. Only in this schmuck’s case, he had the power to screw up others lives because of his fucked-up personality.

      Mar 9, 2010 at 2:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tazz
      tazz

      NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT!

      The LGBT community is WAYYYYY to forgiving to scumbags like these, and the idea that we should forgive them will just give credence to other self-loathing anti-gay morons that, even if found out, the LGBT community will just “forget” about everything.

      Let’s send a strong message that if you simply discriminate in order to appease to your constituency you shouldn’t expect the ‘other side’ to forgive you when you’re found out…make them understand their actions will result in no sides to be on.

      I hope we as a community do not make such a stupid mistake in cutting this guy ANY slack

      Mar 9, 2010 at 2:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Geoff M
      Geoff M

      NO.

      Mar 9, 2010 at 2:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sen. Roy "The Lain Papi" Ashburn
      Sen. Roy "The Lain Papi" Ashburn

      “Hi, my name is Roy Ashburn and I voted against gays because my constituants told me to, even though voting for them would take away my civil rights, as I am a homosexual!

      Oh well! are there any latin guys here who want to get together for a drink… in my bedroom?”

      Mar 9, 2010 at 2:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Freddie
      Freddie

      Don’t forget the other offenses; he’s old and ugly.

      Mar 9, 2010 at 2:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RM
      RM

      We should hammer EVERY anti-gay politician.

      Mar 9, 2010 at 3:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Milkman
      The Milkman

      He’s a reprehensible turd, and should be banned for life from gay bars all over the country. End of story.

      Mar 9, 2010 at 3:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tom D Frog
      Tom D Frog

      Hell no. If his vote was to reflect his constituents then his constituents would probably not have elected him had he been out. He has been a fraud and should be recalled.

      Some start warming up some Tar.

      Mar 9, 2010 at 3:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      I wouldn’t cut a HETROSEXUAL with his voting record on gay issues any slack….why would I cut a closeted gay man slack for voting to make mine and his own life more dangerous?

      Mar 9, 2010 at 3:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • lander
      lander

      I’m just happy this little troll didn’t kill anyone when he was out driving drunk. But he deserves no sympathy. Being gay to him was always a secretive nightly drunken booze fest. I’m sure he always voted for things he could align himself with in the daylight ; “Straight” people concerns, but when the most important social initiatives came across his power desk what did he do ? He smoked crack!

      Mar 9, 2010 at 4:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • caad4
      caad4

      NEVER. Hateful, fearful, self loathing gay who not only punishes himself, but every single one of us. “Internal conflict” my ass.

      Mar 9, 2010 at 4:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dirty Ole Man
      Dirty Ole Man

      What a SORRY sack of SHIT this one is!
      I just saw the news reports on CNN that states
      his admission to being Gay….

      Damn I hate hypocrites!

      Mar 9, 2010 at 5:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bruno
      Bruno

      I’m thinking this means Kirby can make “Outrage, Part Deux.” I might feel a little sorry for him if he realizes that he has all types of constituents, even in Bakershell.

      Mar 9, 2010 at 5:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • BobP
      BobP

      Cut him slack? NEVER. He should be banned from every gay establishment. He’s nothing more than a traitor to gay people everywhere.

      Mar 9, 2010 at 5:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Johnny
      Johnny

      This man is living so deep in denial he cannot see the false logic and self-loathing he embraces.

      Says he’s gay, goes to gay clubs, presumably sleeps with men and then takes as strong an anti-gay stance as can be when it come to voting? How sick can you be? Then to blame your constituents for your lack of compassion, understanding and decency? What rock do his constituents live under? Why would you want to represent and facilitate their hateful and harmful views?

      Roy Ashburn is delusional to think he represents anyone with a brain. It’s creepy to think someone would not only vote against the best interest of his fellow citizens, but to vote against his very being and then try and suggest he’s carrying out the wishes of other people.

      Roy you are sick! I’m sorry, but you need help!

      Mar 9, 2010 at 6:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sam
      Sam

      There are 14 year old gay boys, coming out of the closet, with more courage than Roy Ashburn.

      I wonder if any of them are his constituents? How did this person get elected to anything? His balls are the size of BBs.

      Mar 9, 2010 at 6:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      QUEERTY: “Ashburn might not be a terrible human being, but he’s a plague as a lawmaker.” … while the data only goes back a few years, see http://www.votesmart.org/voting_category.php?can_id=9694 for information about Ashburn’s voting record.

      You can select specific categories. For Civil Liberties and Civil Rights, there were 17 bills listed and he voted “no” on 16. Some of the “no” votes were against restrictions (e.g., prohibiting text messaging while driving, prohibiting smoking at state park beaches, banning underage-driver cellphone use). He voted against a law prohibiting language discrimination, recognizing (in some form) out-of-state same-sex marriages, Harvey Milk Day, etc. He voted in favor of a bill granting “access to Police misconduct investigations”. He wanted to continue to be able to fire state employees for being communists.

      For the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity category, which partially overlaps the Civil Rights one, there were 6 bills listed. Three were for Harvey Milk day, one was recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages, one was a statement of opposition to Proposition 8, and one was an expansion of anti-discrimination laws. The latter was a bill that “expands anti-discrimination laws with respect to insurance policies and government services to include additional characteristics, including age, medical conditions, disabilities, marital status, and sexual orientation.” Ashburn voted “no” on all of them.

      While you may not like his votes, those had no effect on the outcomes – it wasn’t close enough for one person to make a difference in whether a bill passed or failed.

      The link given above shows that he sponsored or co-sponsored three bills. One as about juveniles – access to welfare. Another was about presidential primaries, and a third was about a redistricting commission. Nothing involving gay rights was listed.

      Roy Ashburn may be confused, conflicted, and (for now) generally in need of a chauffeur. But he’s not the reincarnation of Proposition 22 author Pete Knight. Maybe “he never thought of thinking for himself at all” regarding gay rights, but from a practical standpoint, he didn’t really do any damage – had he stayed home in bed, the outcomes would have been the same.

      Basically, he’s a sideshow. He’s no more “public enemy number one” than someone who throws a snowball and misses the target.

      Mar 9, 2010 at 6:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Synnerman
      Synnerman

      He’s evil and should be hounded for helping to ruin the lives of gay people in California.

      Mar 9, 2010 at 7:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David in Houston
      David in Houston

      “Ashburn might not be a terrible human being, but he’s a plague as a lawmaker.”

      No, he IS a terrible human being and should be treated as such. He will get ZERO forgiveness from me, for all the damage he has done to the gay community. I hope he is treated like a pariah from both sides for the rest of his miserable self-loathing life.

      Mar 9, 2010 at 7:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shade
      Shade

      Head on a spike

      Mar 9, 2010 at 8:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 20 · Synnerman wrote, “He’s evil and should be hounded for helping to ruin the lives of gay people in California.”

      … that’s probably overreacting given how little he actually did – far less than Arnold Schwarzenegger, who vetoed some LGBT bills and thus single-handedly blocked them. Why are people all in a tither about this ineffectual state senator but giving the governor a free pass?

      There’s one question nobody has asked Ashburn – how did he vote on Proposition 8 (in 2008) and Proposition 22 (in 2000)? He was representing only himself for those votes. Now, he could refuse to answer because it is a secret ballot, and there is no way of checking (at least, if election laws are followed), but if he doesn’t answer, that will raise even more questions, and any answer will be unpopular with someone. So it is an interesting one to ask, just to see how he would react.

      Mar 9, 2010 at 8:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jakob
      jakob

      If Roy doesn’t think his own sexuality has anything to do with how he votes, does his job or lives his life, why should that be any different for any other gay person in California or America or world?

      There’s the disconnect and he’s got a sick and twisted logic to justify his life and work. It’s okay for him to live his life as a closeted gay man, but not okay for the boys he’s picking up in the bars to live their lives in the open as people free of discrimination.

      SIck Sick Sick!

      Mar 9, 2010 at 8:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lukas P.
      Lukas P.

      @B: Thanks for the info on Ashburn’s voting record. He voted the party line, it appears.
      No surprise, as he is a coward.

      I don’ t see how he could have any political career left, but the only way I could cut him any slack is by how much of an advocate he becomes for LGB causes–in or out of politics.

      Based on his actions and justifcations to date, I see no cause for hope that he has —or will — see the light.

      His shame over being gay appears to run very very deep, IMHO, and that may take a long time to get through for him, if ever. I’m not one of those people who advocates for psychotherapy for every bump on the road [because most folks are resilient, and many learn from their mistakes] but I think in this situation, the man could benefit from some serious help — after he pays for his crimes. That whole drunk driving thing is itself scandalous and morally wrong.
      Could he not afford a cab?

      Mar 9, 2010 at 9:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 25 · Lukas P. wrote, “That whole drunk driving thing is itself scandalous and morally wrong.” … that’s the one thing where criticism is really warranted. He did, however, admit that it was his responsibility and isn’t asking for any special treatment. It’s not like he could have said anything else and gotten away with it, though.

      His fear of being outed may have contributed to his drunk driving – if he had left a state-leased car at FACES, it would have been really obvious: the only car there and a special license plate indicating that the car belonged to a state senator. The next morning, someone would certainly have noticed and taken a picture. It’s not clear if he could have let his companion drive – that guy might have been equally intoxicated.

      I know one straight guy who got caught drunk driving after spending an evening at a casino near Lake Tahoe – they kept pouring drinks in the hopes that he would gamble and he lost track and didn’t realize how drunk he was. He ended up totaling his car, but fortunately it was a single-vehicle, single-occupant accident with no injuries and no damage to anyone else’s property. He was very remorseful. That he survived without an injury was statistically unlikely – the car manage to twist and turn so that when he hit the inevitable unmovable object, the trunk hit first, allowing the seat and head rest to support him. That was pure luck – the vehicle was completely out of control.

      I don’t know how easy it is to get a cab in Sacramento that time of night – you’d have to ask someone who lives there. Once, after an event in San Francisco that ended well after midnight, there were lots of people lined up waiting for cabs and it took forever to get one (this was not in the downtown area – more on the outskirts). I gave a couple of people a ride, but it would probably have been a long wait for them otherwise. Sacramento is probably worse – it’s in an auto-centric part of the state. Here’s a review from someone not particularly pleased with taxi service in that city (at least from one company): http://www.yelp.com/biz/yellow-cab-sacramento-2#hrid:Ta5h2AHbGqtnlXPg3Hbskg/src:search/query:taxi cabs .

      Mar 9, 2010 at 10:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • blackball
      blackball

      He is the definition of a troll.

      Mar 9, 2010 at 11:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • blackball
      blackball

      I never get people who assume leadership roles or who have careers in the public spotlight can be such PUSSIES when it comes to having the courage to live your life truthfully.

      Mar 9, 2010 at 11:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B [Different person #1 using similar name]

      In No. 25 · Lukas P. wrote, “That whole drunk driving thing is itself scandalous and morally wrong.” … that’s the one thing where criticism is really warranted. He did, however, admit that it was his responsibility and isn’t asking for any special treatment. It’s not like he could have said anything else and gotten away with it, though.

      His fear of being outed may have contributed to his drunk driving – if he had left a state-leased car at FACES, it would have been really obvious: the only car there and a special license plate indicating that the car belonged to a state senator. The next morning, someone would certainly have noticed and taken a picture. It’s not clear if he could have let his companion drive – that guy might have been equally intoxicated.

      I know one straight guy who got caught drunk driving after spending an evening at a casino near Lake Tahoe – they kept pouring drinks in the hopes that he would gamble and he lost track and didn’t realize how drunk he was. He ended up totaling his car, but fortunately it was a single-vehicle, single-occupant accident with no injuries and no damage to anyone else’s property. He was very remorseful. That he survived without an injury was statistically unlikely – the car manage to twist and turn so that when he hit the inevitable unmovable object, the trunk hit first, allowing the seat and head rest to support him. That was pure luck – the vehicle was completely out of control.

      I don’t know how easy it is to get a cab in Sacramento that time of night – you’d have to ask someone who lives there. Once, after an event in San Francisco that ended well after midnight, there were lots of people lined up waiting for cabs and it took forever to get one (this was not in the downtown area – more on the outskirts). I gave a couple of people a ride, but it would probably have been a long wait for them otherwise. Sacramento is probably worse – it’s in an auto-centric part of the state. Here’s a review from someone not particularly pleased with taxi service in that city (at least from one company): http://www.yelp.com/biz/yellow-cab-sacramento-2#hrid:Ta5h2AHbGqtnlXPg3Hbskg/src:search/query:taxi cabs .

      Mar 9, 2010 at 11:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles
      Charles

      He threw my brothers and my sisters and myself under the bus. Shame on him. He deserves no sympathy and should not be left alone. End of story.

      Mar 10, 2010 at 2:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lukas P.
      Lukas P.

      @Charles: Please tell us more about what happened to your siblings. Thanks.

      Mar 10, 2010 at 4:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Zach
      Zach

      NO, he deserves all the scorn and contempt he can get.
      He caused damage to countless members of the GLBT community and him coming out now won’t change that fact.

      Mar 10, 2010 at 7:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mikeincleveland
      mikeincleveland

      Ashburn represents a silent chunk of older gay men that just don’t care about the civil rights issue as much as the younger gay generations do, flatly put.

      sure, there are many vocal, active gay men that came out in the 70′s to 90′s that do care incredibly about LGBT civil equality and thank god the community has them out there still writing and protesting and calling into talk shows to push back against the generation of gay men (and women) that prefer to “keep things to themselves” (just like how they grew up.)

      that’s why, to a chunk of those older silent men, they don’t care about gay marriage and the lot because they just can’t comprehend themselves in that sort of position- ever. so, from an entirely self-centered standpoint, it’s more about fitting in and not standing out in every day society so they can get ahead without a lot of waves being kicked up in the water, so to speak.

      to them, it’s still 1980, not 2010.

      they just don’t get it.

      these are the same types that hang out in public parks looking to get laid (and then get caught, show up on local tv and then a bunch of independent voters think, “Wow, these gays are perverts..”)

      a dying off generation of closeted people who, in this day and age, deserve no more sympathy and hand-holding.

      plus, they vote because their taxes are too high, not because they don’t want young jimmy to get kicked out of his apartment because his landlord figured out he was gay.

      the men that own Manhunt are from this latter example. (google it)

      because the bar owner of that gay club that new Ashburn was gay even though he was voting against gay marriage wouldn’t open his mouth and help the community as a whole (again, selfishly thinking “paying customer”), maybe it’s time we just start calling those that cover for those that work against us and who are us too part of the problem…too.

      Mar 10, 2010 at 9:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      No. 31 · mikeincleveland said..

      because the bar owner of that gay club that new Ashburn was gay even though he was voting against gay marriage wouldn’t open his mouth and help the community as a whole (again, selfishly thinking “paying customer”), maybe it’s time we just start calling those that cover for those that work against us and who are us too part of the problem…too.
      ___________

      I agree that we need to start calling out those that cover for those people. however, for the bar owner there is another explanation. Under Ca. law a bar is liable for customers that get into trouble, DUI’s accidents etc… So the bar owner saying he wasn’t there was more likely a “Cover your business’s ass” move on their part. Still, that leaves an entire room fool of patrons.

      Mar 10, 2010 at 9:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fitz
      Fitz

      Yes, we should cut him slack. I would suggest using a rusted garden tool to do it with. And I feel exactly the same for the fagots who knew who he was and didn’t come forward.

      Mar 10, 2010 at 10:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • M. Bergeron
      M. Bergeron

      maybe his “christian” constituents will show him kindness (doubt it) so we don’t have to.

      I lived through the same familial and societal pressures he did (granted, different time and different place) and I managed to say no to all that bs and be who I am despite the pressure to conform.

      He is the lowest of the low HYPOCRITE

      Mar 10, 2010 at 10:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • terrwill
      terrwill

      @Lukas P.: Methinks he meant all us as brothers and sisters……..Ps what the hell were you doing at 4am posting on Queerts??? : p

      He deserves as much sympathy as a nazi guard does from a Jew……….self hating pathetic evil troll……….

      Mar 10, 2010 at 12:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert, NYC
      Robert, NYC

      No, we should not cut this disgusting pig any slack. He’d still vote down any legislation for equality before his term is up. The only ones who will cut him any slack are the Log Cabiners, many of whom are self loathers themselves.

      That said, we have our own slimebags in the democratic party too. Don’t forget we have closet case, Carl Kruger, the NYS assemblyman who voted down marriage equality last December. He too said exactly what Ashburn said, “voting to reflect the views of his conservative constituents”. You can be he’s keeping a very low profile after Ashburn’s debacle. Everyone of them must be outed when they support discrimination against us, without mercy. They deserve everything they get and more. These people are nothing more than psychopathic liars of the worst kind.

      Mar 10, 2010 at 12:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Geoff M
      Geoff M

      When will elected officials actually learn the definition of Leadership? It doesn’t mean ignoring your constituents nor does it mean following them like a mindless puppet.

      Mar 10, 2010 at 2:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      Aside from a reply to another post (which seemed to be dropped last night, so I’ve repeated it to try again), there’s an interesting article about Ashburn and his consitituents at http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2010/03/10/MNSE1CDBEB.DTL . Curiously, one complained that while Ashburn made an appearance at a pro Proposition 8 rally, he showed no enthusiasm for what he was saying.

      No. 25 · Lukas P. wrote, “That whole drunk driving thing is itself scandalous and morally wrong.” … that’s the one thing where criticism is really warranted. He did, however, admit that it was his responsibility and isn’t asking for any special treatment. It’s not like he could have said anything else and gotten away with it, though.

      His fear of being outed may have contributed to his drunk driving – if he had left a state-leased car at FACES, it would have been really obvious: the only car there and a special license plate indicating that the car belonged to a state senator. The next morning, someone would certainly have noticed and taken a picture. It’s not clear if he could have let his companion drive – that guy might have been equally intoxicated.

      I know one straight guy who got caught drunk driving after spending an evening at a casino near Lake Tahoe – they kept pouring drinks in the hopes that he would gamble and he lost track and didn’t realize how drunk he was. He ended up totaling his car, but fortunately it was a single-vehicle, single-occupant accident with no injuries and no damage to anyone else’s property. He was very remorseful. That he survived without an injury was statistically unlikely – the car manage to twist and turn so that when he hit the inevitable unmovable object, the trunk hit first, allowing the seat and head rest to support him. That was pure luck – the vehicle was completely out of control.

      I don’t know how easy it is to get a cab in Sacramento that time of night – you’d have to ask someone who lives there. Once, after an event in San Francisco that ended well after midnight, there were lots of people lined up waiting for cabs and it took forever to get one (this was not in the downtown area – more on the outskirts). I gave a couple of people a ride, but it would probably have been a long wait for them otherwise. Sacramento is probably worse – it’s in an auto-centric part of the state. Here’s a review from someone not particularly pleased with taxi service in that city (at least from one company): http://www.yelp.com/biz/yellow-cab-sacramento-2#hrid:Ta5h2AHbGqtnlXPg3Hbskg/src:search/query:taxi cabs .

      Mar 10, 2010 at 5:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      For some reason something I posted isn’t showing up, so sorry if this ends up to be a partial duplicate. Read http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2010/03/10/MNSE1CDBEB.DTL for an interesting article on Ashburn, including his constituents’ reaction.

      Mar 10, 2010 at 5:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 34 · M. Bergeron wrote, “I lived through the same familial and societal pressures he did (granted, different time and different place) and I managed to say no to all that bs and be who I am despite the pressure to conform.”

      … From the URL I cited in No 38:

      “That district, sprawling from west of Bakersfield all the way to the Arizona border, is one of the state’s most conservative. Many residents come from families uprooted from Texas and Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl.Oil wells pump away near schools and subdivisions of new homes, big pickup trucks rule the road, and evangelical pastors often dominate the debate on social issues. Proposition 8, the November 2008 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, passed statewide by a vote of 52 to 48 percent. In Kern County, it won by 3-1. ‘I describe it as Texas meets Orange County,’ said Chad Vegas, a 36-year-old school board trustee and pastor. He said he had run for office as an unknown but won in part because of a simple fact: He had ‘pastor’ next to his name on the ballot.”

      Mr. Vegas had more to say as well, some of it kind of funny:
      “Still, Vegas said he sees Ashburn as being in an identity crisis – and in deep trouble spiritually. ‘I don’t think that Roy’s gay. I think he has homosexual inclinations,’ Vegas said. Homosexuality, he said, ‘is a corruption of sexual desire. I actually think it’s harmful to him.’ Vegas said he had suspicions about Ashburn as long ago as the rally. For one thing, protesters – who vastly outnumbered their opponents – kept shouting, ‘We know you’re one of us, Roy!’ And then, Vegas said, there was Ashburn’s relative lack of enthusiasm. ‘Let’s just say it was not a great effort in rallying the troops on Roy’s part,’ Vegas said.”

      Mar 10, 2010 at 6:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jerry pritikin
      jerry pritikin

      There are many hypocrites, some are gay, some are straight and
      too often… we find OUT after they been elected. When I am voting for someone… I do not vote for the candidate based on his religion, or what his sexual preference is… I vote on his record or platform, and when I find OUT that he is a hypocrite… I will go OUT of my way, to vote the person OUT of office.

      Mar 10, 2010 at 7:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Klarth
      Klarth

      @B:

      Good point. That’s the key, right there. And because of the situation in which he finds himself now, he needs to answer.
      Except that we already know, don’t we?

      Mar 12, 2010 at 12:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Klarth
      Klarth

      That said…I don’t know that he should be treated any worse than any other politician. Closeted politicians are never going to come out if they are pilloried every time. (Same for celebs, but that’s another issue.)

      It’s not that I don’t think he’s a really horrible, fucked up man.
      But, literally, what he did was drive drunk and get caught. Where he came from was immaterial. We wouldn’t be calling for his head if he was coming out of a titty bar or had some woman on his arm instead.

      And if we’re saying that he should have voted for equal civil rights across the board regardless of his constituency, and that’s why we’re pushing for this rare though justified punishment, shouldn’t that same punishment extend to all politicians, all the way to the top?

      As someone pointed out, the Governator isn’t exactly a friend to our people. So, should Cali clean house and replace her government with civil rights supporters, regardless of the wishes of the people? It’d be nice, but it doesn’t work that way. In any case, everyone would have to vote on something like that, and there’d never be a majority.

      We’re an oppressed minority by definition because we don’t have equal rights or the power to fix this. So how exactly do you think we can pull something like this off, in one case or every case?

      The man’s career is toast, let’s let him reap the rewards of his lifelong deceit and keep our hands clean. Does there need to be a pink mafia? I thought we were doing things above board.

      Mar 12, 2010 at 12:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      All the commenter’s who want to politically eviscerate the power of bigots and their parties – the Democrats and Republicans – are exactly right.

      However, it’s a two way street.

      When outed bigots turn out to be Democrats from the party that gave us Clinton’s DOMA and DADT, right wing Republican gentlemen who have sex with other gentlemen or with ‘rough trade’ (people who actually work for a living), GOProud and the Log Cabin types go ape.

      They point out that the Democrats are our enemies.

      They’re right.

      When outed bigots like Ashburn are Republicans Stonewall types and Democrats point out that the Republicans are among our worst enemies, in alliance with cults and responsible for many State DOMAs.

      They’re right too.

      Stonewall, GOProud and the Log Cabineers are partisan ninnies. Only ‘b’ evenhandedly defends bigots of both parties and provides excuses for them. Whether it’s Obama’s or Ashburn’s cult inspired attacks on our unlimited right to equality in marriage and all civil matters ‘B’ is there to defend them. ‘b’ rushes to their defense, excusing their rancid bigotry on the grounds that they wouldn’t get elected if they weren’t bigots or bigot panderers.

      As if we needed more elected bigots in the White House, governor’s mansions or in our legislatures.

      ‘b’s excuses lead to an increase in bigots in government, something he appears to favor. For ‘b’ getting elected is all that matters – pinciples are something he’s never heard of.

      Mar 14, 2010 at 11:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      Lying as usual, In No 43 Bill Perdue wrote, “Only ‘b’ evenhandedly defends bigots of both parties and provides excuses for them. Whether it’s Obama’s or Ashburn’s cult inspired attacks on our unlimited right to equality in marriage and all civil matters ‘B’ is there to defend them. ‘b’ rushes to their defense, excusing their rancid bigotry on the grounds that they wouldn’t get elected if they weren’t bigots or bigot panderers.”

      Perdue is a liar with a grudge. Did I “defend” Ashburn (or any other bigot)? Nope. What I pointed out, based on hard data like by how much Propositions 22 and 8 passed in Ashburn’s district, that any person elected from that district is going to have an anti-gay voting record. Voting records show that only a single Republican state senator had a better record (with that one exception, they all got a zero according to Equality California), and Ashburn’s district is a solid Republican one. When I checked the votes on specific bills, I didn’t find one where a changed vote on Ashburn’s part would have made any difference in the outcome. One anti-gay pastor from his district called his support of Proposition Eight rather weak – basically it was just a photo-op for him. So, basically Ashburn did little or no harm at all on LGBT issues – he was pretty much ineffectual – and we could have had someone far worse.

      Unlike Perdue, however, I’m not going to lie about politicians I don’t particularly like by accusing them of being more damaging than they actually were.

      Mar 15, 2010 at 5:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      What we want from LGBT politicians it loyalty to our program for equality.

      What ‘B’ wants is loyalty to the quislings who fight against our movement and betray it. He’s he’s virtually alone in excusing everyone who betrays our movement. The harm that scum like Ashburn do is immense.

      Defending Ashburn or Obama is despicable.

      Mar 15, 2010 at 6:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      o. 45 · Bill Perdue, trying to whitewash his comments, first says, “What we want from LGBT politicians it loyalty to our program for equality.”

      A typo aside, what LGBT-activists should hope to get from an LGBT politician from a conservative district that is part of California’s bible belt is for that politician to stay in office so he can vote in favor of LGBT-friendly legislation (or simply miss the vote if that would suffice) when the outcome is so close that his vote would actually make a difference. Politicians do that regularly – if the vote the party wants won’t fly in a representative’s district, he can talk to the party leadership and work something out – voting the way they want only if necessary to get the desired outcome. LGBT politicians can do the same thing, but I guess Perdue is more interested in ideological purity than winning.

      Then Bill Perdue lies some more by saying, “What ‘B’ wants is loyalty to the quislings who fight against our movement and betray it. He’s he’s virtually alone in excusing everyone who betrays our movement. The harm that scum like Ashburn do is immense.”

      The facts – Ashburn did little to no harm because his votes did not decide the outcome (at least not in any vote I found on a web site reputing to list state senators’ votes on a variety of issues) – it was simply not the case that a single vote made a difference. Ashburn did not introduce any anti-gay bills so he wasn’t proactively opposing gay rights.

      Then Perdue makes a fool of himself by trying to link Ashburn and Obama: “Defending Ashburn or Obama is despicable.” How stupid can someone be? Calling Ashburn ineffective and noting that he is most likely in need of a chauffeur given a DUI charge, is not “defending” that person. Perdue’s obsession regarding Obama is something I’d expect from a tea-partier.

      Mar 15, 2010 at 10:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      ‘B’ is a contemptibe apologist for the right wing politics an d the in general and quisings in particular.

      His only claim to fame is this defense of right wing bigots or those who pander to them.

      His ‘message’ that bigots like Ashburn are harmless is the Big Lie, which he repeats endlessly, if ineffectively. His fatouous views are those of a rightwing ideologue and are out of touch with the reality of our struggle. They’re met with derision and scorn.

      Mar 15, 2010 at 10:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      ‘B’ is a contemptible apologist for the right wing politics in general and quislings in particular.

      His only claim to fame is this defense of right wing bigots like Ashburn or those who pander to them, like Obama and the Democrats.

      ’B’s message that bigots like Ashburn are harmless is the an example of the Big Lie, which he repeats endlessly, if vainly. His pointless views are those of a rightwing ideologue and are out of touch with the reality of our struggle. They’re met with derision and scorn.

      Mar 15, 2010 at 11:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 48 & 47 · Bill Perdue, a bald-faced liar, wrote, “‘B’ is a contemptible apologist for the right wing politics in general and quislings in particular.” Hey moron, you just complained I was “defending” Obama, who is a middle-of-the-road, pragmatic Democrat, not someone from the right wing.

      Perdue also lied as I didn’t exactly call Ashburn “harmless” but rather ineffectual – no situation seems to have come up where he could have done any harm because (as far as I know) on the LGBT issues he voted on, a single vote wasn’t the deciding one and because (again as far as I know), he didn’t introduce any anti-gay legislation. As to the pro Proposition Eight rally he sponsored, others were involved too and one pastor complained that Ashburn’s performance at “rallying” people left a lot to be desired.

      What would Perdue prefer? Some straight guy like Pete Knight, who wrote Proposition 22? The facts are that you are better off with an ineffectual closet case than an anti-gay straight guy who actually does something that impacts your lives.

      Mar 15, 2010 at 11:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      ‘B’ wonders which is worse – a closeted gay bigot or a ‘straight guy’ bigot.

      This is lesser evilism reduced to its essential absurdity.

      Lesser evilism is the politics of surrender.

      “B” is always willing to run away from the fight. He wants company but few want to engage in his brand of contemptible cowardice.

      Mar 15, 2010 at 11:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 50 · Bill Perdue lied again by saying, “‘B’ wonders which is worse – a closeted gay bigot or a ‘straight guy’ bigot. This is lesser evilism reduced to its essential absurdity.”

      What I actually said in No 49 was, “The facts are that you are better off with an ineffectual closet case than an anti-gay straight guy who actually does something that impacts your lives.”

      With “friends” like Bill Perdue, who needs enemies? Perdue is the sort who obviously lets his emotions get in the way of making good decisions. That’s the sort of behavior that results in losses that could be avoided.

      Perdue’s thing about “contemptible cowardice” is typical of the macho American couch potato who has never actually been in a dicey situation but likes to talk “big” anyway. What a joke – a trash talker who would probably wilt if he ever got himself in a serious situation.

      Mar 16, 2010 at 12:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert, NYC
      Robert, NYC

      B, anytime a closeted politician, democrat or republican votes against our rights based on the makeup of the constituents in their districts, that is a betrayal and a despicable thing to do. They are spineless and not worthy of the office they hold. If their careers are more important than the rights of a minority, then they shouldn’t be in politics. Obviously, they have no grasp of what the 14th amendment signifies. Bill is absolutely right. You only have to look at New York State where I live. No fewer than 8 democrats voted against marriage equality legislation, all of them from conservative districts including one, Carl Kruger, who is gay. To say that Ashburn’s negative voting record on gay rights isn’t damaging is naivete in the extreme. Every vote counts. If Kruger had voted yes, that would be one less candidate we would need to oust. So don’t say Ashburn’s votes made little or no difference based on the views of his constituents he claimed to represent. In voting the way he did, he sent a clear message that our rights count for nothing and that its okay to discriminate and deny rights against an entire group of taxpayers who have, no thanks to people like him, NO FULL REPRESENTATION. We are the only group to which that applies, the last group that its ok to discriminate against. That’s what Ashburn’s voting record did, along with all the others on both sides of the aisle, irrespective of their sexual orientation. Ashburn, Obama et al deserve the scorn and contempt they get from us, rightly so. Neither believe in full equality for LGBT people.

      Mar 16, 2010 at 8:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 52 · Robert, NYC wrote, “B, anytime a closeted politician, democrat or republican votes against our rights based on the makeup of the constituents in their districts, that is a betrayal and a despicable thing to do.”

      In other words, you want him to betray the voters who elected him (if he was not closeted or if he ran on a gay-rights platform, he wouldn’t have been elected in the first place). He’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.

      http://californiawatch.org/watchblog/roy-ashburn-more-extreme-gay-rights-bakersfield has a list of the LGBT bills he voted on.
      Some of them added an LGBT category to laws Republicans had mostly opposed to begin with such as AB 1400, which “Amends the Unruh Civil Rights Act (Unruh Act) to prohibit discrimination by business establishments based on sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status or familial status.” The original Unruh civil rights act was a Democratic bill, and Republicans in general tend to oppose bills that put restrictions on what businesses can do. So, are you saying that a state senator is “betraying” you for refusing to add an LGBT item to a law that the senator may not like in the first place? Also, if you go through the list (visit the URL given above) you’ll find lots of “no” votes but no “yes” vote on an anti-LGBT bill. There were no anti-LGBT bills – at least, none that were not killed off before a full state-senate vote.

      Then you wrote, “Obviously, they have no grasp of what the 14th amendment signifies.” … the bills generally had nothing to do with the 14th Amendment, aside from marriage, but then you had Proposition 22, which under the California constitution, the state legislature cannot overrule (rather, you had to get it declared unconstitutional by the state supreme court).

      Then you wrote, “Bill is absolutely right. You only have to look at New York State where I live. No fewer than 8 democrats voted against marriage equality legislation, all of them from conservative districts including one, Carl Kruger, who is gay. To say that Ashburn’s negative voting record on gay rights isn’t damaging is naivete in the extreme. Every vote counts. If Kruger had voted yes, that would be one less candidate we would need to oust.” Bill Perdue is absolutely wrong, and you are on this point. You won’t gain anything by ousting Kruger because any replacement will have a voting record that is equally bad or worse – you won’t get a liberal guy elected in a conservative district. Trying to go after people like Kruger will make the situation worse – you’ll end up spending resources inefficiently, giving the other side an advantage, plus his replacement could end up being a lot worse. If Kruger is merely going with the flow, you should spend your efforts on getting people in his district to change their opinions. Then Kruger will follow along, possibly liking it, and you’ll have a guy with some seniority voting the way you like.

      Keep in mind too that there can be multiple reasons for being closeted. While some are “not gay” and vehemently homophobic in a futile attempt to suppress their sexual orientation, others are merely trying to downplay their sexual orientation to further their careers. It’s the first category that you really have to worry about – their attempt to suppress their own nature can translate into repressive legislation. What you guys (Bill Perdue in particular) are doing is to throw a fit about some figurative gnat circling your wrist while ignoring the figurative tiger that is about to take off your head.

      Mar 16, 2010 at 4:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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