With his final term in the California State Senate about to wrap up, it’s about time drunk driver Roy Ashburn begin working on the next chapter of his life. Perhaps literally: What about a memoir, Roy boy? And you can promote it on an apology book tour!
“I should begin with an apology,” Ashburn writes in a new op-ed. “I am sincerely sorry for the votes I cast and the actions I took that harmed lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Just as important to me, I am sorry for not stepping forward and speaking up as an elected official on behalf of equal treatment for all people. For nearly 26 years, the voters in my area of California trusted me as their elected representative. I look back now knowing there is so much more I could have done to inform the public about LGBT people and to fight for equal rights under the law. Regrettably and selfishly, I took another path in my life and political career—I chose to conceal who I truly am and to then actually vote against the best interests of people like me. All this was done because I was afraid–terrified, really–that somehow I would be revealed as gay. My past actions harmed gay people. In fact, all people are harmed when there is unequal treatment of anyone under the constitution and laws of our country. I do not believe in discrimination, and yet my votes advanced unequal of treatment of gay people and promoted the suspicion and fear that limits people from being forthright and accepted in society.”
Back in May we argued Ashburn — a man, we must note, whose pressure to remain in the closet is not to celebrated — committed “public service malpractice.” It’s a sin he’s now confessing to.
It’s a far cry from where he was in March, just after his DUI arrest, when he acknowledged voting against the gays but insisted he did so because that’s what his constituents wanted — and fellow California conservatives stood by him. Now, he knows he was wrong. And he’s trying to make amends: “I am no longer willing, nor able to remain silent in the face of unequal and hurtful treatment of my community. It may have taken me a strange, incoherent and long path to get here, but this is where I find myself as a gay Republican Senator. It’s time for Republicans to find our way and fight for equal treatment for all people, especially the freedom to be unique and have our rights acknowledged and protected.”
Indeed, it’s definitely the beginning of Ashburn’s tunraround tour. Now he must prepare to be wholly abandoned by the bigoted brothers and sisters in politics he once embraced.