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March 9, 2010 2:43 AM   Subscribe

After being caught drunk driving on his way back from a gay night club, consistently anti-gay California State Senator Roy Ashburn has publicly come out as being gay.
posted by molecicco (162 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
I am deeply sorry for my actions and offer no excuse for my poor judgment. I accept complete responsibility for my conduct and am prepared to accept the consequences for what I did.

Is that for your voting record, Senator?

'Cause it sure would be cool if it was.
posted by louche mustachio at 2:51 AM on March 9, 2010 [18 favorites]


I kind of like seeing right-wing politicians get outed. Not to shame the politician, but as a public service. It would be nice to think of guys like Roy Ashburn sleeping alone for the rest of their lives....
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:59 AM on March 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


What gets me is that he isn't even going to stick around to help undo the damage he did to the people with whom he now publicly identifies. I'm glad he was able to be honest with himself and everyone around him, but fuck this guy.
posted by Mikey-San at 3:04 AM on March 9, 2010 [15 favorites]


WHAT???
posted by lostburner at 3:05 AM on March 9, 2010


"It's been called the most beautiful theorem in all of political science."
posted by sebastienbailard at 3:12 AM on March 9, 2010 [89 favorites]


I normally refrain from this kind of "america is fucked" pessimism, but I'm kind of drunk right now. So, it really upsets me that the big shame this guy has to live down is that he likes the penis, and not that he operated a multi-ton motorized vehicle while intoxicated.

In my bible, we welcome the gays and stone the drunk drivers.
posted by heathkit at 3:15 AM on March 9, 2010 [152 favorites]


It would be nice to think of guys like Roy Ashburn sleeping alone for the rest of their lives....

If only it were so. In reality, my trusty crystal ball says there will be a long line of people that Ashburn has spent his political life opposing that will make excuses for him and want to be a part of his life.

And meanwhile, I will continue to fail miserably at understanding humanity.
posted by belvidere at 3:21 AM on March 9, 2010


In my bible, we welcome the gays and stone the drunk drivers.

No, drunk drivers are even more dangerous when they're stoned.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:22 AM on March 9, 2010 [27 favorites]


The Bakersfield Republican, who has consistently voted against gay-rights measures, said his votes were a reflection of how the majority of voters in his conservative district would have wanted him to vote.

Fair enough. America is supposed to be a representative democracy. I would like to think that there are also politicians who are privately "anti-gay" but who nevertheless are willing to support the civil rights of gays in spite of their own personal views.
posted by three blind mice at 3:24 AM on March 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


The interview where State Sen. Ashburn finally came out is available here, btw.
posted by markkraft at 3:25 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's one thing to loathe yourself (and a sign of mental illness if it's over something that isn't shameful, like being gay--hell, that's like hating yourself because you ended up "too short" or "too tall"). It's another to loathe others like you despite their accepting and celebration of the thing you hate, and actively work to make their lives miserable. That takes a psychopath.
posted by maxwelton at 3:28 AM on March 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


In my bible, we welcome the gays and stone the drunk drivers.

No, drunk drivers are even more dangerous when they're stoned.


Though I realize it's a joke, in fact, I'd disagree with that. In many cases, if you're drunk, getting stoned may well be the sharpener-upper that you need to more safely commandeer a vehicle.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:29 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thank you markkraft!
posted by molecicco at 3:32 AM on March 9, 2010


...or turn green & pass out before even leaving the kerb.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:33 AM on March 9, 2010


It's a little unfair to say that, because he was, effectively, forced to reveal his sexuality to the general public, he therefore identifies with the imaginary bloc of people that share his sexuality, and that he now has an obligation to undo the perceived damage that he caused to that bloc. I struggle with the single-issue focus of American media. The guy probably voted conscientiously and consistently and I can see a principled position in which someone might not allow their personality or preferences dictate their vote in the House, particularly where it conflicted with his constituency.

And coming out in an interview? Fuck that.

The drink driving is a completely different story, and I condemn it.
posted by doublehappy at 3:39 AM on March 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oooo...schadenf.... Nope, this is just regrettable in a new way now.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 3:41 AM on March 9, 2010


Fair enough. America is supposed to be a representative democracy. I would like to think that there are also politicians who are privately "anti-gay" but who nevertheless are willing to support the civil rights of gays in spite of their own personal views.

I like to think so, too. LBJ and the civil rights movement in the '60s comes to mind.
posted by doublehappy at 3:41 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why oh why would you go to a gay nightclub if you were an in-the-closet famous person - nay – an ANTI-GAY-RIGHTS, in-the-closet, famous person? In this day and age of surveillance and camera phones?

Something tells me he wanted to get caught. This makes absolutely no sense.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 3:52 AM on March 9, 2010


uncanny hengeman, he may just have been looking for a man. Not many places you can do that, aside from a gay bar or club. In fact, his sexual drives would likely have been in direct conflict with the idea of keeping them secret, for this very reason.
posted by Dysk at 4:04 AM on March 9, 2010


Not many places you can do that, aside from a gay bar or club.

Or the bathroom stall at an airport....
posted by three blind mice at 4:13 AM on March 9, 2010


It's a little unfair to say that, because he was, effectively, forced to reveal his sexuality to the general public, he therefore identifies with the imaginary bloc of people that share his sexuality, and that he now has an obligation to undo the perceived damage that he caused to that bloc.

Perceived? He voted against expanding 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. People die without insurance, and he voted to deny them because they are gay.

It's not his obligation to undo that because he's gay. It's his obligation to undo that because he's human.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:17 AM on March 9, 2010 [63 favorites]


The Bakersfield Republican, who has consistently voted against gay-rights measures

On the one hand it's hugely inconsistent, on the other, not as clear cut. I mean, if you're in denial, it makes sense to deny, right?
posted by MuffinMan at 4:21 AM on March 9, 2010


Why oh why would you go to a gay nightclub if you were an in-the-closet famous person - nay – an ANTI-GAY-RIGHTS, in-the-closet, famous person?

Because on the off chance the media decide to actually investigate something you can ask your good ol' boy network to shut it down.
posted by DU at 5:02 AM on March 9, 2010



Ok, I have a question. What about the guys he used to meet at the clubs? What about his booty calls, and what about the people he socialized with in the homosexual community?

Why didn't any of them lean over to him and say, politely:

"I'm not going to touch that until you stop acting like one when you're at work."
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 5:03 AM on March 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


Why oh why would you go to a gay nightclub if you were an in-the-closet famous person - nay – an ANTI-GAY-RIGHTS, in-the-closet, famous person?

According to this post on Pandagon, he was in a glass closet: Delusional Collusion - Roy Ashburn’s closet was protected by newspapers, local gays

At least two California newspapers and the openly gay mayor of West Sacramento knew anti-gay state Sen. Roy Ashburn was gay and yet they said nothing.


The Bakersfield Republican, who has consistently voted against gay-rights measures, said his votes were a reflection of how the majority of voters in his conservative district would have wanted him to vote.

This is bullshit. If his constituents are that homophobic no way in hell would they want a gay senator. And yet he didn't resign or decline to run in the first place.
posted by nooneyouknow at 5:09 AM on March 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


Not many places you can do that, aside from a gay bar or club.

Uh, internet?

Maybe Michael Steele should start an initiative to distribute laptops to closeted Republicans.
posted by MegoSteve at 5:12 AM on March 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


So, right-wing politicians see each other go through these scandals all the time and think "Man, I'm gay, but I'm gonna do this whole straight-acting thing to get elected. But this kind of bullshit isn't going to happen to me, no sir, I'm gonna hide Teh Gay like no one's ever hid it before."

And then they end up in exactly the same scenario that the last guy did. There's absolutely no learning curve. You can't totally repress your own sexuality while you're in the public eye. Especially since that whole "human nature loves the lure of the forbidden" thing is a pretty powerful force and, I assume from observing various celebrities, must be even more powerful when you have more at at stake.

The take-away lesson I see here, that no politicians will ever actually take away because they will continue to believe that it doesn't apply to them: If you're gay, either be honest about it from the get-go or don't run for office if you really, really don't want people to know. Because they're going to find out and worse than being "That gay Senator" you're now "That asshole gay Senator who lied about it."

But what do I know, maybe the latter is more prestigious among right-wing social circles. They certainly do seem to operate with their own social code that I obviously can't fathom.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:15 AM on March 9, 2010


Huh? I always thought that gays couldn't get drunk
posted by ouke at 5:18 AM on March 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


I support Sen. Ashburn. Perhaps now he can find some love and support and stop hating himself and taking out his self-hatred on other gays.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:23 AM on March 9, 2010


Huh? I always thought that gays couldn't get drunk

They can, but only on Chardonnay.
posted by Skeptic at 5:31 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I HAVE A STORY.

So It was my last day in New Orleans and I'm at, of course, a bar. It's nice and empty and I'm enjoying my rum hoping to get out before the rain starts. There are two other people in the bar with me. They note a headshot of middle-aged man in a suit hanging near the bar. It doesn't fit in with the bar's cut-rate pirate motif, so they ask "hey, who's the suit?" Barmaid says "I don't know, it just appeared here last night." "Looks like a politician." "I know, right?"

So anyway I leave and get on a plane and go to bed and then wake up, have my coffee, and log into metafilter and read this delightful story. Readers, the photo on the wall was none other than the official portrait of Mr. Roy Ashburn.
posted by The Whelk at 5:33 AM on March 9, 2010 [31 favorites]


Going through what he is going through now I hope his friends and family are keeping a close eye on him.
posted by vapidave at 5:34 AM on March 9, 2010


What about his booty calls, and what about the people he socialized with in the homosexual community?

What about them? I doubt the topic of his legislative record (and maybe not even his identity as a legislator) ever came up. Even in West Sacramento. The Pandagon post that nooneyouknow links asks a similar question, but why is it perceived by Pandagon as OMG ATROCITY that a bar pick-up would not have indignantly and defiantly asked Ashburn for his LGBT bona fides before having a drink and/or sex with him? We're talking about bar pick-ups here, folks! In Sacramento!
posted by blucevalo at 5:35 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also more people need to watch this it made me hate both the Man Cheney and the Lesser Female Cheney.
posted by The Whelk at 5:36 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


"I think it's sad more than hypocritical," Lopez said. "We're not in Roy's head. We don't know what is he thinking. We hope he comes to terms with whatever is making him make a choice to be a gay man."

Sexual orientation is NOT a choice. Can these "traditional values" people work any harder at making me hate them?
posted by kinnakeet at 5:46 AM on March 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


A tireless public servant, Ashburn fucks gays both on and off the clock.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:47 AM on March 9, 2010 [66 favorites]


This is bullshit. If his constituents are that homophobic no way in hell would they want a gay senator. And yet he didn't resign or decline to run in the first place.

Yep.

I'm not surprised to hear it was an open secret in Sacramento. It's sort of par for the course in any city where politics rule.
posted by rtha at 5:50 AM on March 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Why oh why would you go to a gay nightclub if you were an in-the-closet famous person - nay – an ANTI-GAY-RIGHTS, in-the-closet, famous person?

I'll see your bid and raise you: Why oh why when someone asks about your behavior of consistently attacking gay rights would you respond with a thesaurusized version of "I was only following orders" to explain your behavior?
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 6:01 AM on March 9, 2010


Closeted anti-gay (Republican) politician. Dude should resign just for being a cliché.

Why oh why would you go to a gay nightclub if you were an in-the-closet famous person - nay – an ANTI-GAY-RIGHTS, in-the-closet, famous person?

Don't be fooled; men like Ashburn get off on the duplicity as much as the sex. They like to flatter themselves that there's one law for them and another for the rest of us. They aren't self-loathing men (though they may be that, too) whom we should feel sorry for; they're sociopaths. They love power and deceit. Asburn probably celebrated every anti-gay vote he cast with a hired twink and chuckled over it on his way home.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:03 AM on March 9, 2010 [17 favorites]


Jesus! That pic of him looks like fire marshall Bill.
posted by stormpooper at 6:11 AM on March 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Bakersfield Republican, who has consistently voted against gay-rights measures, said his votes were a reflection of how the majority of voters in his conservative district would have wanted him to vote.

I call bullshit on this. I think he voted anti-gay because, in his mind, if he hadn't, people might start to suspect he was gay. He deliberately voted to make life worse for a substantial number of people in order to protect his imaginary closet.

The fact that he'd drive drunk makes perfect sense in this context. There are no words for what he deserves.
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:17 AM on March 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Now, now, Octobersurprize, that is what makes us better than the bigots. We give people the benefit of the doubt.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:18 AM on March 9, 2010


Why oh why would you go to a gay nightclub if you were an in-the-closet famous person - nay – an ANTI-GAY-RIGHTS, in-the-closet, famous person?

Because that's where the gay men are?
posted by electroboy at 6:30 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I hope now that he's come out he starts overcompensating for the next 6 months and passes all sorts of flamboyant legislation.
posted by Theta States at 6:32 AM on March 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


In other LOLrepublicans news, Glenn Beck said that any church that preaches social justice is either Nazi or Communist.

But why is he kicking George W. Bush?
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:35 AM on March 9, 2010


Why oh why would you go to a gay nightclub if you were an in-the-closet famous person

True Fact:* Most gay clubs have a special lounge called 'the closet' with dim lighting and Bruce Springsteen playing where closeted dudes can talk about sports and play footsie.



*Not a true fact
posted by device55 at 6:37 AM on March 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


"I think it's sad more than hypocritical," Lopez said. "We're not in Roy's head. We don't know what is he thinking. We hope he comes to terms with whatever is making him make a choice to be a politician."

ftfy
posted by pyramid termite at 6:39 AM on March 9, 2010


I hope now that he's come out he starts overcompensating for the next 6 months and passes all sorts of flamboyant legislation.

I'm trying to figure out what "flamboyant legislation" would look like:

"Speaker calls the floor to order. Motion to consider the Ashburn-Gutierrez Feather Boa and Sequins Banana Hammock Act of 2010. Motion seconded..."
posted by Pollomacho at 6:41 AM on March 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


We should really incentivize coming out for these guys, because it's really what's best for everyone. Right wingers learn that anyone can be born gay, legislators start pushing for laws they actually believe in, and the liberal press gets a good laugh.

I propose we set up a pot of cash. Donors can fill the pot with money. The next vehemenantly antigay media/legal figure (ie senator/congressman/preacher) to come out gets the pot of cash. We then refill the pot, and the cycle continues. We could call it Money Shot or some other nonsense.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:42 AM on March 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


We should really incentivize coming out for these guys

Yeah, because being able to express yourself freely and walk around publicly with the person you love is just not enough.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:46 AM on March 9, 2010


My gaydar isn't even particularly sensitive, but could anyone look at that dude and not immediately think "Oh, that man GAY."?

Of course, I get that from pretty much all republicans, so what do I know..
posted by chronkite at 6:47 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Bakersfield Republican, who has consistently voted against gay-rights measures, said his votes were a reflection of how the majority of voters in his conservative district would have wanted him to vote.

That sentiment always bothers me. It's a huge cop out that lets everyone avoid responsibility for voting like assholes. You don't run for office so you can vote the way you think your constituents want you to; you vote for what you think is right and if they disagree, they don't elect you again (and yeah, I know that's not how the world actually works, but wouldn't it be nice?).
posted by Vibrissa at 6:49 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, drunk drivers are even more dangerous when they're stoned.

Ah yes, the strunk driver.

Worse yet, Ashburn is a honky, so he'd be both Strunk AND White.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:50 AM on March 9, 2010 [35 favorites]


Is anyone keeping a running tally of anti-gay public figures who have come out? Larry Craig, Ted Haggard, this guy...
posted by echo target at 6:50 AM on March 9, 2010


We give people the benefit of the doubt.

Oh, I do. I don't doubt that he knew exactly what he was doing.

"I have sex with men. But unlike nearly every other man of whom this is true, I bring the guy I'm screwing to the White House and President Reagan smiles at us and shakes his hand."
posted by octobersurprise at 6:51 AM on March 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Fair enough. America is supposed to be a representative democracy. I would like to think that there are also politicians who are privately "anti-gay" but who nevertheless are willing to support the civil rights of gays in spite of their own personal views.I like to think so, too. LBJ and the civil rights movement in the '60s comes to mind.

I think you've got that one in reverse. LBJ was for civil rights but cozied up to the Southern Democratic Senate leadership to gain power. This is not to say he wasn't racist, but his short experience teaching poor Latino children in Texas was a seminal event for him.

I would consult Robert A. Caro's masterful LBJ books for more on this.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:52 AM on March 9, 2010


The Bakersfield Republican, who has consistently voted against gay-rights measures, said his votes were a reflection of how the majority of voters in his conservative district would have wanted him to vote.

This is bullshit


It's total bullshit! This makes me incredibly angry, and I have absolutely no use for this person. Good Riddance! Gay rights are the civil rights struggle of our time. It's not like we're talking about public transportation or some other policy thing, we are talking about basic human rights. Have the fucking courage of your convictions, and stand up for what you believe in. If your district votes for you, great. If not, work hard to change their minds.
posted by bluefly at 6:58 AM on March 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


So anyway I leave and get on a plane and go to bed and then wake up, have my coffee, and log into metafilter and read this delightful story. Readers, the photo on the wall was none other than the official portrait of Mr. Roy Ashburn. I married him.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:59 AM on March 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Right, hypocrisy, but I'll give him credit. He actually came out. I hope he can find a happier life now that he's open about his sexual preference. He'll have to reconcile his actions with himself, but I can't think of another GOP who, after being caught out, just admitted it.
posted by eriko at 6:59 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


This guy is a politician? I thought he was a gay funereal director, in LA.
posted by Goofyy at 7:03 AM on March 9, 2010


Damn! And there I was about to launch Justabouttobeouted.com -a discreet service for Republican politicians caught in awkwardly gay predicaments. We'll drive you home from the club, we'll attest that you really do have an unnaturally wide toilet stance. All our operators are certified 100% heterosexual, with not even a hint of teh ghey*.



*Those are police mustaches, not the other kind.
posted by ob at 7:12 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is why I don't trust republicans. They can't even be honest with themselves. How selfish is this asshole. If you are a self hater then be a self hater but don't screw over members of your own community in the process.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 7:16 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Screwing over members of your community for your own gain is not a gay thing, or a black thing, or a jewish thing, or an Irish thing, or any kind of thing other than a greedy human thing. And it's always a bad thing.
posted by Mister_A at 7:18 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Screwing over members of your community other people for your own gain is not a gay thing, or a black thing, or a jewish thing, or an Irish thing, or any kind of thing other than a greedy human thing. And it's always a bad thing.

FTFY
posted by Skeptic at 7:22 AM on March 9, 2010


Maybe he's not gay...maybe, like Karl Pilkington, he could "eat a knob at night," but not during the day.

In any case, it is my hope that at some point--like today--gays are accorded the same right to openly run for office and have their private lives invaded just like any other politician.

Seriously though, if I can still be allowed, the closeted politician Democrat or Republican who votes against measures that would accord basic human rights to all people betrays every one of us, gay, straight, or otherwise. Or, what Astro Zombie said.
posted by beelzbubba at 7:24 AM on March 9, 2010


I have several gay friends who lived 20+ years in the closet. (And one or two former boyfriends, TBH). I have sympathy for men who feel like they can't come out. There's a lot of societal pressure, family relationships (Mr. Ashburn was married and had four kids), and internalized guilt and shame to overcome. I feel very fortunate that I was able to come out at age 17 in 1989, but that makes me a product of my times. For men a generation older it was harder. For men in backwards parts of the country, it's harder. The good news is when they do come out, it's like a whole new life, and usually everyone is better off. Including the poor ex-wife. I hope for that eventual outcome for Mr. Ashburn.

What I don't get is the anti-gay public action. Not so much because it's hypocritical (that too) I just think anti-gay voting is inexcusable for any politician. Gay, straight, inbetween, closeted or not. I'm not sure in this era it makes sense to hold closeted people to a higher pro-gay political standard than anyone else. Experience shows we should expect the opposite, the closet cases seem to be our own worst enemies sometimes.
posted by Nelson at 7:26 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


FTFY

So ready for this to go away.
posted by Mister_A at 7:27 AM on March 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I WOULD HAVE SEX WITH ALL THIS CLOSETED REPUBLICANS
posted by d1rge at 7:29 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


FTFY

So ready for this to go away.


I always see it as some sort of wierd abbreviation for fifty-fifty.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:31 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


To those saying his argument about 'representing his constituency' is valid- he ran for an office on a platform. He was elected by his constituency based on that platform. He hid who he was and presented a contrived platform based not on his beliefs, and in fact one that is in direct opposition to his actual beliefs, based soley on his understanding of what he needed to be in order to get elected by that constituency. That is not democracy, that is opportunism. Democracy is supposed to be about working for what you AND your community believe in, not about making a career by being whoever the most powerful constituency in your district wants you to be.
posted by spicynuts at 7:35 AM on March 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh my god. A politician is gay? In MY AMERICA? Well, I never.
posted by Malice at 7:39 AM on March 9, 2010


You're right spicynuts, and that opportunism is the reason the US is in such a mess. The powerful constituencies are the health insurance companies, the banks, the pharma companies, the oil companies. Not blacks, or jews, or papists, or birthers, or people of great height. The powerful constituencies think it's great how angry uneducated lower-middle-class white people are at the gays and the welfare and everything! Because it keeps them from being so angry at the faceless corporations who are pilfering the country.
posted by Mister_A at 7:41 AM on March 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ashburn's state senate district is the 18th, which includes Barstow, Needles, Ridgecrest, Bakersfield, Bishop, Visalia, and a bunch of big military bases -- in other words, if you had to pick a district with more right-wing, Bible-thumping, God-fearing, flag-waving, abortion/gay-marriage-hating localities, it would be hard to find one. Ashburn's politics and his vehement anti-gay voting record piss me off to no end. Nevertheless, he could not have run for dogcatcher in that district and won if he had been out or voiced support for any bill or policy that was remotely pro-LGBT. How people like him can sleep at night I don't know, but that's another subject.
posted by blucevalo at 7:41 AM on March 9, 2010


Sexual orientation is NOT a choice.

Yes, but so what? LGBT citizens deserve equal civil rights regardless of whether they choose to be that way or they're born that way, right?

Religion is a choice. But discriminating against someone based on their religion is illegal. So why should that be any different than someone who "chooses" to be a certain sexual orientation?

The issue of whether or not it's a choice is one that you're never going to win with the evangelicals and the right wing and more importantly, it's tangential to the real issue at hand.....which is, of course, that LGBT people deserve equal rights under the law, period.

So the next time, some right winger claims that it's a choice, I'd just say "So what? We still deserve equal rights under the law."
posted by cjets at 7:43 AM on March 9, 2010 [15 favorites]


"Equality California, a group that advocates for expanded gay rights and other issues, has consistently given Ashburn a zero rating on its scorecard.

The group's executive director, Geoff Kors, said Monday that he hopes the senator's revelation will lead him to change his voting patterns.

'He's still the same person, only living more honestly,' Kors said. 'I hope his own self-awareness will result in him no longer voting to deny people the most basic rights.'"*
It will be interesting to see how he votes on any gay issues that may come up before he leaves office. I'm not holding my breath.
posted by ericb at 7:48 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


If his constituents are that homophobic

Dude, they don't hate the gays--some of their best friends are gay. They just don't think they deserve the things that they themselves deserve.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 7:53 AM on March 9, 2010


I think it would be pretty amazing if he did an about-face on gay rights, ericb. I'm not holding my breath either.

Overall, what was the perception among his constituents, before the incident that led to his outing? Was he doing a good job? Bringing in jobs, fixing potholes, stuff like that? I wonder if his constituents would vote for him, knowing he is gay, if he has been serving them effectively. I suspect not, but one can hope.
posted by Mister_A at 7:59 AM on March 9, 2010


Right wingers learn that anyone can be born gay.

One can hope, but I think every time this happens, it just reinforces fear of the Gay Agenda. They* don't think "Huh, maybe it's okay to be gay," they think "What a shame, Satan and his homo army bagged another decent family man."

* You know, THEM
posted by Rat Spatula at 8:05 AM on March 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


To those saying his argument about 'representing his constituency' is valid- he ran for an office on a platform. He was elected by his constituency based on that platform. He hid who he was and presented a contrived platform based not on his beliefs, and in fact one that is in direct opposition to his actual beliefs, based soley on his understanding of what he needed to be in order to get elected by that constituency.

Whoa now, if one thing is clear from this story, who you screw has nothing to do with belief. One can be gay, gay, GAY! and yet closeted and actively anti-gay rights. His and his constituents' platform was one of anti-gay rights, it matters not if he was gay in the process. Further, his constituents' view is that homosexuality is a moral choice and should be suppressed. If he was attempting to suppress his urges and keep his dirty immorality down in the closet then it seems to me he even more fit their platform.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:05 AM on March 9, 2010


It's not like we're talking about public transportation or some other policy thing, we are talking about basic human rights.

You know, I'm of the opinion that public transportation is a basic human right, too.

Religion is a choice.

I'm not actually convinced this is true anymore.
posted by adamdschneider at 8:17 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


So, it really upsets me that the big shame this guy has to live down is that he likes the penis, and not that he operated a multi-ton motorized vehicle while intoxicated.

No, the big shame that he has to live down is that he led a secret life rather than standing up for himself and living in the sunshine. The big shame is that he has voted against the rights of other human beings, and been too ashamed/mixedup/powergrabbing to do the right thing.

And there are several 'things' that could be 'the right thing.' Lying, and voting against human rights to cover up your sexuality, is not one of them.
posted by SLC Mom at 8:18 AM on March 9, 2010


Overall, what was the perception among his constituents, before the incident that led to his outing?

He won his last two elections -- the most recent by something like 60%+, and he had no opponent in the election prior to that.
posted by blucevalo at 8:19 AM on March 9, 2010


Ok, I have a question. What about the guys he used to meet at the clubs? What about his booty calls, and what about the people he socialized with in the homosexual community?

Just because you're out doesn't mean you're political, and especially doesn't mean you're progressive. It's equally possible that he didn't talk about his work with them, or (as was well-explained in Outrage*) people were more impressed with his proximity/access to power and didn't give a shit about his actual use of it.

*though the film does have its own self-righteousness issues
posted by kittyprecious at 8:25 AM on March 9, 2010


What's the size of Sacramento relative to Des Moines?
What about the soil quality?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:26 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Overall, what was the perception among his constituents, before the incident that led to his outing? Was he doing a good job?

Ashburn was a bit controversial a year ago this time because of a budget vote. Long story short: the minority Republicans hold up the budget in California every year because it requires a 2/3 vote to pass. Last cycle's brinksmanship was particularly bad, Ashburn was one of the Republicans who switched sides and broke the logjam. Not a huge thing, more of a political calculus, but for the most rabid Republicans it was anathema.

As conservative as Ashburn's district is, I think most Californians don't much care about who their state senators have sex with. Unless it becomes public knowledge, or unless it's used as part of a whisper campaign along with some lightning rod social issues to polarize a debate or election.
posted by Nelson at 8:47 AM on March 9, 2010


What's the size of Sacramento relative to Des Moines?

Sacramento is the seventh-largest city in California, but it is only a middle-sized star. It is the most diverse city in America, but its cultural output relative to Des Moines is so picayune that Joan Didion was able to launch and sustain an entire writing career (justifiably) talking shit about it. The alluvial soil quality is unparalleled elsewhere, which is why the decision to flood the hell out of an area that receives approximately 16 inches of rain a year (putting the semi in semi-arid!) and grow rice there is so delightful. Sacramento measures its energy output in ego-watt hours, which is generally converted at a rate of 1 Schwarzenegger = 1,560 Culvers and can power the state for two-thirds of an enron; bloviation and gridlock are just two of the city's many variegated exports--take some home on your next visit!

And don't forget to stop by Assemblyman Ashburn's office and ask how it feels to be forced out of the closet and earn universal ire just days after an openly gay man was sworn in as the Speaker of the Assembly.
posted by kittyprecious at 8:52 AM on March 9, 2010 [13 favorites]


cjets: The issue of whether or not it's a choice is one that you're never going to win with the evangelicals and the right wing and more importantly, it's tangential to the real issue at hand.....which is, of course, that LGBT people deserve equal rights under the law, period.

So the next time, some right winger claims that it's a choice, I'd just say "So what? We still deserve equal rights under the law."


It's more important than that. When the right-wingers affirm that sexual orientation is a choice, they're telling the world that I'm a liar. I know, from personal experience, that I never made the choice to be gay, but they're telling their constituency that I'm lying when I say that.

The basis of their argument makes the assumption that all gay people are liars.

This is one of the reasons this discourse is so difficult; of course they won't listen to us when we tell them we just want the same rights as everyone else. They have no reason to listen to us at all; to them, we're liars. Inherently duplicitous, just by being gay.

If you ever wonder why these conversations seem so one-sided, with absolutely no-one on the right even paying attention to a word we're saying, keep this in mind. Whenever you see the right get incredibly defensive against yet another study saying that being gay isn't a choice, this is why.

Getting them to admit that it's not a choice, and that we're not lying to them, may be vital to making further progress on this. But I'll be damned if I can figure out how, when they already think I'm a liar.
posted by MrVisible at 8:53 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Joan Didion was able to launch and sustain an entire writing career (justifiably) talking shit about it

Well, to be fair, she also talked a lot of shit about Los Angeles.
posted by blucevalo at 8:55 AM on March 9, 2010


Religion is a choice.

Eh, I don't know about that. I could join Mr. Ashburn's church, but that wouldn't make me religious any more than his marriage made him straight.
posted by ODiV at 8:55 AM on March 9, 2010


she also talked a lot of shit about Los Angeles

Perhaps, but you never hate anywhere else quite like you hate home.
posted by kittyprecious at 8:56 AM on March 9, 2010


What's the size of Sacramento relative to Des Moines?
What about the soil quality?


Please don't bring his kind here to Iowa. And by "his kind" I mean hypocritical politicians who, as SLC Mom says, vote against the rights of other human beings and lie in order to get into office so they can keeping getting whatever power/ego-fix they're addicted to. It's no different than Death Panel Palin's (yes, her again), admission that she "used to hustle over the border for health care we received in Canada. And I think now, isn't that ironic?" The English major in me says, yes, that counts for irony in the same way Ashburn's voting record v. his sexual orientation is irony. The rest of me is just pissed off. Again.
posted by webhund at 8:57 AM on March 9, 2010


Yeah the best way to defeat a whisper campaign suggesting you're gay is to shout loudly, "I'M GAY!"

Provided you actually are gay, of course.
posted by Mister_A at 8:58 AM on March 9, 2010


If all of the bigots turn out to be closeted queers, the percentage of the population that is homosexual (in the US, self-identified as 4% in 2004 and 2008) is gonna turn out to be WAY higher!

A good thing, in the long run.
posted by Danf at 9:01 AM on March 9, 2010


In my bible, we welcome the gays and stone the drunk drivers.

No, drunk drivers are even more dangerous when they're stoned.

Though I realize it's a joke, in fact, I'd disagree with that. In many cases, if you're drunk, getting stoned may well be the sharpener-upper that you need to more safely commandeer a vehicle.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:29 AM on March 9 [1 favorite +] [!]


Uhh... I'm not entirely sure whether or not *you're* joking but this is not, in fact, the case. For all its virtues, pot does make you a less effective (and therefore more dangerous) driver whether or not you are also drunk.
posted by Drexen at 9:05 AM on March 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Turns out there are only 400 active heterosexuals in the U.S now. Everyone else just needs a six pack of miller high life and a showing of 300.
posted by The Whelk at 9:05 AM on March 9, 2010 [9 favorites]


Please don't bring his kind here to Iowa.

I don't know. A choice between a closeted state legislator like Ashburn and a (presumably) non-gay and non-lying but even more powerful, influential, and above-board hater like Steve King, whose activities make Ashburn's look like small potatoes. Talk about a paradox.
posted by blucevalo at 9:17 AM on March 9, 2010


Can one ghostride their donk whip while strunk?
posted by june made him a gemini at 9:27 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


His and his constituents' platform was one of anti-gay rights, it matters not if he was gay in the process.

Pollomacho...I would agree with you if one fact were true - that he ran on a platform of "I am Gay and I hate myself and all gays and I want to be healed (or whatever) and so I will represent all of you who also hate gays and want them to be healed (or whatever) so vote for me cuz no one hates teh gays more than this gay". But I'm guessing that's not the platform he ran on. Which makes what he did nothing more than opportunism. "I want to be a politician. What issue will get me elected? HATE TEH GAYS!". That's opportunism.
posted by spicynuts at 9:52 AM on March 9, 2010


Or are you taking the position that a public office and the democratic process should be no different than any other corporate gig where you know you are gonna hate the job, you hate all the jobs you had that got you to the current place in your career, but one must pay da bills, so you just grin and pretend to love the job because that's what people do?
posted by spicynuts at 9:54 AM on March 9, 2010


"I want to be a politician. What issue will get me elected? HATE TEH GAYS!". That's opportunism.

I'm guessing, but I don't think that "I HATE TEH GAYZ" was what Ashburn ran on.
posted by blucevalo at 9:56 AM on March 9, 2010


I have several gay friends who lived 20+ years in the closet. (And one or two former boyfriends, TBH). I have sympathy for men who feel like they can't come out. There's a lot of societal pressure, family relationships (Mr. Ashburn was married and had four kids), and internalized guilt and shame to overcome. I feel very fortunate that I was able to come out at age 17 in 1989, but that makes me a product of my times. For men a generation older it was harder. For men in backwards parts of the country, it's harder. The good news is when they do come out, it's like a whole new life, and usually everyone is better off. Including the poor ex-wife. I hope for that eventual outcome for Mr. Ashburn.

You know, I'm all for sympathy. But I'm pretty much out of patience with these types. It's fukin' 2010! Quit living like it's 1965 or even 1985.

Here are your choices, oh man-of-50-who-has-been-living-a-lie-all-his-life... Either stop cheating on your wife, swallow your pride (and libidinous urges) and continue to pretend that you're not gay IN ALL WAYS, or else start telling the truth. One or the other. This bullshit "oh, well, I'm sneaking around on my wife and can't ever have sex with the same person twice because they might get to know me a bit and then I'd be ruined in the community forever" bullshit really has to end.

And yes, I'm referring to people in MY area, advertising on Craigslist and gay.com, who continue to do this very horrible destructive kind of behavior even in this day and age. Get over it. Come out, or just close the closet door. My personal tolerance for your behavior ended when Matt Shepherd was strung on that barbed wire fence and you still refused to live an honest life.
posted by hippybear at 10:04 AM on March 9, 2010 [9 favorites]


(Mr. Ashburn was married and had four kids)

There's a joke here along the lines of: Not the Gay Marriage I meant! But I just can't finesse it.

Anyone?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:11 AM on March 9, 2010


I'm ..kinda on hippybear's side. On one hand my reaction is "well, however anyone wants to lead thier liiiiife" but the other part, the louder, angrier, bigger part of my brain is going "STOP IT! YOU'RE HURTING PEOPLE! YOU ARE HURTING YOURSELF! WE'VE BEEN HAVING THIS ARGUMENT SINCE THE 60s ! WE KNOW PEOPLE OPEN UP MORE TO BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS WHEN THEY KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS GAY. THE CLOSET IS A CASKET AND YOU ARE BRINGING PEOPLE DOWN WITH YOU AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"


And then I need a nap and recreational drugs and a hug.
posted by The Whelk at 10:12 AM on March 9, 2010


My memory is failing me, but there was a good comment on a previous outted politician thread, where the poster hypothesized that closeted gay politicians who voted against gay rights did so because they imagined everyone was like them. If all men really wanted other men and didn't get aroused by the lady-folk, then no one would procreate, and the America we know and love would disappear because no one was making babies.

You know, I'm all for sympathy. But I'm pretty much out of patience with these types. It's fukin' 2010! Quit living like it's 1965 or even 1985.

Old mentalities die hard. Hopefully there'll be some tipping point, but I worry that as long as "fag" can be used as a derogatory term, there will be shame in living your life as you really are.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:13 AM on March 9, 2010


And then I need a nap and recreational drugs and a hug

I don't have any drugs, but I do have recreational hugs.

(((hug)))
posted by filthy light thief at 10:14 AM on March 9, 2010


...Thin mints count as drugs FYI.
posted by The Whelk at 10:18 AM on March 9, 2010


I do have recreational hugs.

As opposed to professional ones?
posted by Pollomacho at 10:23 AM on March 9, 2010


I'm not a fan of blow, no.
posted by The Whelk at 10:26 AM on March 9, 2010


I think it's time for a little cocaine retro style... blow-stalgia, if you will.
posted by Mister_A at 10:31 AM on March 9, 2010


No, Vice Magazine already exists.
posted by The Whelk at 10:31 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've been exhausted, lately, having recently recovered from pneumonia. I work with and am friends with a lot of conservatives. We have spirited debates. But recently, I've just been so tired, I find myself refuting any argument regarding the current batch of GOPers with a sigh, a handwave, a gruff "closeted homosexuals."
posted by Baby_Balrog at 10:38 AM on March 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


There is no cocaine retro. Cocaine is a perpetual stalled now. Evil shit.
posted by Babblesort at 10:39 AM on March 9, 2010


There is no cocaine retro. Cocaine is a perpetual stalled now. Evil shit.

There's definitely a cocaine retro, there's just no cocaine future, although it gives the fantasy that your right on the precipice of a grand, immutable, redeeming discovery...

Or so I'm told...
posted by Skygazer at 11:09 AM on March 9, 2010


pleasepleasepleasericksantorumpleasepleaseplease


(I'm kidding. I really wouldn't want to wish old Ricky on anyone.)
posted by Ron Thanagar at 11:12 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]




In the world of beautiful theorems and Newtonian law Santorum is a Gay Parade in drag, tripping on a acid and riding on elephants armed with nuclear tipped atomic powered penises.
posted by Skygazer at 11:20 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


By the way, I once again just want to say in this thread that DC is awesome. The sun is shining, the flowers are coming up, it is truly a beautiful day for a couple to get married out there!
posted by Pollomacho at 11:29 AM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Alternately, the argument made by the director of Outrage is that anti-gay politicians are comfortable with who they are, and use the privileges of politics and the squeamishness of the MSM on this issue to build cozy closets for their sexual behavior.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:30 AM on March 9, 2010


What we need to do here is make sure that gay men get outed in the most negative way possible, you know, because we care about gay men.
posted by hamida2242 at 11:31 AM on March 9, 2010


What we need to do here is make sure that gay men gay men who actively legistate against the basic human rights of other gay people get outed in the most negative way possible
posted by The Whelk at 11:44 AM on March 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


What we need to do here is make sure that gay men get outed in the most negative way possible, you know, because we care about gay men.

He outed himself. What the heck are you talking about?
posted by blucevalo at 11:53 AM on March 9, 2010



I'm guessing, but I don't think that "I HATE TEH GAYZ" was what Ashburn ran on.


PRECISELY the point I was making in opposition to Pollomacho's comment.
posted by spicynuts at 12:09 PM on March 9, 2010


Hypocrisy seems to run deep in some groups. Like the pro-life proponents who seek out abortions for their own children, and the homosexual men who fight tooth and nail against rights for homosexuals. I don't know how much of it is self-loathing, the desire to see others obey standards that they don't apply to themselves, a slippery slope descended after hiding your true feelings/nature from a community that does not approve, or something else; I really cannot conceive why this hypocrisy exists. Nevertheless, it does exist, and it transcends anything having to do with abortion, homosexuality, or any other single thing.

Be it an ability to sustain a state of cognitive dissonance for an extended period of time (if they're sincere) or a calculated effort to manipulate and discourage and destroy for their own gain at the expense of others (if they're not being sincere), in my opinion a person who rages "no! no! no!" against something as a rule yet considers themselves exempt from that rule is not a person we should trust to lead us, to guide us, or even to be trusted.
posted by davejay at 12:32 PM on March 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


oops, didn't finish that sentence. "...or even to be trusted with the simplest of tasks or responsibilities."
posted by davejay at 12:34 PM on March 9, 2010


in my opinion a person who rages "no! no! no!" against something as a rule yet considers themselves exempt from that rule is not a person we should trust to lead us, to guide us, or even to be trusted.

My opinion too.
posted by rtha at 12:35 PM on March 9, 2010


filthy light thief: My memory is failing me, but there was a good comment on a previous outted politician thread

It wasn't an outed-politician thread per se, but maybe this?
posted by Rat Spatula at 12:49 PM on March 9, 2010


Sorry, spicynuts. Open mouth, insert foot .....
posted by blucevalo at 12:57 PM on March 9, 2010


I just had to share this from his senate website.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:10 PM on March 9, 2010


I don't know how much of it is self-loathing, the desire to see others obey standards that they don't apply to themselves, a slippery slope descended after hiding your true feelings/nature from a community that does not approve, or something else; I really cannot conceive why this hypocrisy exists.

I don't have any comment on abortion, but it seems to me that closetedness is a deep-rooted characteristic (especially for people of certain generations) that may or may not always even be fully present to consciousness. There are also people who get off on the sense of danger that flouting authority and order offers, even if they are (or maybe especially if they are) instrumental in holding that order together. That adrenaline fix may not have anything to do with the substance of the act itself. It may be contradictory, it may be hypocritical, but it's also human nature.

Here is an excerpt from Ashburn's coming-out interview:

HOST: Now you've been taking criticism the last couple of days from the gay groups that say that it's hypocrisy that you voted that way. I personally take an insult to that. That to me is like saying every black person should vote for Obama, right? Every woman should be pro-abortion. I don't care for the stereotype myself, but I have to ask you, Roy, now that you have told us that you are, in fact, gay, is it going to change the way you vote?

ASHBURN: Again I believe firmly that my responsibility is to my constituents, and so 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?" "How would they have me vote on this?" Obviously each of us has differences of opinion on almost every issue but ... when I say that I understand my constituents on these questions I don't think anyone misunderstands what I mean.


Related: a San Francisco Weekly blurb titled "How Gay Is Bakersfield," including a note that the Bakersfield Californian (the local newspaper) was complicit in concealing Ashburn's orientation over the years.
posted by blucevalo at 1:13 PM on March 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, Randy Thomasson, one of the fiends behind Prop 8, has called on Ashburn to resign, saying, "His lying, cheating ways have boiled over and the public's trust has been shattered."
posted by blucevalo at 1:15 PM on March 9, 2010


Facebook group: 1,000,000 Gay Men and Allies Against Roy Ashburn Having Sex Ever Again.
Sen. Roy Ashburn Comes Out But Plans To Continue Voting Anti-Gay!

California State Sen. Roy Ashburn, a conservative Republican with a solidly anti-gay voting record, came out as gay today on a Bakersfield radio station talk show. Ashburn’s sexual orientation had been the talk of Sacramento since the legislator was arrested for drunk driving after leaving a gay bar in the state capital last week.

‘I am gay. Those are the words that have been so difficult for me for so long. It is something that is personal, and I don’t believe I felt with my heart that being gay would affect how I do my job,’ Ashburn said.

Asked about his anti-gay voting record, Ashburn said, ‘I felt my duty, and I still feel this way, is to represent my constituents.’

Radio talk show host Inga Barks wanted assurances that Ashburn would continue to vote in a conservative manner on LGBT rights issues [mp3]. Ashburn responded, ‘I believe firmly that my responsibility is to my constituents. I will take a careful look at each measure and apply that standard. How would they vote on this? How would they want me to vote on this,’ adding that most people understood what that means.

‘I don’t know how else to ask this, but are you going to live this lifestyle now in the district?’ Barks asked. Ashburn, who announced he is not running for public office again, said, ‘I pray to God I can find peace. I want to go back to the senate and work hard for the people of my district…Now you know everything about me.’

Ashburn is in his second and final four-year term in the senate, having first been elected in 2002. He is divorced and the father of four daughters.”
Fuck you, you hypocrite.

As a gay man, do you honestly believe that you yourself should continue to be relegated as a second-class citizen just because your constituents think you should be?

You're weak.

You're shameful.

Fuck you.
posted by ericb at 3:12 PM on March 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Roy Ashburn: Where do gay Republicans fit among conservatives? -- "Roy Ashburn, a Republican state senator in California, said Monday that he is gay. The disclosure raises new questions about gay Republicans’ place within the conservative movement."
posted by ericb at 3:15 PM on March 9, 2010




Some information about Ashburn's companion ("an openly gay 29-year-old San Jose man") who was in the car at the time of his arrest.
posted by ericb at 3:33 PM on March 9, 2010


I thought Edmund Burke, back in 1774, summarily outlined the assholery that is "voting how the majority of voters in his conservative district would have wanted him to vote":
[Your Representative's] unbiassed opinion, his mature judgement, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you; to any man, or to any sett of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure; no, nor from the Law and the Constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your Representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgement; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
In other words (insert country-appropriate jargon where necessary):
Parliament is not a Congress of Ambassadors from different and hostile interests; which interests each must maintain, as an Agent and Advocate, against other Agents and Advocates; but Parliament is a deliberative Assembly of one Nation, with one Interest, that of the whole; where, not local Purposes, not local Prejudices ought to guide, but the general Good, resulting from the general Reason of the whole. You chuse a Member indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not Member of Bristol, but he is a Member of Parliament. If the local Constituent should have an Interest, or should form an hasty Opinion, evidently opposite to the real good of the rest of the Community, the Member for that place ought to be as far, as any other, from any endeavour to give it Effect.
posted by isnotchicago at 4:25 PM on March 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


self-loathing has a new picture to go with its dictionary definition! way to go, Senator Assburn! Here's your fucking toaster for coming out!
posted by kuppajava at 5:09 PM on March 9, 2010


Massa says 'groping' of male aide wasn't sexual -- "N.Y. Dem who resigned Monday says he 'tickled' staff member."
posted by ericb at 5:23 PM on March 9, 2010


That is the saddest response possible.
posted by The Whelk at 5:23 PM on March 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


The more this trend continues, the more I am convinced that the "homosexuality is a choice" crowd is dominated by—if not entirely composed of—closet cases. It must be a potent tool of denial. "I'm not gay. Every man has to grapple with the overwhelming desire to suck mountains of cock. I choose not to give into this desire, except when I do."
posted by [expletive deleted] at 7:06 PM on March 9, 2010


As a gay man, do you honestly believe that you yourself should continue to be relegated as a second-class citizen just because your constituents think you should be?

He thinks the rules don't apply to him. He thinks he can have all the ass he wants because he's (sorta) rich and (sorta) powerful and the gays and his constituents can go screw themselves.

Not to beat a dead horse, but I see no evidence to suggest that Ashburn was some kind of troubled, confused, closeted man who was only trying to love someone. His tastes were not a secret in the town he lived in, apparently, and he didn't care if he was out, he just didn't want to be out to the rubes who put him in office, the rubes whose bigotry he was very happy to endorse as long as they kept him in office. And now ... [voice breaking] he's finally learning to be himself ...

Fuck him. He knows what he's done and what he's doing. He's a pathological liar, a sycophant, and a sociopath. He doesn't deserve the slightest bit of sympathy at all. His evilness is the story here, not his gayness.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:53 PM on March 9, 2010 [1 favorite]




"Conservative leaders call him a sinner, while gay-rights activists say he wielded anti-gay votes as a shield to protect his secret. But in cafes, salons and saloons, many regular folks voiced the same opinion: It's better to have a gay politician voting against gay rights than to have a straight one voting for them.

While lauding him for being a politician who could set aside his sexuality, however, many voters admitted they couldn't do the same.

They said Ashburn never would have been elected if voters knew he was gay - not even to the Kern County Board of Supervisors, where he started out in 1984. Whether that makes Ashburn a liar or a pragmatic politician who knows his constituency is the subject of hot debate."
posted by rtha at 6:41 AM on March 10, 2010


The word "collaborator" keeps resurfacing in my head and I've got to use a lot of nice, happy, reasonable SENSIBLE thoughts to keep it down.
posted by The Whelk at 6:52 AM on March 10, 2010


The word "collaborator" keeps resurfacing in my head....

That's interesting, because in my mind it's spelled "crapnugget."
posted by kittyprecious at 7:03 AM on March 10, 2010


Massa says 'groping' of male aide wasn't sexual.
"In a subsequent interview with Larry King on CNN, Massa again denied any inappropriate sexual contact with members of his staff. He also took exception to a question about whether he was homosexual. 'Well, here's that answer, I'm not going to answer that,' he said, adding, 'Why don't you ask my wife, ask my friends, ask the 10,000 sailors I served with in the Navy.'"
Yeah, we know: there are no gays in the military. Never have been. AMIRITE?
posted by ericb at 7:35 AM on March 10, 2010


10,000? Dude gets around.
posted by The Whelk at 8:02 AM on March 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Dammit, Whelk, beat me to it.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:03 AM on March 10, 2010


*blows smoke from pistol*
posted by The Whelk at 8:04 AM on March 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


nthing what folks have said about the "It's all a choice, that we all make every day" argument seeming like it's made by closet cases. There's a kind of disturbing trend in much of the AFA/Focus on the Family/etc literature, where people are saying things like "Gay sex is the best sex EVAR! If we destigmatize it, there'll be man-orgies in the street!" Essentially, everyone is denying the awesome-awesome-man-sex (and woman-sex) by sheer strength of will, and it's only "what will the neighbors think?" that allows them to keep their white-knuckled grip on PIV sex. In fact, I'm pretty sure I recall someone saying that teh ghey sexing was akin to cocaine in its "destructive" pleasure.

To which I can only say, damn. I thought my sex-life was pretty good, but cocaine-good? Definitely need to get some tips from the Republican senators.
posted by PMdixon at 10:24 AM on March 10, 2010


Are they seriously making the "gay sex is SO AWESOME that we have to keep it under control" argument? Like SERIOUSLY? Do they consume lethal doses of anti-self-awareness pills or do they actually have multiple personalities?
posted by The Whelk at 10:36 AM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Constitutents conflicted over gay legislator

They said Ashburn never would have been elected if voters knew he was gay - not even to the Kern County Board of Supervisors, where he started out in 1984. Whether that makes Ashburn a liar or a pragmatic politician who knows his constituency is the subject of hot debate.

"He votes, more or less, along Kern County lines," said Mel Lawrence, a 68-year-old country musician, as he prepared to take the stage Monday night at Trout's bar on the edge of Bakersfield. "I know he might have voted against how he truly felt at times. I don't know if you'd call that hypocritical or just doing his job." ....

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.


That sums it up right there.
posted by blucevalo at 10:42 AM on March 10, 2010


This continues to get interesting.
Eric Massa Groped Subordinates While In The Navy.
Clearly, he doth protest too much.
posted by ericb at 1:41 PM on March 10, 2010


On a completely local note, I could not believe Ashburn was stupid enough to get popped on the very same block a local NBA star did just a few months earlier. Given Sac PD's record of nabbing minor notables in the area, you'd think word had gotten out.

I suppose judgment is already sus when you're behind the wheel nearly double-drunk but Noc' managed to keep his wits about him and keep mum about where he'd been boozin' it up. Remember (closeted elective) friends: Just Say Nothing.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:11 PM on March 10, 2010


"In hindsight, Democratic insiders wondered about activities that before had just seemed odd. They said Massa hired a surprisingly large percentage of young gay men, and paid them so little that staffers were forced to live in the house with him. 'It's not the gay part that's a problem, it's the abuse, if it's true,' said one Hill source." *
posted by ericb at 6:33 AM on March 11, 2010


Bill Maher on the Massa mess.

John Stewart's take.
posted by ericb at 7:00 AM on March 11, 2010


ericb is some of kind wonderful gay news robot.
posted by The Whelk at 7:07 AM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Gay Robot.
posted by ericb at 7:13 AM on March 11, 2010


Oops - first link should be this.

BTW -- 'Robot' link is NSFW (language).
posted by ericb at 7:15 AM on March 11, 2010


ericb is some of kind wonderful gay news robot

I'd be wary Whelk.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:54 AM on March 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey guys, if we hold a Tickle Fight Meetup, does this mean we get to be on Glenn Beck? I mean, we're generally liberal, so we know all about how often we're getting checks from George Sorros and how the unions are sending out thugs to force us to vote for Democrats.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:55 AM on March 11, 2010


on Glen Beck


Ew.
posted by The Whelk at 8:05 AM on March 11, 2010


Republicans seem to be more on the DL than Democrats. I don't know why or if it's just that Democrats do not face social destruction if they come out. What I don't get is why a person would want to be part of an organization which hates them? I wouldn't join the KKK or any other Nazi group. These guys need to grow a pair and come out of the closet. They are only hurting their families by masquerading.
posted by MEOW at 10:14 PM on March 14, 2010


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