California State Sen. Roy Ashburn is officially out of the closet. However, the Republican lawmaker from Bakersfield has some ’splainin’ to do, starting with his voting record, which has not exactly reflected a supportive stance toward LGBTQ causes. Then there’s the issue of his alleged drunk driving last week, which culminated in a late-night arrest that led him to out himself on a local radio show Monday. —KA
San Francisco Chronicle’s Politics Blog:
“I am gay. And so, those are the words that have been so difficult for me for so long,” Ashburn told radio host Inga Banks on her show on the KERN station in Bakersfield.
The announcement follows days of intense scrutiny of Ashburn’s personal life after he was arrested just after 2 a.m. on March 3. A Sacramento television station reported that Ashburn was at a popular gay dance club that night and several people have said they have seen the senator at gay bars in the city.
His sexual orientation is at issue because Ashburn has one of the staunchest records of voting against bills that would expand rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Californians.