No. Not that he's gay. That's not the tragedy.
The tragedy is that California State Representative Roy Ashburn (R-Bakersfield) believed it was necessary to demonize gays--to demonize who he is--in order to gain approval from his conservative constituency. Ashburn had to adopt an anti-gay persona--betray who he was-- in order to garner votes from his conservative supporters.
When will this madness stop? California was persuaded in 2008, with the help of millions of dollars from the Mormon and Catholic Organizations, to overturn the State legislature's ruling allowing gays to enjoy the same civil rights as the rest of the state's citizens, as the rest of American citizens.
How do you suppose Ashburn voted? This is another heartbreaking story of how our culture destroys the individual who does not conform to an organized religion's idea of what is moral.
As the TPM report says, it is heartening that Ashburn came out of the closet and was honest in admitting who he is. We have to leave this barbaric prejudice behind us and move forward to grant civil rights to our gay citizens.
And this will happen.
It is happening.
From Talking Points Memo:
The history of gay politicians fighting as tribunes of homophobia and prejudice is so long and twisted and sad and awful that I don't really think I'm in any position to judge. But I'll give credit to state Senator Roy Ashburn (R-Bakersfield), the anti-gay rights Republican who got picked up last week on a DUI after leaving a gay nightspot in Sacramento, for not pulling a Craig or a Haggard.
"I'm gay," he told a radio interviewer this morning. "Those are the words that have been so difficult for me for so long."
He explained his past voting record saying that's what his conservative constituents wanted.