Valley Reaction to Ashburn's Announcement
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A South Valley state senator and staunch supporter of conservative values admitted Monday that he is gay. Roy Ashburn's announcement startled both his constituents and members of the gay community.
Conservative South Valley state senator Roy Ashburn has ignited harsh opinions from both the Republican Party and the lesbian and gay community.
"He gave a bad name, overall, to politicians," said Fresno county Republican party member Dr. A.P. Sidhu.
Gay activist Robin McGehee said: "In my opinion, he was a bully."
Monday morning Ashburn came out of the closet on a radio talk show. "I am gay. Those are the words that have been difficult for me to say for so long. But I am gay," said the senator.
The district 18 representative, which includes portions of Kern, Tulare and Visalia, was arrested in Sacramento on March 3rd for D.U.I.
Numerous reports placed him at a gay night club, not far from where he was pulled over. His admission Monday caused people to scratch their heads over his voting record.
Ashburn has voted against a number of gay rights measures and supported Prop 8--keeping marriage between man and woman only.
Sidhu said: "For us and the people of his district he was hiding something and he was acting like something he was not so he breached their trust."
Fresno county Republican party chair Dr. A.P. Sidhu said Ashburn has distracted lawmakers from doing their job.
"We need leadership in Sacramento who want to solve the problems not create the problems," said Sidhu.
Gay rights activist Robin McGehee said Ashburn needs to resign. "He created the closet for himself that our society struggles with and being closeted is a total work of his own work that he's done as a voter on bills that affect our community," she said.
"He voted the way his district may have wanted him to vote but the district did not know who the true person really was. That's unfortunate," said political analyst Tony Capozzi.
Capozzi said it will be interesting to see which way Ashburn votes during his final months in office, especially with the 2011 budget meetings coming up.
Capozzi: "He's going to be the key person that the democrats are going to go to. The key person that the Governor is going to go to, to get that vote, to pass the budget."
gay rights, local, john-thomas kobos
- Police: Man killed in Fresno gang-related shooting
- Vietnam says it may have found missing jet's door
- Man accused of killing Parlier coach identified 31 min ago
- Free health care enrollment fair held in Fresno
- 2 dozen injured as California school stage falls
- Pistorius trial: Stunning testimony in 1st week
- Putin defends separatist drive in Crimea as legal
- Parlier youth football team mourns slain coach
- Fresno PD: Man hit by vehicle while jaywalking
- DUI suspect crashes into 'We Be Sober' drivers
- United Way celebrates 90 years of serving Fresno County
- Elderly drivers: When to turn over the keys
- 3D printer and Twitter used to make Oreo cookies
- CIF Central Section Basketball Finals