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Monday, March 8, 2010

Roy Ashburn Admits He's Gay. Why Are We Only Finding Out Now?

Posted By on Mon, Mar 8, 2010 at 12:31 PM

Hey fellas, meet your new Roy Toy.
  • Hey fellas, meet your new Roy Toy.

So it's official: Roy Ashburn's got the fever for the flavor of fellatio. He came out of the closet this morning on a radio show on KERN in Bakersfield.

The news isn't a surprise. Last week he was arrested for drunk driving outside a gay bar in Sacramento. After his DUI bust we learned that "...it is an open secret that Ashburn frequently visits Sacramento's gay establishments."

Many in the blogosphere wondered why the public was only learning about the conservative senator's fondness for gay bars now. Shouldn't the news media have exposed Ashburn for his blatant hypocrisy earlier?

Over the weekend, Ashburn's hometown newspaper, The Bakersfield Californian, acknowledged that it had heard the gay rumors after his divorce. But the Californian's Mike Jenner said the paper didn't report on the rumors because it didn't know if they were true. Okay, fair enough. It was his other excuse that puzzled me: "Even if it was [true], we didn't see the relevance."

"[T]here certainly are times when news organizations should report on the private lives of public officials. When their relationships involve conflicts of interest that may compromise their decision-making, for example." (Emphasis mine.)

Ashburn's sexuality wasn't news to the media in Bakersfield because he "represented the conservative nature of his constituency on those issues." (A point Ashburn reiterated during his KERN interview this morning.) So, if I understand the logic correctly, as long as he kept the truth to himself it wasn't a problem. If his filthy secret started to get in the way of his duty -- which, apparently, is to institutionalize the superiority of penis/vagina relations -- then without a doubt the rumors would have been reported by the Bakersfield paper.

Ashburn kept his part of the bargain by consistently voting against LGBT legislation. He even headlined a rally in support of an anti-gay marriage amendment. Ashburn did his duty and kept a low profile so there was no need to make a story out of his cognitive dissonance.

The media love the closet just as much as the politicians do. When people stop hiding their orientation it stops becoming news. If gay people are found in every neighborhood, family, political party, workplace, church and public office then it becomes much harder to build political movements (and win elections) by making scapegoats out of LGBT citizens. Failure to reveal the open secrets of people like Ashburn perpetuates the myth that there is something wrong with being gay. Ashburn would not be slandered by being outed, but he would have been revealed to be a self-serving, cowardly hypocrite.

Patrick Connors is an uppity fag who lives in San Francisco. He longs for a day when modifiers are a moot point.

Follow Patrick on Twitter: @uppityfag

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Patrick Connors

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