Anti-Gay Calif. Politician Cited for DUI--After Leaving Gay Bar

by Kilian Melloy
Thursday Mar 4, 2010

An anti-gay California state senator was placed under arrest for drunk driving after leaving a gay bar. A male passenger was in the vehicle along with the lawmaker was not arrested, reported Sacramento CBS affiliate Channel 13.

State Sen. Roy Ashburn was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol at about 2:00 a.m. on March 3 when his state-issued vehicle was observed being driven erratically. The driver, identified as Ashburn, was taken in and charged for driving under the influence. Channel 13 reported that unidentified sources said the senator had been at Faces, a popular gay nightspot, prior to his arrest.

In a March 4 article, the online news site Talking Points Memo characterized Ashburn, who is married and has four children, as "a fierce opponent of gay rights" who had led anti-marriage equality rallies.

Ashburn issued a contrite apology, stating, "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."

Ashburn will not be able to drive for a month and the vehicle he was in at the time of his arrest has been impounded, reported online news site on March 3. If the state senator receives the same penalties as do others arrested for drunk driving, the article said, Ashburn could face three years of probation, fines of up to $1,000, attendance at a "DUI offender program," and two days' jail time.

It is uncertain how the arrest--or his reported presence at a gay bar--will affect Ashburn's prospects for re-election. He already faces a fellow Republican for in the upcoming race for the seat he occupies in the state senate.

Anti-gay lawmakers who are alleged to engage in sexual activity with members of their own gender have attracted significant media attention in recent years. Among the high-profile cases in lawmakers with records of voting against gay equality measures is the arrest of former Idaho Sen. Larry Craig, who was charged with soliciting another man for sex in an airport restroom, and a 2006 scandal involving Republican Sen. Mark Foley, who allegedly exchanged sexually charged text messages with teenaged male pages and young men who had formerly been pages. A 2009 documentary titled Outrage noted that rumors have long swirled around Florida governor Charlie Crist, who supported a successful ballot initiative to amend the state's constitution in a way that bars marriage equality for gay and lesbian families. The film also traced the careers of other anti-gay politicians rumored to be closeted gays themselves, such as Republican Congressman David Drier, a California representative.

In California, marriage equality was legal for six months in 2008, until voters narrowly approved Proposition 8, which rescinded marriage rights for gays, in November of that year.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


  • , 2010-03-04 12:56:17

    I see similarities between the Republican party and the Catholic church. And that’s not necessarily a compliment...

  • , 2010-03-04 13:05:59

    Civilization goes back 1,000,000 years; 996,000 years before the Greeks, Romans and the Jews and 998,000 years pre-dating the myth of Christianity which is a mere 2010 years old. There is little scientific evidence to prove any of the cross related bogus elements of that cult. In the year 300 AD when Emperor Constantine, who to some was the first pope; went on to fabricate Christianity - a fantasy - which turned out to be one of the most hateful & evil concoctions ever perpetrated on the world. The Vatican basically supported Hitler and religion is responsible for more corruption and violence in the world. Pope Ratzinger was involved in the Nazi youth. The Pope with his blatant witchcraft related to the bible and its hateful beliefs; tries to rule with extreme prejudice against a world ... that may fall victim to religions’ absolute evil. Many theologians state quite correctly that the birth; crucifixion; resurrection and other elements of christianity actually didn’t even happen! The pope is running a bigger fraud than Madoff’s $50 billion ripoff. Today’s evangelical extremists are like the nazis who cast others into ovens & are actually supremacists - who practice their bogus hocus pocus - and are trying to suppress and deprive others of their happiness and their legal rights in an open and proud society. Einstein stated in a letter recently auctioned that the bible was a collection of primitive legends. He said believing in God was childish and he as a Jew is no different than another person ... not chosen by God. Do you want to be lambs at the slaughter or be wise and reject religious cultist manipulation? Mean & nasty; run by evil and bogus religious cults from Rome or wherever. Is this the world you want? The pope talks about ending prejudice and hate; what a hypocrite! Religion is a crutch for the insecure. Appreciate every day and if there is no tomorrow; then know that you were fortunate to have lived on this earth! Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien told the Vatican that there was to be no cross erected over the Canadian Parliament buildings ... figuratively speaking; when the Pope demanded the Prime Minister go against gay rights. An Alberta bishop had the audacity to say that The Canadian Prime Minister would go to hell for going against the church. Such outrageous evil threats. The Right Honourable Prime Minister ... in return; basically told the Pope to go to Hell! The Honourable Irwin Cotler, Canadian Minister of Justice, stood for equal rights for the gay community. With reference to protecting the children. The Honourable Hedy Fry, member of the Canadian Liberal Parliament, who happens to be a doctor who delivered many babies; spoke eloquently to defend the rights of babies being born and stated that she was in fact defending their rights by speaking on behalf of equal rights for the children and youth of the future -- defending their integrity and dignity. Minority rights should be decided by a dignified judicial system and/or a compassionate government. This bogus religious filth should be banned. It exists as a tax exempt structure which discriminates against human rights. The pope, bishops and mormons are cult members promoting discrimination against minorities. That bogus black book called the bible should be banned. Religion and the churches should now be exposed as a bigoted structure that gets away with hate mongering. Love between two guys or girls existed long before these cults existed. By enjoying their tax exempt status and benefits from the state ... it also puts them at the mercy of state; to be forced to adhere to the human rights laws. Religion is thriving like a cancerous growth on society that should be stopped in its tracks; outlawed & banned. I am the son of a catholic father who never went to church and a protestant mother who took us to church and Sunday school. Although we as young children would sneak out the side door and play by the cannon from World War One where my grand-father fought for freedom as a Sgt Mgr at Vimy and father who fought at Normandy on D-Day for democracy. Onward christian soldiers ... I think not. Such absolute drivel. To be manipulated by a santa claus; an easter bunny and worst of all a bogus cross. One should appreciate each day of life and not expect another ... and if there is it might be given by a God of Love. A great story ... pertains to a boy at a catholic school in Oshawa, Ontario ... who wanted to take his boyfriend to his school prom. The evil catholic school forbid this. One of the boy’s father is an employee with General Motors Canada and the courageous union leader ... Buzz Hargrove stood up for the boys’ rights. The boy took his case through the courts and because the evil catholic school was benefiting from government funding which demands equal rights void of discrimination; the judge ordered the school to allow the two young boys to attend together. Their limo arrived at their prom with adoring onlookers. To think of Matthew Shepard choking on his own blood after being savagely beaten; virtually sanctioned by the church ... is evil beyond comprehension ... yet is the same as boys being bullied into suicide; most likely being supported by the bullies parents’ religious cults. Bigotry and hatemongering against gays should be banned. Tell them to take that cross and shove it where the sun don’t shine ... and pay their taxes along the way before they take that cross down forever ... with its final station; extinction. It is written; so therefore it shall be? We are the chosen people? Such a wicked fantasy. To see the religious lunatics manipulate government and our lives ... is shameful. It is a sometimes rare occurrence to fall in Love and to hold that person in your heart and be loved in return ... it is something that should be celebrated! If it is between two guys or girls ... all the better. It takes even more courage to defend that LOVE!

  • , 2010-03-04 13:06:06

    I had heard the rumors about him and now I know the truth. I live in his district. He is not up for election. California has term-limits and he has served his two terms. This is a very conservative county so the reaction ought to be amusing.

  • , 2010-03-04 13:12:32


  • , 2010-03-04 13:20:40

    ah Republican, the do as I say, not as I do party. hahahahaha

  • , 2010-03-04 13:22:27

    It seems as though there is not one Republican who isn’t a hypocrite on some underlying yet monstrously substantial thing. War mongers who won’t themselves fight, no "socialist healthcare, though they themselves have it, no deficit spending unless it’s by them, no reconciliation unless it’s for a trillion dollar tax cut for the rich,hate the gays but bless the child molesting church( when will Mahoney be imprisoned?),lobbyists in waiting, which could be the title of a new fairy tale, they must read the entire healthcare package but not one of them read the PATRIOT ACT before they voted for it. Gutterepublicans!!!!

  • , 2010-03-04 13:25:02

    Anti-Gay extremists = Gay (When is the stupid public going to figure this out!)

  • , 2010-03-04 13:25:08

    It’s not the homosexual part that’s’s the supreme hypocrisy!

  • , 2010-03-04 13:26:04

    Grant ... ever here of a little grammatical element called a paragraph? For God’s sake man, how do you expect anyone to wade through your expansive ramblings? Take a breath ... THINK before writing ... and remember to be CONCISE. Writing massive amounts of unread tripe is far less effective than a few well explained points. Unless, of course, you simply write to "hear" yourself speak, in which case, well done.

  • , 2010-03-04 13:26:27

    Grant, "civilization" as we know it started only about 10,000 years ago...not 1,000,000 years...but EVERYTHING else i agree with you on....bunch of bogus mind warping cults.

  • , 2010-03-04 13:29:10

    Re-pub-li-can,[ri-puhb-li-kuhn]: Self loathing gay hypocrite.

  • , 2010-03-04 13:34:13

    There are NO atheists in HELL!!

  • , 2010-03-04 13:34:55

    Grant McDonald....I agree with everything you said except that human civilization goes back a million years...sorry you would be hard pressed to prove civilization is older than about 15,000 years. I would concede that an arguement might be made for 25,000 years but you wont find many, if any,anthropologists that would agree. but the rest of your diatribe was right on!

  • , 2010-03-04 13:41:30

    How could anyone not know this dude is gay. If this guy was any more flaming he might actually be hot! lol

  • , 2010-03-04 13:44:11

    ROFLMAO, OMG, LOL...stop, hurts...can’t breath.....

  • , 2010-03-04 13:55:48

    How could anyone not know this dude is gay. If this guy was any more flaming he might actually be hot! lol

  • Jeffery Templeton, 2010-03-04 14:03:14

    Ahhhh... the closeted...such drama queens, can’t just accept it early and live a happy, healthy life like the rest of us. No, they have to go and get married, have kids make sure they have a big ol’ captive audience before they fiiiiinally come out!

  • , 2010-03-04 14:12:42

    Advice to Republican politicians: Republican + politician + wife + kids + anti-gay = gay. If you want to stay in the closet and stay in office, keep your homophobic trap shut.

  • Joseph E Howard, 2010-03-04 14:20:04

    by Joseph E. Howard There’s an old saying, which fits this case to a tee, "you reap what you sow." It’s always good to see someone get exactly what they are due. Case-in-point, California State Senator Roy Ashburn. Senator Ashburn has been anti-gay throughout his political career. In fact, he has been "a fierce opponent of gay rights," according to an article today (4 March 2010) on He’s married and has four children. Early yesterday morning Senator Ashburn was pulled over by the California Highway Patrol as he left a gay bar and arrested for DUI. There was a male companion with him who was not arrested. Congratulations Senator Ashburn. Breathe the fresh air, free, of the closet. This is disgusting and unacceptable, in-so-far as the discriminating campaign he has run relentlessly against gay rights. It’s as bad as being an American and joining the Taliban to fight and kill Americans. SHAME ON YOU, Senator Ashburn! You have reaped what you have sown! Now, thank God almighty, you’re free at last...

  • Grasshopper , 2010-03-04 14:49:02

    RE: "Religion is thriving like a cancerous growth on society that should be stopped in its tracks; outlawed & banned." Sounds a lot like something the right-wingers would say, just exchange the word "religion" with the word "homosexuality." You don’t have to agree with them, but they have the same right as you to be heard. Grant, you have reminded of one thing for sure - religion is not the problem, people are! (Since people are the ones that made up religion, right?) The truth is, power corrupts all. Those in power, do things to keep the power - regardless of skin color, religion, or creed. :)

  • , 2010-03-04 14:56:24

    @Grant MacDonald: "bogus hocus pocus" What a great term! So poetical! What, btw, is *real* hocus pocus?

  • , 2010-03-04 15:08:42

    ahhh.. people who annoy you.

  • , 2010-03-04 15:31:01

    I read once where Julia Roberts said she looked up "republican" in the dictionary....she found it between reptilian and repulsive." I think that covers it pretty well.

  • , 2010-03-04 15:35:55

    @Grant MacDonald: Its amazing how simply spouting out inane drivel for a long period of time makes people think you know what youre talking about. The problem is, if your facts suck you may the rest of us look bad too. "Civilization goes back 1,000,000 years"?? Wrong. Check the fossil record. "religion is responsible for more corruption and violence in the world"?? wrong. Check your history book. Mao made Hitler look like a girl scout...and he was an Atheist. But, by your reasoning (i.e. the risk of violence because of religion or conversely rejection of religion) we should all run out and become religious because when we count Mao, Atheism causes more violence. Blah blah blah. Its easy enough to make your point without concoting bogus historical examples. If you cant state FACTS, then just state your opinion...but dont make crap up to make yourself seem more intelligent.

  • , 2010-03-04 16:41:21

    Another GOP hypocrite laid low. The Lord works in mysterious ways ...

  • , 2010-03-04 16:42:41

    Hey Anonymous who lives in his district - more please about those "rumors"!!!

  • , 2010-03-04 17:11:44

    Grant, right on man! as a straight and married man, I absolutely agree with you on religion being the culprit of most of the blood that has been shed on this planet. Of all religions.. the big three are nothing but a myth. It’s amazing that with today’s technology and science, ignorance still takes the better of the so called "intelligent" people on this planet, and especially the U.S. religion = evil Republicans = the essence of evil no wonder the two are so well connected. But unfortunately the vast majority of this country is sooooooooooooo incredibly naive that they fail to see this connection, thus the evil strength of the republican party.... may all republicans and especially the evil Evangelicals be crucified on their precious made up and evil cross.. then this country may actually stand a chance at reviving again.

  • , 2010-03-04 17:16:07

    It’s clear that the anti-gay rights people are really going through personal issues and promoting anti-rights and hate because they hate themselves. It’s elementary and comical.

  • , 2010-03-04 18:51:27

    GRASSHOPPER - you have taken the pebble from the master’s hand. Well said!!!!

  • , 2010-03-04 19:45:23

    So typical of these right wing conservative and so called Christians. Maybe the Romans had it right and we should feed some of them to the lions

  • Kevin G., 2010-03-05 10:00:58

    God I love it when the hypocrites get busted, and red handed at that! The only one sweeter than this was the Denver Preacher-Pres. Of the National Association of Evangelicals, who had a gay massuse! Don’t tell me there wern’t "happy endings" there! Oh these angry closet queens and their drama! Now he really looks like a jackass!

  • HotDogBred, 2010-03-05 12:09:26

    "...vehicle was observed being driven erratically..." I think he was getting a B.J. LOL

  • , 2010-03-05 13:15:24

    Grant’s atheist diatribe notwithstanding, I am amused that anyone is surprised at this event. Is our collective memory so short that we forget the late lamented J.Edgar Hoover, Roy Cohn, G. David Shine, Francis Cardinal Spellman, Brig. Gen. Edwin A. Walker, and the whole nauseating list of homophobic closet cases? Many religious groups in the U.S. have been onboard in the battle for equality from the start. Save your wrath for the insurance companies, the tax collectors, and all of corporate Amerika which would be compelled to bear the cost of economic equality for all.

  • Lon in East TX, 2010-03-05 16:48:18

    LOL..I have to agree with, HotDogBred..thinks he was getting a BJ in the car..geez, couldnt wait to get to a seedy whoretell room or the tricks apt??

  • , 2010-03-05 17:08:34

    Mankind as a whole is the creator of his own sins as well as his goodness... Now that you’re aware of history & mans origin somewhat; look at it without judgements. Then think about the 1st caveman that made the rest believe he had the power, imagined Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved

  • oldhippie, 2010-03-06 22:03:35

    Grant - I honestly couldn’t wade through all your diatribe so not sure exactly what you said, but the gist of it was surely that "religion" is evil, etc. etc. I am a former ordained minister who has also turned away from "religion," but I hate to see good, well-meaning, open-minded church people (yes, there are many) get lumped in with all that evil. I now attend a church that spends most of our time and resources providing food and shelter for Atlanta’s homeless population, fighting for the rights of the GLBT community, opposing the death penalty, sponsoring refugee families - just generally reaching out to people on the margins of society. I’m sorry the church has hurt you so badly - it hurt me too, but I have chosen to cling to the good in the ethic of Jesus, who was a real person who taught an ethic of love and self-sacrifice, without necessarily holding to the myth of Christianity. The story was told in the first place as a vehicle to teach the ethic, but unfortunately the church over the centuries has adopted a literalism that hides the message inside the myth. I hope you find some peace in something, even if not in "religion."

  • , 2010-04-02 20:45:14

    Grant: It is unfortunate that this blog does not limit characters. If it did, maybe you would have been more concise, and I actually would have read your monologue. Thanks Old Hippie, for clarifying the Issue so eloquently.

  • , 2010-04-05 04:57:27

    Thank you, Oldhippie for that beautifully spoken message. Where you choose to believe in God and Jesus is up to you but I have to agree that I don’t believe in organized religion and it’s false teachings. Man uses God’s words to his own agenda and it’s that is evil but not all Christians believe in the church just in the love of God. If people understood that love there would be no need to think yourself better that anyone else and to hate just for the sake of it. If God meant for Homosexuality to be a sin it would have been written in the Ten Commandments which it was not. And if Church leaders would get there heads out of their ass and actually study the TRUTH they would see that God never had a problem with it. The stories they want to use to say that it was wrong have to do with sex that was forced as in rape and turning male slaves into prostitutes it never had anything to do with the love between two consenting adults such as David and Jonathan. You’ll never read the true story of these two men in any modern bible because the church as twisted it for there own agenda.

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