Sen. Ashburn: "I am gay"

Sen. Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield, who was arrested last week for drunk driving, has acknowledged that he is gay.

"I am gay and so those are the words that have been difficult for me for so long," he said on KERN Newstalk 1180.

A Sacramento TV station reported that Ashburn was arrested after leaving a gay nightclub in Sacramento last week.

Ashburn, who is termed out this year, has consistently voted against gay rights measures. In the radio interview, he defended his votes, saying they reflected the will of his constituents.

"My votes reflect the wishes of the people in my district. I have always felt that my faith and allegiance was to the people, there, in the district, my constituents. And so as each of these individual measures came before the Legislature I cast 'no' votes, usually 'no' votes, because the measures were . . . almost always acknowledging rights or assigning identification to homosexual persons."

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