Friday, May 28, 2010

Come ALL The Way Out, Roy

See what the closet does.

Last year, California state Senator Roy Ashburn was a deeply closeted, deep in denial gay man. Not too much wrong there, really, it';s his choice to be out, open and honest. But the sad part was that, as a senator, Ashburn consistently voted against LGBT legislation in his state.

That's what the closet does. it forces you to work against yourself so no one would ever suspect you might be gay. It forces you to deny your very self.

But now, two months after his drunk driving arrest, two months after it was discovered he was leaving a Sacramento gay bay, two months after reluctantly announcing he was gay, Roy Ashburn openly discussed his sexual orientation on the Senate floor and cast votes on two separate gay-rights bills.

He was the only Republican senator to vote in support--SUPPORT--of allowing openly gay people to serve in the military. He gets a half hand-clap here, because he also voted against--AGAINST--a bill that would clarify that clergy members would not be required to perform a civil marriage that was contrary to his or her faith.

Ashburn explained his votes on the Senate floor: "I would not have been speaking on a measure dealing with sexual orientation ever prior to the events that have transpired in my life over the last three months. However, I am no longer willing or able to remain silent on issues that affect sexual orientation and the rights of individuals. And so I am doing something that is quite different and foreign to me, and it’s highly emotional."

Ashburn also said, of DADT:
"The public supports allowing openly gay people to serve in the military....The current policy of 'don’t ask, don’t tell’ is clearly out of date and discriminatory.’’

But what about that second bit of business?

Ashburn said he supported the portion of the legislation that made it clear clergy members would face no sanctions, including the loss of tax-exempt status for their churches, if they refused to perform gay marriages, but called it "troublesome’’ that the bill described marriages as "civil’’ unions. Since Prop H8 gave a definition of marriage, Roy Ashburn said he was worried the new definition in the bill could muddy the water and lead to new lawsuits on the issue.

But, Roy, you're out, you're a little bit proud. Don't you see that allowing marriage equality is just the same as repealing DADT.

Prop H8, like, DADT, to use your own words, is "out of date and discriminatory." Two bad you're not out of the closet enough to see that.


Tom (Thomas) Rimington said...

You know I love your stuff... The second point to me is troublesome...

My point... I would never want anyone who doesn't believe I should be married to the "person" of my choice, to actually perform the ceremony... I also believe that the seperation of church and state allows the "organized" religion's heads from not performing these ceremonies if they chose... It's not a matter of federal funding, or anything else. It's a matter of who I choose to perform a civil (and that's all it is when a representative of any church performs it) ceremony that makes my partner and me "legal" in the eyes of the federal and state governments...

Love ya Dude... Tom

Bob said...

Hey Tom,
Thanks for the compliment, but maybe I didn't make my point clear.
I agree 100% that any member of the clergy who doesn't wish to perform a gay marriage ceremony should be allowed that right.
I'm with you on that point.
My issue with Ashburn was that he voted against the bill because it described marriages as civil unions--which they are--and thought that might make it easier to enact a marriage eqaulity bill.
That was my issue with him.
As a gay man he still doesn't get it that LGBT are treated as less than until we get all the same rights as our hetero counterparts.