When the first wave of Republican anti-gay legislators who turned out to be secretly gay or have engaged in gayish acts hit the news, we couldn’t understand it. Why would you vote for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, Ed Schrock? What if you finally meet Mr. Right? Why would you vote against adding sexual orientation to the definition of hate crimes, Larry Craig? What if someone beat you up in an airport bathroom because of your wide stance? But then, as we thought about it, there was a sort of perverse logic to it: If there is something you’re disgusted with about yourself, why wouldn’t you act out against that in a public forum? We thought we sort of had a handle on it.
But the stories kept coming. The latest is a real doozy. Father of four Roy Ashburn, an anti-gay Republican state senator from Southern California, was busted early this morning for drunk driving. While leaving a gay bar in Sacramento. With a trick in the passenger seat. (“A male passenger, who was not identified as a lawmaker, was also in the car but was not detained,” the local CBS affiliate reported. From now on we should all label our one-night stands “not identifiable as lawmakers.”) The bar Ashburn was leaving was hilariously called “Faces,” which, as Brian Moylan from Gawker points out, is “a name only a gay bar in a modestly sized urban area could have.”
We feel like we’ve come full circle. Ashburn has reportedly voted against every gay-rights measure to cross his desk in the State Senate. And yet he’s hanging out openly at gay bars, and even convincing dudes to go home with him. We’re lost again. This guy is living at least part of his life as a gay man (not the part that involved siring four daughters with a woman) and yet he’s voting against gay issues. It’s one thing to try to overcompensate for a private shame, or to try to pound down your own secret instincts by legislative means (not that it’s not still despicable, but there’s at least some sort of theory to it). It’s another thing to cruise around drunkenly at bars with names like Faces. Places like Faces are for the only three hot guys in town who can actually show off their abs while dancing on a box, and white men who do a really amazing karaoke version of “I Will Always Love You,” and for bouffant-wearing contestants in the Miss Gay Latina Sacramento competition. You know, people who are actually proud of what they are. Not for self-hating lawmakers who spend their days hurting the very tail they end up chasing at night.
Anti-Gay Lawmaker At Gay Club Before DUI Arrest [CBS13 Sacramento]