GOP state senator comes out as gay on talk radio |

GOP state senator comes out as gay on talk radio

Associated Press
In this photo provided by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, state Sen. Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield, is seen in this booking photo. California Highway Patrol Lt. Jay Bart says Ashburn was spotted driving erratically about 2:10 a.m. Wednesday, March 3, 2010. He was arrested after a sobriety test, taken to Sacramento County Jail, given a blood alcohol test, booked and released. (AP Photo/Sacramento County Sheriff's Department)
ASSOCIATED PRESS | Sacramento County Sheriff’s Depa

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Republican state Sen. Roy Ashburn of Bakersfield says he is gay, after days of speculation after his arrest last week in Sacramento for driving under the influence.

The conservative lawmaker came out Monday on KERN radio in Bakersfield, saying he felt compelled to address the rumors that he had visited a gay nightclub near the Capitol before his DUI arrest.

The 55-year-old father of four says he crossed the line and broke the law, putting people at risk, so he owes the public an explanation.

Since he was first elected to the state Assembly in 1996, Ashburn has consistently voted against gay rights measures.

He has said those votes reflect how constituents in his district wanted him to vote.