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How Much Sympathy Should We Give Gays Like Senator Roy Ashburn?

Updated on March 10, 2010


The recent outcome of California Republican Senator Roy Ashburn coming out is that it started me thinking. Here is a guy who has voted against most legislation for gay rights and gets caught drunk driving after leaving a gay bar with his Mr. Right Now in the passenger seat. While some may say that we gays need to stone him (with Swarovski crystals of course) for voting against his “own people” as it were I found myself just well…bored with the whole incident. How much sympathy should we give gays who only come out after they’re caught? – Don’t Get Me Started!

As far as Senator Ashburn’s gayness I don’t really care, it won’t affect my life, that’s something for him and his family to deal with and in my opinion, none of my business. The fact that he like so many other closeted politicians voted against laws that would allow gay Americans to be treated and seen equally under the eyes of the law is not a surprise either. I’ve heard the therapists say that it’s the self-loathing by these gays or the fact that they want to have their cock and eat one too without anyone knowing that they tend to vote anti-gay (for lack of a better term). This will affect me due to the fact that he is voting against my rights and has the authority as an elected official to do so and while he says he was voting against the gays in order to better represent his constituents’ viewpoint I think that’s a poor excuse, a marketing diversion and a way to make him feel noble when he’s really not.  

It started long before him but when Governor McGreevey (or McCreepy as I refer to him) had his big scandal and came out he stated that the reason he felt he could live a double life and never get caught was that he just felt a sense of entitlement and power in his position that he could go on fooling everyone around him. He felt there would be no real consequences because of the fact that he felt first that he was too smart to get caught and second that he was too important to have anyone cross him and tell the world that he was gay. Arrogance is not confined to gay politicians and if you ask me something that would stop a lot of the corruption in our government would be if there were term limits on all political offices. These career politicians get way too much power and lose touch with the people they’re supposed to represent. But that’s a blog for another day.

As I watched the way that Asburn is handling this “scandal” I started to think about the people who would say that we should have sympathy for this man. Any homosexual will tell you that admitting to yourself let alone to anyone else that you’re gay when the whole world around you is telling you that it isn’t the “norm” or “acceptable” in society or laws is not an easy process. For some of us it’s easier because we’ve always known and weren’t good enough actors to conceal it but for many this is not the case. So where do we decide who gets our sympathy and who doesn’t? There are plenty of gays who sit back in judgment of other gays and their coming out process but I’m not one of them. There are also many gays who will do everything in their power to out celebrities and anyone else for their own fame and fortune (are you listening Perez Hilton) but I am not one of them. And the more I think about Senator Ashburn the more I think that sympathy is the last thing we need to give anyone coming out, empathy maybe but sympathy? No. You see being true to yourself to me is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and the world around you. If you choose to be in the public eye then guess what, somewhere at some point your sexuality and the beverage you drink at Starbucks is going to be exposed (how else can they keep the 24 hour news cycle going).

Many would say that coming out is a brave thing to do. And the more public figures that come out, out themselves by driving drunk from a gay bar or have a Perez Hilton out them the more desensitized we all become to the process. While McGreevey (and his wife) got a book deal and got to sit on Oprah’s couch I doubt that Senator Ashburn will get that call. The times they have changed and hopefully the times will change even more to the point that coming out will be less and less of a big deal and more a choice for the individual to make, knowing that they will not be ridiculed or legislated against for coming out. I know, I’m a dreamer but I’d like to see us get to this point in my lifetime. Look I don’t expect my straight friends to let me know that they’re straight and I think it’s really odd that the religious right seem to have made us gays think that we need to let everyone know what’s going on in our bedrooms. I’m not advocating staying in the closet but let’s be honest world, we gays don’t hold a monopoly on the fetish industry as some would have you believe. So why don’t we all stop worrying about gay or straight and start worrying about things that really matter like how Kate Gosselin can be considered a celebrity for the new season of Dancing With The Stars! How much sympathy should we give gays who only come out after they’re caught? – Don’t Get Me Started!

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    • profile image

      Luke Johnson 7 years ago

      Hypocrisy is the homage that sin pays to virtue. In other words, I'd rather have a politician vote the right way even though he may fall short of those standards in his personal life, than to promote lower standards in his outward life and in his voting. Obviously you may not agree with me as to what would be a low standard for one's personal conduct, but those are my thoughts on the Roy Ashburn revelation. Also I agree with OpinionDuck that the problem becomes much more serious when the politician is abusing his office, as Clinton did on government time, in the Oval Office, with a naive intern -- and then perjured himself about it. Also Bill Clinton's rape of Juanita Broderick (among others) is incomparably worse than anything Roy Ashburn did.

    • OpinionDuck profile image

      OpinionDuck 7 years ago

      This was a personal thing for him and it didn't affect his work or me. When his out is because of something he did in office, like Bill Clinton then it becomes a public issue.

      Coming out like Bill Clinton and John Edwards as cheating bastards was more of a public problem than this one, because it could affect their job performance and credibility.

    • somelikeitscott profile image

      somelikeitscott 7 years ago from Las Vegas

      Thanks MM - it would be very easy to become very cynical...thank God we've found a way to keep our sunny dispositions...or have we?

    • profile image

      Molly's Mom 7 years ago

      We should give politicions about as much sympathy as we would give Pastors who come out gay only after they get caught..... NOW let's talk about preaching to the choir. Good Hub Scott. You have a way with each Hub to get me to put my finger on side of my cheek and sigh, hummm. Thank you for getting my brain to think!