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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 30, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 18
National News
Section One
ALL STORIES
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National News

by Rex Wockner - SGN Contributing Writer

Gay anti-Gay senator wins 'Pink Brick'
San Francisco's LGBT Pride Committee has given its annual 'Pink Brick Award' to a Gay person for the first time: California state Sen. Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield.

Ashburn was outed in March after he was arrested for drunk driving as he reportedly drove away from a Gay bar.

It quickly emerged that Ashburn, who has an almost perfect anti-Gay voting record, frequented Gay bars in the state capital.

A few days later, he officially came out in an interview on a Bakersfield radio station. But, in that interview, Ashburn said he would continue to vote anti-Gay because that's how his constituents want him to vote.

"My votes reflect the wishes of the people in my district," he said. "And 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 [pro-Gay] measures came before the Legislature, I cast 'no' votes - usually 'no' votes - because the measures were almost always about acknowledging rights or assigning identification to homosexual persons. ... I felt my duty, and I still feel this way, is to represent my constituents."

That rubbed San Francisco Pride organizers the wrong way.

"This is the very first time in Pink Brick Award history that an out Gay person is the recipient," said Pride Executive Director Amy André. "By selecting Sen. Roy Ashburn, the LGBT community is sending a strong message to the world that LGBT people - especially those with the political power and privilege to further LGBT rights - have a responsibility to work toward liberation for all."

The Pride board president, Mikayla Connell, said the organization hopes Ashburn "realizes that it's never too late for him - or anyone else - to choose liberation and justice over shame, fear and silence."

Past Pink Bricks have gone to Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, Sen. Diane Feinstein, George W. Bush, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carrie Prejean.

With assistance from Bill Kelley

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