Nevada Senator John Ensign admitted
Tuesday he had an affair with a former staffer, the Los Angeles
Ensign, a gay rights opponent, was
considered a rising star of the Republican party and possible
“If there was ever anything that I
could take back in my life, this would be it,” Ensign said Tuesday
afternoon during a news conference in Las Vegas.
The fifty-one-year-old Republican
indicated he would remain in office after stating he
had participated in a nine-month affair in 2008 with a woman
who worked for his Senate campaign. The woman's husband also worked
for the senator.
In 2004, Ensign urged Congress to pass
a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, saying “Marriage
is the cornerstone on which our society was founded.”
Ensign also chided Idaho Senator Larry
Craig after his arrest in a Minneapolis men's room for lewd behavior.
He called Craig a “disgrace,” and called on him to resign.
Craig served the remainder of his term but never admitted being gay.
The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's
largest gay and lesbian rights advocate, gives Ensign a zero for his
support of gay rights. Ensign's score on the group's Congressional
Scorecard has steadily dropped from 25 in 2007 to zero in 2009.
After making his announcement, Ensign
did not take questions from the media.