California State Senator Roy Ashburn came out as gay in a radio interview Monday morning, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Ashburn's sexuality came under close scrutiny last week after the Republican lawmaker was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving after leaving a gay nightclub in Sacramento.

“I am gay,” Ashburn confirmed to Inga Banks in an interview broadcast on KERN radio Monday.

“And so, those are the words that have been so difficult for me for so long,” he added.

After being freed on a $1,400 bond, Ashburn issued an apology, then went into seclusion.

Ashburn's apology, however, did not include any reference to his sexual orientation: “I am deeply sorry for my actions and offer no excuse for my poor judgment. I accept complete responsibility for my conduct and am prepared to accept the consequences for what I did.”

Following Wednesday's arrest, many gay activists called the 55-year-old politician a hypocrite for his staunch record of opposing gay rights, which includes voting against gay marriage, rights for transgender people and recognition of Harvey Milk Day, in memory of San Francisco's first openly gay politician.

“To live a secret life and at the same time be attacking exactly the people who you're one of – but that you're too ashamed to admit – that's the hypocrisy that I think for folks, whether you're gay or not, is just unacceptable in politics,” openly gay West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon told local CBS affiliate CBS13 on Thursday.

Last year, Cabaldon wrote on his Facebook page: “It wouldn't bother me so bad to see Roy Ashburn at [gay bar] Badlands with a boy if he didn't have such a bad voting record on gay rights.”

Ashburn, a single father of four, defended his voting record, saying he cast votes that his constituents wanted.

“I felt my duty, and I still feel this way, is to represent my constituents,” he said.

The senator said he will return to work today.