Five days after Republican California
Senator Roy Ashburn admitted he's gay, the nation's two largest gay
GOP groups have kept mostly silent on the issue, neither willing to
call out the senator on his long anti-gay record.
Cabin Republicans Spokesman Charles Moran appeared on Oakland,
California-based Fox affiliate KTVU Wednesday night to voice the
group's reaction, but failed to condemn Ashburn's career-long
Ashburn's sexuality has been under the
microscope since his March 3 arrest on suspicion of drunk driving
after leaving a popular Sacramento gay bar. On Monday, the
conservative lawmaker and father of four told talk show host Inga
Banks: “I am gay.” Social conservatives immediately asked for
Ashburn's resignation, while Republicans appear prepared to give the
55-year-old politician a pass.
In the interview, Moran suggested that
he was OK with Ashburn's conflicting message of being a gay man while
voting and speaking out against gay rights measures.
Moran said that every gay and lesbian
person should come out in their own time, then added, “unfortunately,
this situation prompted a bit of an untimely and unprepared coming
out process,” for Ashburn.
And Moran implied that the political
culture was responsible for Ashburn's apparent double life: “There
are some serious ramifications and a lot of discussions about his
voting history on a lot of these issues, but also a greater
discussion about the culture in politics that really forces people on
the left and on the right to feel like they need to hide their sexual
orientation to be successful in politics.”
another gay group that supports Republicans, remained silent about
Ashburn, but felt free to take a swipe at former Democratic
Representative Eric Massa, who resigned his seat last week amid
allegations that he groped a male staffer. On the group's Facebook
page, Jimmy LaSalvia, the group's executive director, commented:
“Democrat closet case scandal details coming soon.”
Both groups have previously said that
gay rights come secondary to conservative values. Log Cabin
Republicans endorsed the 2008 presidential campaign of Arizona
Senator John McCain despite his staunch support for “don't ask,
don't tell,” the 1993 law that forbids gay troops from serving
openly, and state constitutional amendments that ban gay marriage.