State Senator Roy Ashburn – the
recently out California GOP lawmaker wit a long anti-gay record –
pleaded no contest Wednesday morning to a charge of driving under the
influence of alcohol in a Sacramento court, the AP reported.
The lawmaker was represented in court
by his lawyer. He was sentenced to three years of informal probation
and 48 hours in the county lockup.
Ashburn's sexuality came under close
scrutiny after details of a March 3 arrest were made public,
including the fact that he was traveling with a male companion after
leaving a popular Sacramento gay bar.
After evading the press for five days,
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 gave the 55-year-old
politician a pass.
“Roy Ashburn should resign,” Randy
Thomasson, president of the Christian-based SaveCalifornia.com, said
in a statement. “His lying, cheating ways have boiled over and the
public's trust has been shattered.”
Ashburn divorced his wife in 2003.
Nevertheless, Thomasson listed infidelity as another reason for
calling for his resignation: “He vowed to be faithful to his wife,
then broke his vows when he chose homosexuality over his marriage.”
The state senator represents
California's 18th district, which includes portions of
Kern, Tulare and San Bernardino Counties. Voters in the district
overwhelmingly voted in favor of Proposition 8, the 2008 initiative
that defined marriage as a heterosexual union in the state's
constitution, effectively trumping a California Supreme Court ruling
legalizing the institution.
Ashburn has defended his anti-gay
record, saying, “I felt my duty, and I still feel this way, is to
represent my constituents.”