State Senator Roy Ashburn, the California GOP lawmaker with a long anti-gay record recently forced to admit he's gay, spoke up for the first time on gay issues, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Speaking on the state Senate floor, the Republican lawmaker spoke up on two gay-related measures ultimately approved by lawmakers in the chamber.

Saying that before his coming out he “would not have been speaking on a measure dealing with sexual orientation ever,” Ashburn added that he was “no longer willing or able to remain silent on issues that affect sexual orientation.”

The 56-year-old Republican's sexuality came under close scrutiny after details of a March 3 drunk-driving 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 termed-out Bakersfield lawmaker a pass.

Ashburn voted against openly gay Senator Mark Leno's bill that exempts clergy from performing civil marriages that counter his or her own faith. He said he was doing so because the bill “creates confusion, untenable situation that is not helpful on this whole issue.”

However, he later flipped his position on open gay service in the military and voted with the majority to support a resolution urging Congress to repeal “Don't Ask, Don't Tell.”

Ashburn, who previously voted against a similar resolution, said sexual orientation has nothing to do with military service and called the policy “clearly out of date and discriminatory.”