Perhaps, the most predictable thing about Republican California state Sen. Roy Ashburn, arrested last week in Sacramento for Driving Under the Influence (DUI), confirming yesterday that he is gay is the chorus of left-wing gay activists telling us that closeted gay politicians “vote against LBGT rights to squash rumors about their sexual orientation.”
Granted there is some truth to this notion, but when you read the list of legislative proposals these activists describe as “rights,” you find the better part of them are not rights as the Founders defined them, but merely government regulations defining sexual orientation as a protected class. Certainly these activists are hoping that once out of the closet, Senator Ashburn will adopt their agenda hook, line and sinker lest he be branded self-hating. And soon when he votes their way and changes his party registration, they’ll be feting him for his courage.
Well, he would truly be courageous if once coming out, he said, “Yeah, I was short-sighted on some issues, but I still believe in freedom, so don’t support increasing the scope of state authority to ensure that no one, nowhere, no how treats a gay person in less than a politically correct manner.”
That said, I do hope he’ll change his views of the state’s domestic partnership program (he once opposed even that) and help lobby California Republican Representatives in Congress to join their colleagues in voting to repeal Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell. But, there’s really not much else the government should be doing for gays. It should leave us alone, treat us as individuals (and not members of a particular class) before the law, neither burdened nor benefited because of our difference from the social norm.
Government should leave us to address our problems on our own and in the communities to which we belong and which we’ve chosen.
All that said, my heart goes out to Roy Ashburn the man–and to his family. It is unfortunate that he should have his private life made public. But, then again, he should have known better than to drive a car after drinking to excess.
Perhaps though his coming out will help change attitudes toward gay people, particularly among the social conservatives who make up a large portion of his jurisdiction. It is attitudes we still need to change not laws we need to enact.