Roy Arthur Ashburn (born March 21, 1954) is an http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_politician" title="American politician">American politician from Kern" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kern_County,_California">Kern County, California. A http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_Party_%28United_States%29" title="Republican Party (United States)">Republican, he served as a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_State_Senate" title="California State Senate">California State Senator from 2002 to 2010 representing the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California%27s_18th_State_Senate_district" title="California's 18th State Senate district">18th district. He previously served three terms in the California" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_State_Assembly">California State Assembly, representing the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California%27s_32nd_State_Assembly_district" title="California's 32nd State Assembly district">32nd district and 12 years on the Kern County http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/County_board_of_supervisors" title="County board of supervisors">board of supervisors. He now serves on the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board after having been appointed by Governor Arnold" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arnold_Schwarzenegger">Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Although he had maintained a firmly anti-gay-rights" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay">gay-rights voting record, in March 2010 Ashburn http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coming_out" title="Coming out">acknowledged that he is gay. After coming out, he gradually changed much of his rhetoric and stance regarding LGBT" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT">LGBT policy.
On March 3, 2010, Ashburn was arrested on suspicion of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drunk_driving" title="Drunk driving">drunk driving while operating a State of California owned vehicle. The Senator was pulled over in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacramento,_California" title="Sacramento, California">Sacramento by the California Highway Patrol shortly before 2 a.m., with sources saying he was leaving a Sacramento http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_bar" title="Gay bar">gay nightclub, Faces, in the Lavender Hill neighborhood, with an unidentified male passenger in a state-owned http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevy_Tahoe" title="Chevy Tahoe">Chevy Tahoe. Asburn's blood" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_alcohol_content">blood alcohol content was measured at 0.14%. The arrest "launched nationwide speculation that the veteran lawmaker is gay and therefore a hypocrite for voting against gay-rights bills." In response to those accusations, during an interview on KERN" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KERN">KERN radio, Ashburn stated that he is gay and that he believes "that my responsibility is to my constituents." When asked during the interview whether he personally agreed with votes he made on gay rights issues, Ashburn didn't answer the question.
Newsweek's" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newsweek">Newsweek's June 7, 2010 issue's BACK STORY listed Ashburn, among others, as prominent conservative politician who has a record of anti-gay legislation and is later caught in a gay" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay">gay sex scandal.
On April 14, 2010, Ashburn pled http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nolo_contendere" title="Nolo contendere">no contest to the charge of driving" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Driving_under_the_influence">driving under the influence in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacramento_County,_California" title="Sacramento County, California">Sacramento County Superior Court. He received a sentence of three years of informal probation" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Probation">probation and 48 hours in the county jail, though was given credit for one day for the night of his arrest and will serve the remaining day on a work project. Fines and other fees cost Ashburn $1,900 to $2,000.