Another anti-gay Republican turns out to be a hypocrite.

I know, I know: Big surprise! Right?

The California Highway Patrol pulled over Senator Roy Ashburn at 2:00 a.m. Wednesday after an officer noticed a black Chevy Tahoe swerving at 13th and L Streets.

Ashburn, a father of four, is a Republican Senator representing parts of Kern, Tulare and San Bernardino Counties with a history of opposing gay rights

When the officer stopped the state-issued vehicle, the driver identified himself as Senator Ashburn. He was arrested without incident and charged with two misdemeanors: driving under the influence and driving with a blood alcohol level higher than .08% or higher.

A male passenger, who was not identified as a lawmaker, was also in the car but was not detained.

via Anti-Gay Lawmaker At Gay Club Before DUI Arrest – cbs13.com.

It only lends more credence to the stereotype that those who are most vehemently anti-gay in their politics are also most likely to be deep in the closet.

The California state Senator has already released an apology:

“I am deeply sorry for my actions and offer no excuse for my poor judgment. I accept complete responsibility for my conduct and am prepared to accept the consequences for what I did. I am also truly sorry for the impact this incident will have on those who support and trust me – my family, my constituents, my friends, and my colleagues in the Senate.”

So now the question becomes: Will he slink away into shameful obscurity or will he change his mind in a day or two and try to claim he’s actually straight and was there offering Christian counseling to the lost souls in attendance? Perhaps he’ll try to blame it all on the booze. “I was so drunk,” he’ll say, “That I didn’t realize I was smoking cock! I thought it was a cigar!”

It all depends on how much self-loathing he has for himself whether he’ll take this opportunity to stop living a lie and embrace who he really is.

Judge asks Prop 8 lawyer to explain what threat gay marriage poses to conventional marriage.

I’m definitely liking the way the trial in California to determine the constitutionality of the Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage is going. It seems the judge is challenging the Prop 8 lawyer to define the harm from gays getting married:

The unusual exchange between U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn Walker and Charles Cooper, a lawyer for the group that sponsored Proposition 8, came during a hearing on a lawsuit challenging the measure as discriminatory under the U.S. Constitution.

Cooper had asked Walker to throw out the suit or make it more difficult for those civil rights claims to prevail.

The judge not only refused but signaled that when the case goes to trial in January, he expects Cooper and his legal team to present evidence showing that male-female marriages would be undermined if same-sex marriages were legal.

The question is relevant to the assertion that Proposition 8 is constitutionally valid because it furthers the states goal of fostering “naturally procreative relationships,” Walker explained.

“What is the harm to the procreation purpose you outlined of allowing same-sex couples to get married?” Walker asked.

“My answer is, I don’t know. I don’t know,” Cooper answered.

Ooooo, bad answer! That one had to hurt.

But don’t count the Prop 8 folks out just yet. The lawyer managed to recover enough to offer the following justification for the ban:

Moment later, after assuring the judge his response did not mean Proposition 8 was doomed to be struck down, Cooper tried to clarify his position. The relevant question was not whether there is proof that same-sex unions jeopardize marriages between men and women, but whether “the state is entitled, when dealing with radical proposals to make changes to bedrock institutions such as this … to take a wait and see attitude,” he said.

“There are things we can’t know, that’s my point,” Cooper said. “The people of California are entitled to step back and let the experiment unfold in Massachusetts and other places, to see whether our concerns about the health of marital unions have either been confirmed or perhaps they have been completely assuaged.”

In other words, the majority should have the option of suppressing your civil rights until such time that they feel other people someplace else have established there’s no harm in letting you have them.

Yeah, the Judge wasn’t having any of that:

Walker pressed on, asking again for specific “adverse consequences” that could follow expanding marriage to include same-sex couples. Cooper cited a study from the Netherlands, where gay marriage is legal, showing that straight couples were increasingly opting to become domestic partners instead of getting married.

“Has that been harmful to children in the Netherlands? What is the adverse effect?” Walker asked.

Cooper said he did not have the facts at hand.

Again he comes up short and, yet again, he manages to rally:

“But it is not self-evident that there is no chance of any harm, and the people of California are entitled not to take the risk,” he said.

“Since when do Constitutional rights rest on the proof of no harm?” Walker parried, adding the First Amendment right to free speech protects activities that many find offensive, “but we tolerate those in a free society

I like this judge. I like him a lot. I’ve been waiting for someone to make that argument for years. I wasn’t particularly optimistic that a challenged to Prop 8’s constitutionality would have a snowball’s chance in Hell of working, but suddenly the odds seem a lot better. The judge goes on to give even more reason to be optimistic:

Walker made clear that he wants to examine other issues that are part of the political rhetoric surrounding same-sex marriage but rarely surface in courtrooms. Among the questions he plans to entertain at the trial are whether sexual orientation is a fixed or immutable characteristic, whether gays are a politically powerful group, and if same-sex marriage bans such as Proposition 8 were motivated by anti-gay bias.

Excellent! It’s about fucking time someone challenged these assertions in a court of law. Make those assholes put up or shut up.

Of course there’s a chance the Prop 8 folks may prevail, but at least their claims are being questioned this time out and there’s some good reason to hope the ban will be overturned.

Keith Olbermann’s special comment on the passage of Proposition 8.

I was as disappointed as anyone over the passage of Proposition 8 in California banning gay marriage. For me it’s always been an issue of basic fairness and the feeling of disappointment was even greater than when Michigan passed a similar amendment to our state’s constitution. Michigan has enough backwards people in it that it wasn’t that big of a surprise, but California is supposedly a bastion of progressive liberals. If any state could be supportive of gay marriage, I thought, California would be my first pick. I hadn’t written much about Prop 8 passing because I was having a hard time putting my feelings on it into words.

Thankfully, Keith Olbermann managed to do it for me better than I could:

Found over at DOF’s blog.