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California Senator Roy Ashburn is Pink Brick’s First Gay Recipient

from www.sfgate.com – Oh, snap.

The San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Committee has chosen the 2010 recipient for its “Pink Brick” award, which basically goes to the person who most angered the committee in the last year. The lucky winner — and first gay recipient — is none other than state Sen. Roy Ashburn, R-Bakersfield, who gained infamy after a drunk-driving arrest in Sacramento in March.

That arrest led to a firestorm of criticism about Ashburn’s sexual orientation, as he reportedly had spent the evening at a gay club that was hosting the Miss Gay Latina Sacramento competition. In the aftermath, several people said Ashburn was a regular at Sacramento gay bars. Ashburn has one of the strongest records in the Legislature of voting against gay rights bills.

He came out as gay on a Bakersfield radio program a few days later, but said on the program that he would continue voting against gay rights as that is how his constituents would have him vote.

Apparently that didn’t go over too well with the Pride committee.

“This is the very first time in Pink Brick Award history that an out gay person is the recipient,” said Amy André, executive director of SF Pride in a written statement.

“By selecting Sen. Roy Ashburn, the LGBT community is sending a strong message to the world that LGBT people — especially those with the political power and privilege to further LGBT rights — have a responsibility to work toward liberation for all.”

Past recipients of the award include former Miss California Carrie Prejean, San Francisco Archbishop George Niederauer, Fox’s Bill O’Reilly and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The president of Pride’s board of directors, Mikayla Connell, said in a statement the brick award educates people about the importance of “aligning personal honesty with political action….”

“We hope this year’s Pink Brick recipient … realizes that it’s never to late for him — or anyone else — to choose liberation and justice over shame, fear and silence,” she said.

Sen. Ashburn’s office did not have any immediate comment on the award. We’ll watch to see if Ashburn changes his position on gay rights bills that will be voted on in the coming months and let you know.

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