The past year has been a wild ride for longtime Republican lawmaker Roy Ashburn.
Not only did Ashburn vote for tax increases — thus helping end a protracted state budget battle — but Monday morning he revealed to conservative radio talk-show host Inga Barks that he is gay.
With this record, Ashburn might as well announce he's a Democrat, too.
I kid, and I shouldn't.
Ashburn should be commended for bolting party lines and voting to approve a budget that cut billions of dollars and included pro-business incentives he favors such as tax credits for new-home buyers.
Ashburn's sexual orientation shouldn't matter.
But the reality is that he wouldn't have won eight straight elections — from county supervisor to the state Senate — in conservative Bakersfield as an openly gay Republican.
And so Ashburn was trapped from the start, living a lie because his political survival depended on it.
Yes, there are Log Cabin Republicans.
To read the complete column, visit www.fresnobee.com.