SF Pride Gives 2010 Annual Pink Brick Award to First Gay RecipientCalifornia State Senator Roy Ashburn (R, Bakersfield)

The San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee, has announced its 2010 Pink Brick Award recipient: California State Senator Roy Ashburn (R, Bakersfield).

The Pink Brick award is given each year to a person or institution whose actions are deemed to have caused the most significant harm to the LGBT community.

 

Senator Ashburn has served in the California state legislature since 1996 and has an extensive voting history of vigorously opposing LGBT rights, including his overwhelming support of the state’s Proposition 8 which denied equal rights to LGBT citizens.  

Early in March 2010, Senator Ashburn was arrested for drunk driving shortly after he left a Sacramento gay bar with another man in his state-issued car.

Ashburn's arrest has sparked major controversy. Since his arrest he has admitted he is gay, and claims his voting record reflects his constituent’s views. Ashburn says he plans to continue voting on behalf of what he sees as the majority viewpoint in his district, even if that means voting against LGBT civil rights.

“This is the very first time in Pink Brick Award history that an ‘out’ gay person is the recipient,” said SF Pride’s Executive Director Amy André. “By selecting Senator 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.”

In recent years, Pink Brick Award recipients have included Miss California contestant Carrie Prejean for her efforts against marriage equality, Archbishop George Niederauer for his support of Proposition 8, FOX-TV Commentator Bill O'Reilly for his sensationalist reporting on the LGBT community, former US President George W. Bush for his support of an amendment to the US Constitution that would define marriage strictly as between a man and a woman, and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for his veto of a bill that would have allowed same-sex marriage in his state.

“For 40 years, San Francisco Pride has educated the world about the kind of freedom that can only occur when aligning personal honesty with political action in our lives,” SF Pride Board of Directors President Mikayla Connell. “We hope this year’s Pink Brick recipient, Senator Roy Ashburn, realizes that it’s never too late for him — or anyone else — to choose liberation and justice over shame, fear and silence.”

 

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