I should begin with an apology. I am sincerely sorry for the votes I cast and the actions I took that harmed lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Just as important to me, I am sorry for not stepping forward and speaking up as an elected official on behalf of equal treatment for all people. For nearly 26 years, the voters in my area of California trusted me as their elected representative. I look back now knowing there is so much more I could have done to inform the public about LGBT people and to fight for equal rights under the law. Regrettably and selfishly, I took another path in my life and political career—I chose to conceal who I truly am and to then actually vote against the best interests of people like me. All this was done because I was afraid–terrified, really–that somehow I would be revealed as gay...
Gay people being treated with respect and having the same opportunities for a good life regardless of sexual orientation should not be topics of political debate. How can it possibly be that there is a partisan political divide over equal rights in America? At a time when our country is deeply divided over the proper size and scope of government, when people are hurting in a bad economy and when we face real threats from terrorists determined to end our way of life, shouldn’t we be united on at least one principal–that equality for all Americans is fundamental to who we are as a nation of freedom-loving people?
Now, I am somewhat of a novelty in politics. I am a gay Republican. I have always been a Republican, even as an eight-year-old boy with an intense interest in campaigning, elections and government. To me, Republican principles hold that each individual is special and unique; each individual should have the maximum freedom and opportunity under our Constitution; that government has no business in the private lives of our citizens.
It would have been nice had never took part in ways to hurt the gay community, but at least he is admiting his wrong and trying to start anew. It's good to have another strong Republican advocate for equality.