Senator Steve Gallardo decided to formally announce his sexual preference to the media a week and half after Governor Jan Brewer vetoed SB 1062. "I'm gay, I'm a Latino, and I'm a senator," Gallardo said. "And it's okay." The 44-year-old lawmaker told the Phoenix New Times it wasn't a secret, and he came out to his friends and devout Catholic family members 19 years ago. The fourth generation Arizona native was inspired to come out after witnessing all the SB 1062 protesters fighting to stop the controversial anti-gay legislation.
"After I stood up on the floor and argued against 1062, as I've done on many bills before, I sat down and said, 'Wow. This bill affects me. It affects me directly.'"
"Seeing the people out there, protesting. I thought it's time," he says. "It's time to let people know about me. And to send people a message. I'm more interested in letting people who struggle with this know that it's okay."
Gallardo received praise from Senator Robert Meza on Twitter for coming out:
For years I served as the only openly gay Senator in Arizona. I congratulate @Steve_Gallardo on his decision to join me in the open.
— Robert Meza (@SenRobertMeza) March 5, 2014
(Thanks to Phoenix New Times)