Arizona Lawmaker Steve Gallardo Comes Out: ‘I’m Gay, I’m Latino, I’m a State Senator and It’s Okay’

Arizona State Senator Steve Gallardo came out of the closet in a meeting with reporters on Wednesday, the Phoenix New Times reports:

GallardoSitting in the Senate Caucus room with a handful of reporters, a little more than a week after he delivered a rousing speech to activists protesting against an anti-gay measure, Senator Steve Gallardo says that it's time to lay it out there.

"I'm gay, I'm a Latino, and I'm a senator," he says, his voice quivering with emotion. "And it's okay."

He says that watching activists fighting against SB 1062, a bill that provided legal cover for business owner who chose to discriminate against gays and transgender persons, inspired him to speak out.

Gallardo said he was hit with a revelation during the debate over the bill in the state senate:

"After I stood up on the floor and argued against 1062, as I've done on many bills before, I saw down and said, 'Wow. This bill affects me. It affects me directly'…I thought it's time. 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 said he doesn't care how it affects his congressional aspirations.

The Republic adds:

Gallardo said he intends to serve out the rest of the legislative session and has no plans, at this point, to resign as he pursues the congressional seat.