Anti-LGBT Legislation Inspires Arizona Politician to Come Out: "I Am Gay"

Debate Over Anti-LGBT Legislation Inspires Arizona State Senator To Come Out As Gay

Arizona Sen. Steve Gallardo announced he is gay during a news conference today, saying the national controversy over anti-LGBT legislation in his state pushed him to make the revelation.

"I am gay, I'm a Latino, I'm a state senator and it's OK," Gallardo, 44, announced at the press conference. 

Last week, Senate Bill 1062 in Arizona was vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer. The controversial religious freedom legislation would have led to widespread discrimination, particularly against the LGBT community. 

Gallardo says that despite the veto, the bill was a "game changer." 

"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. It's time to let people know about me," he said, according to the Phoenix New Times

The state senator, who's currently running for the Democratic nomination for Congressional District 7, says his decision has no impact upon his plans to run for Congress. 

"This is about standing up and doing the right thing," he said.