Democratic Arizona Senator Olivia Cajero Bedford called for a vote to remove openly gay Sen. Steve Gallardo from his post as the Senate’s minority whip this week, questioning his sexual orientation and insisting that he “act more gay.”
The comments were made during a caucus meeting yesterday, where her impromptu vote failed 3-8. She told the Capitol Times that she questioned his integrity because he is “just now saying he’s gay” and his “running for office and staying in leadership” is “a question of honesty.”
Sen. Gallardo came out last month after Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill that would have allowed Arizona businesses to discriminate against customers based on sexual orientation. He told reporters that demonstrators protesting the bill outside his office inspired him to come out.
As for Cajero Bedford’s comments about his needing to “act more gay,” Gallardo tells the Capitol Times “what the hell that has to do with anything, I don’t know”:
“She said that I should be more gay and she questioned my integrity. She said she was glad I came out (of the closet), but that I should be more gay. I’m more offended that she questioned my integrity.”
Cajero Bedford claims her comments were made in jest, saying “it was an attempt to be sort of neutral. I’m fine with him being gay or not.”
“It took people back,” Gallardo said. “It sucked the air out of the room.”