"game changer"

Arizona Senator Steve Gallardo Comes Out As Gay, “And It’s Okay”

Steve Gallardo, Russell PearceA week and a half after standing on the Senate floor and arguing against SB 1062, Arizona’s attempt to legalize discrimination against LGBTs, state Senator Steve Gallardo has come out as gay.

“I’m gay, I’m a Latino, and I’m a senator,” Gallardo told reporters in the Senate Caucus room this afternoon. “And it’s okay.”

Gallardo said watching demonstrators protesting SB 1062 in the capitol last month inspired his decision to come out. “Seeing the people out there, protesting, I thought it’s time,” he said. “It’s time to let people know about me, and to send people a message.” “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.”

Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the bill last week, but Gallardo says the debate was “actually a game changer.”

The 44-year-old lawmaker announced he’ll be running for a seat in Arizona’s Seventh Congressional District last week, and says he “couldn’t care less” if being openly gay hurts his chances at victory. “This is about standing up and doing the right thing,” he said.

Congratulations, Senator Gallardo! You should celebrate with a hot slice of pizza from Rocco’s Pizzeria.