AZ Lawmaker Comes Out As Gay, Says Anti-Gay Bill Was ‘Game-Changer’


Arizona state Sen. Steve Gallardo, who said last week that he would run for Congress, came out Wednesday as gay — less than a week after Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed controversial anti-gay legislation.

“I am gay, I am Latino and I’m a state senator,” Gallardo (D) said, according to local media. He said it was the “right time for me to come out” and that the anti-gay bill had been a “game-changer” that prompted his decision.

Gallardo had spoken out against the bill that Brewer vetoed last week.

“I don’t argue that folks have the right to religious freedom,” he said at the time. “I think we all have the right to our religious beliefs, but I do not agree that we have the right to discriminate because of our religious beliefs.”

Gallardo said he will seek the congressional seat vacated by U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor (D), who announced his retirement on Feb. 27.