Steve Gallardo may be gay, but he’s not acting gay enough in the opinion of one of his Arizona State Senate colleagues.
During a closed door caucus meeting this week, Olivia Cajero Bedford remarked that Gallardo should ‘act more gay,’ according to Arizona Capitol Times.
Bedford made the comment in the context of an effort she supported to remove Gallardo from his post as the Senate’s minority whip. The attempt failed by a 3-8 vote.
‘She said that I should be more gay and she questioned my integrity,’ Gallardo said. ‘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.’
Still, he is perplexed by the remark about acting more gay.
‘What the hell that has to do with anything, I don’t know,’ Gallardo said.
Gallardo, 45, came out publicly on 5 March in the wake of the furor over a vetoed bill that sought to make it legal for businesses in the state to discriminate LGBTI people.
‘I am gay, I’m Latino and I’m a senator and it’s OK,’ he said at a news conference on that day.
His announcement about his sexuality came a week after he announced plans to run for congress which is what led Bedford to try and oust him from the leadership post.
Last fall, Leah Landrum Taylor was ousted as Senate Minority Leader when she decided to run for Secretary of State.
‘(Gallardo’s) just now saying he’s gay, and I was questioning why he put out Landrum Taylor because she was running for office,’ Bedford told the newspaper.
She added that her remark was an attempt at humor: ‘I said, "You ought to act more gay," and he said, "I can’t." It was an attempt to be sort of neutral. I’m fine with him being gay or not.’
But, she added: ‘Why was he hiding it? It wouldn’t have made any difference.’
Gallardo is currently serving his second term in the senate after three terms in the state’s House of Representatives.
He is the third openly gay member of the Arizona Legislature along with fellow Senator Robert Meza and Representative Demion Clinco.