An Arizona state senator was left baffled after a fellow legislator told him he should “act more gay.”
According to the Arizona Capitol Times, the comment was directed at state Sen. Steve Gallardo, who recently came out as gay, by Sen. Olivia Cajero Bedford during a closed-door meeting on Tuesday.
“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,” Gallardo said. “I’m more offended that she questioned my integrity.”
Gallardo said Cajero Bedford does not want him serving as the Senate’s minority whip during his Congressional run.
“It’s obvious that some folks were upset about some actions that happened during the legislative session and I think they were looking for some kind of rationale to remove me as Senate minority whip,” Gallardo told News/Talk 92.3 KTAR’s Mac & Gaydos on Thursday.
Gallardo, a Democrat, said he expected Republicans to say something to him about his orientation, but not a fellow party member.
“I can expect folks from the other side of the aisle to perhaps play dirty politics and want beat me up over it, but when you have one of your own members of your family come out and start beating you up, that’s unfortunate.”
Cajero Bedford said it’s a question of “honesty,” as Sen. Leah Landrum Taylor was removed from the same position earlier this year when she announced a 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,” Cajero Bedford told the Capitol Times. “He’s running for office and staying in leadership, and he wasn’t (at the Capitol) all last week. He voted to put Landrum Taylor out, and now he’s doing the same thing. That’s a question of honesty.”
Cajero Bedford also said she was joking when she made the comment to Gallardo and that his sexual orientation doesn’t make any difference to her.
Gallardo said he was more offended that Cajero Bedford would question his integrity rather than his personal life.