John M. Becker

Arizona Senator to Newly Out Colleague: 'Act More Gay'

Filed By John M. Becker | April 03, 2014 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Arizona, bullying, coming out, gay stereotypes, stereotypes, Steve Gallardo, stigma

senator-cajero-bedford-arizona.jpgOlivia Cajero Bedford (right), a Democratic state senator in Arizona, thinks her colleague Steve Gallardo is being dishonest by staying on as senate minority whip while also running for federal office.

In a closed-door meeting on Tuesday where she tried and failed to have him removed from the post, Cajero Bedford reportedly tried to prove her point that Sen. Gallardo can't be trusted by pointing to the fact that he only recently came out as a gay man. "Why was he hiding it?" Cajero Bedford said.

As if that weren't shocking enough, she also told Sen. Gallardo that if he really was gay, he should probably start acting like it.

The Arizona Capitol Times reports:

"'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.'

"As for the comments about his sexual orientation, 'what the hell that has to do with anything, I don't know,' Gallardo said."

More, after the break.

steve-gallardo-arizona.JPGSenator Gallardo (left) came out publicly last month at an emotional press conference in response to the nationwide backlash over Arizona's failed "turn away the gays" bill.

He opposed the bill, but said that watching the hateful measure get so close to becoming law inspired him to take the additional step of coming out himself, to send a message to LGBT Arizonans that it's okay to be gay.

Senator Cajero Bedford admitted to making the remarks, but said that she was totally just kidding, you guys.

"Cajero Bedford said her comments about Gallardo needing 'to act more gay' were 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,' Cajero Bedford said.

"However, she said that she felt his keeping his sexual orientation a secret was a matter of honesty. 'Why was he hiding it? It wouldn't have made any difference,' she said."

Senator Gallardo says Cajero Bedford's comments stunned their senate colleagues. "It took people back," he said. "It sucked the air out of the room."

Cajero Bedford has thus far declined to apologize for bullying her colleague.

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