Arizona State Senator Steve Gallardo on Wednesday announced that he's gay.

“I wanted to let everyone know I am gay, I'm a Latino and I'm a state senator and it's okay,” Gallardo told reporters.

The 45-year-old Gallardo was a vocal critic of a bill which opponents said would allow individuals and businesses to discriminate against gay people on the basis of their religious beliefs. Last week, Republican Governor Jan Brewer vetoed the bill after a loud outcry from politicians, corporate leaders and activists.

“In the middle of that discussion, it dawned on me that this bill affects me directly, and seeing all the people come to the Capitol protesting and rallying around this bill solidified my thought and that it's time for me to stand up and say, 'This is who I am,'” Gallardo is quoted as saying by the AP.

In a message on Twitter, he said that he had received a call from Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and thanked him for his “kind words.”

Gallardo, a Democrat, is currently campaigning for the U.S. House.