Pennsylvania state Senator Jim Ferlo on
Tuesday announced he's gay.
While delivering a speech at the state
capitol in support of legislation which seeks to add sexual
orientation and gender identity to the state's hate crimes law, Ferlo
told the crowd that he's gay.
“I'm gay,” Ferlo said, according to
radio station WITF. “Get over it. It's a great life.”
The legislation, introduced last year
in the Senate by Ferlo, returned to the forefront after a gay couple
was brutally beaten in Philadelphia's downtown neighborhood of Center
tied to brutal Philadelphia beating of gay couple resigns from job.)
Ferlo explained in comments to BuzzFeed
that he thought the issue was germane.
“The focus of the press conference
was the horrendous act of hate against a gay couple in Philly, but I
paused and made a personal statement that I think is germane to the
topic,” he said. “I didn't plan and I didn't prepare it. But I
thought it was an appropriate time to speak about the issue and share
Ferlo, a 63-year-old Democrat from
Pittsburgh, is not seeking reelection and his term in the Senate will
officially expire in two months.
Openly gay Rep. Brian Sims is leading
the push to amend the state's hate crimes law.
“Don't let anybody tell you we only
have six or seven days left in session. That's BS,” a fired-up
Sims, also a Democrat, said during Tuesday's rally. “We're a
full-time legislature. We're in session until November 30. We got
60 some odd days left in session. And if we can't pass a law like
this to protect basic citizens in their home, then we're not doing
our job and we are not a full-time legislature. Lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender. Get used to it, there's a million of us in
this state and we deserve the same rights and the same protections as