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 PBS 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 City.

(Related: Coach 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 my experience.”

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 everybody else.”