Welcome back to Five Questions!
Today, meet state Sen. Steve Gallardo (D), candidate for the seat of retiring Rep. Ed Pastor (D-Ariz.).
Gallardo recently made headlines when he came out as gay, a decision he said was due to an intense debate over a bill he opposed that would allow businesses to refuse service to gays and lesbians if doing so violates their religious beliefs. Gov. Jan Brewer (R) vetoed the measure.
Gallardo is running in a contested primary in a safe Democratic district. His main competitors appear to be Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, who is backed by Pastor; and state Rep. Ruben Gallego.
We sat down with Gallardo on Tuesday. Below is video of his "Five Questions" segment along with a transcript of our discussion edited for brevity and clarity.
1. You said came out as gay because of the SB 1062 debate. Explain your decision.
Here we had a bill that as I'm fighting and trying to defeat is a bill that affects me directly. For the first time, I said: "You know what? It is time for me to make a stand -- to be able to allow every one of my colleagues to know that this type of legislation is affecting the people that they are sitting right next to."
2. Do you think gay marriage will be legalized in Arizona in the near future?
Yes, I would predict that within the next four years we will have marriage equality in Arizona.
3. Will the current Congress pass immigration reform?
Yes, it's a must. You have hundreds of thousands of people who are suffering because of a broken immigration problem. We need to stop the deportation proceedings right now. We need comprehensive immigration reform with a legal path to citizenship.
4. Tell us one thing people who don't live there might not know about Arizona.
It is a welcoming state regardless of what may come out of the legislature sometimes.
5. The Super Bowl is in Arizona next year. Who's going to be playing?
Arizona Cardinals! I'm a season ticket holder. At the end of the day, regardless of who they play, I believe it is time for the Cardinals to get that Super Bowl ring.