Veteran Arizona legislator Sen. Steve Gallardo has come out as gay.

The Phoenix Democrat told a group of reporters he was inspired by the battle over Senate Bill 1062 to reveal his sexual orientation.

Gallardo said the bill would have allowed businesses to refuse service to gay, lesbian and transgender people based on religious beliefs, and that it would have affected him personally. Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed the bill last Wednesday after strong opposition from the business community.

Gallardo served in the state House of Representatives from 2003 to 2009 and has been a state senator since 2011.

He is also running for the Democratic 7th Congressional District seat being vacated by the retirement of Rep. Ed Pastor.