STOCKTON, Calif. – A California lawmaker from the Central Valley has revealed that she is gay, making her one of eight openly gay members of the Legislature.
Assemblywoman Cathleen Galgiani came out Tuesday during an interview with The Stockton Record. The Democrat from Livingston, which is just north of Merced, said she decided to do so to send a positive message to young people who feel ostracized by their sexual identity.
“It sickens me that young people would think about taking their lives because of who they are,” Galgiani told the newspaper.
The 47-year-old says she did not know she was gay until after she was elected to the state Assembly in 2006. She is believed to be only the second California lawmaker to come out after being elected to the 120-member Legislature.
Former state Sen. Roy Ashburn came out in 2010 following an arrest for drunken driving after he left a gay-friendly nightclub near the state Capitol. The Bakersfield Republican later appealed for gay rights on the Senate floor.
Galgiani says she is not in a long-term relationship but rather is “married to the train,” referring to her advocacy for high-speed rail.
Galgiani has announced she will move back to her hometown of Stockton to run for a state Senate seat next year, when she will be termed out of the Assembly.