A state Governor in the United States has spoken of his pride in his daughter for publicly coming out as a lesbian.
In an interview with a gay publication, Governor Deval Patrick and his wife also recounted how his daughter Katherine, now 18, came out to them at the Governor’s Mansion last July.
Mr Deval, a Democrat, is the first black Governor of Massachusetts.
It is one of two US states that has gay marriage.
Tomorrow he will join his daughter at Boston’s Pride parade.
“The first thing my dad did was, [he] wrapped me in a bear hug and said, ‘Well, we love you no matter what,” and the family shared a group hug.
“And I’ve been closer to my parents since coming out than any other time, I think,” Katherine said in an interview with Bay Windows.
Advocacy group Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays said the Governor and his family are role models.
“The Patricks embody the perfect combination of leadership and love and are role models not only for parents in Massachusetts, but for families across the country,” said PFLAG national president John R. Cepek, who is the father of a gay son.
“Long before he knew he had a lesbian daughter, Governor Patrick was a leader on LGBT issues. He has set a policy and parental example that every father, and every elected leader, should aspire to follow.”
Massachusetts is one of only two states to officially recognise full marriage equality for same-sex couples.
In 2007, the state legislature defeated a measure, following the historic Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling legalising marriage, to amend the state’s constitution to ban such unions.
The effort to defeat the measure was led, in large part, by Governor Patrick.
“He didn’t know I was gay then,” Katherine Patrick said in her interview.
“So, for someone so publicly to fight for something that doesn’t’ even affect him was just like, ‘That’s my dad,’ you know?
“That’s all I could think. I was very, very proud to be part of this family, and this state in general.”