Massachusetts senator Stan Rosenberg has revealed he is gay in an Independence Day editorial.

Writing in the Daily Hampshire Gazette last weekend, he quietly revealed his sexuality about halfway down his column.

Rosenberg, 59, described himself as “a foster child who grew up as a ward of the state, as a gay man, as a Jew.”

He added: “I firmly believe that we will never fulfill our potential as a just society until we embrace the principle of equality for all and adhere to it as fundamental immutable policy.”

Massachusetts was the first state to legalise gay marriage in 2004. Since then, Vermont, Iowa, New Hampshire, Maine and Connecticut have followed suit.

In 2008, Rosenberg opposed a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in the state.

Known to be quiet over personal issues, he declined to comment when contacted by other media organisations.