The youngest daughter of Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said she's gay, but didn't come out to her parents until after lawmakers voted to kill a proposal that would have outlawed gay marriage in the state.
Katherine Patrick said her father responded to her announcement by giving her a bear hug and saying: "Well, we love you no matter what.''
She made her revelation public in an interview with her family published Thursday in Bay Windows, a weekly Boston newspaper aimed at the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community.
The 18-year-old said she told the governor and her mother, Diane Patrick, of her sexual orientation on July 3, 2007, about three weeks after the Legislature rejected an anti-gay marriage amendment to the state constitution.
Patrick, who supports gay marriage, lobbied lawmakers to block the amendment from reaching the ballot, guaranteeing the future of same-sex marriage in the Massachusetts.
"He didn't know that I was gay then,'' Katherine told the paper. "For someone so publicly to fight for something that doesn't even affect him was just like, 'That's my dad,' you know?''
Katherine did not immediately return a phone call from The Associated Press on Thursday. An aide to the governor said he would make few additional comments other than to say he supported and loved his daughter.
Katherine plans attend Smith College in the fall and is an intern at MassEquality, a gay rights advocacy group. She and her father will march in Boston's gay pride parade on Saturday.
Patrick said the idea that one of his daughters could be gay didn't factor into his decision to support gay marriage.
"I don't think we thought about who they loved _ more that they knew what love was and that they would have love in their lives,'' Patrick said.
Massachusetts was the first state in the nation to legalize gay marriage, after the state's Supreme Judicial Court ruled in 2003 that it was unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The first marriages took place in May 2004.
Patrick said his family agreed to the interview with Bay Windows to make the information public on their own terms.
"The world is such and my job is such that rather than have someone do a 'gotcha' and our giving the misimpression that this wasn't completely natural in our family, then we thought, 'All right, let's just say it and move on,' " he said.
This program aired on June 12, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.