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PA Republican State Senator to Gay Republican House Member: You Should Have Stayed in the Closet

In December 2012,State Representative Mike Fleck, a republican from rural Pennsylvania, publicly acknowledged that he was gay, which made him the first openly gay state representative to serve in the Pennsylvania General Assembly.  Then the following session, State Representative Brian Sims became the first openly gay candidate to get elected to the Pennsylvania House and joined Mike Fleck as the only two openly gay representatives in the state assembly.  Brian Sims, a democrat from Philadelphia, doesn’t have to worry about losing his seat because of his sexuality, but being from conservative, rural Pennsylvania, Mike Fleck has a lot more to lose.

Last week’s primary showed that Mike Fleck will probably lose  his house seat to a write-in candidate because he is gay in rural, conservative Pennsylvania.  As Buzzfeed reported, Mike Fleck posted the following on his Facebook page:

I knew that when I came out this race would be nothing more, nothing less than whether my constituency could wrap their mind around the fact that I was a gay man.

One person who thinks that this whole entire situation could have been avoided was State Senator John Eichelberger.  On Sunday, Fleck posted a picture on his facebook page, which can been seen below, that quotes Eichelberger saying:

  “A lot of people thought Mike was a homosexual [before 2012]… If he had just gone out of his business and people thought he was a homosexual or heterosexual or whatever, there wouldn’t be a problem.”

This is what Fleck posted on his facebook page when talking about the story:

Excellent story front page article in today’s Altoona Mirror. According to Senator Eichelberger it’s okay to be gay just don’t tell anyone.

 The quote from John Eichelberger appeared in the Altoona Mirror, and due to a paywall, this article is not available to the general public.  But wow, what a choice of words coming from your republican colleague.  If only Mike Fleck had stayed in the closet, his write in challenger wouldn’t have received 3,700 votes.  The type of thinking from Senator Eichelberger, and Daryl Metclafe, represent a larger problem when advancing gay rights in Pennsylvania.  Last week, a federal judge lifted Pennsylvania’s same-sex marriage ban, but the statements coming from Senator Eichelberger and Representative Metcalfe have demonstrated how far the Commonwealth still has to go when granting basic human rights to LGBTQ members.  Pennsylvania still allows employers to fire LGBTQ members simply because they are gay, and two of the people trying to kill that bill, House Bill 300, are Senator Eichelberger and Representative Metcalfe.  In the Senate, Eichelberger tried adding an amendment to bill defining marriage as something between one man and one woman, and in the House, House Speaker Sam Smith sent the bill to die in State Representative Daryl Metcalfe’s State Government Committee.  In response to House Bill 300, Metcalfe also introduced a constitutional amendment defining marriage between one man and one woman.  

 

About Sean Kitchen

I am an senior Environmental Science Major at Kutztown University. I dedicate my free time to writing and grassroots activism. You can find my twitter address is @RCPress_Sean so send me a tweet! Contact: Twitter | More Posts

8 Comments to PA Republican State Senator to Gay Republican House Member: You Should Have Stayed in the Closet

  1. Not all Republicans are bigots, not all Republicans are misogynists, not all Republicans are racists, but altogether they are the party of hate against all those groups, as well as against immigrants, the poor and children. So why is he a gay Republican?

    • StandForTruth // May 26, 2014 at 3:22 pm // Reply

      Marriage is between a man and a woman. Even the human body tells you that. Some things are just absolute. Throw morality out and down goes the nation. Just cause you speak TRUTH doesn’t mean you hate, in fact just the opposite.

    • StandForTruth // May 26, 2014 at 3:37 pm // Reply

      Since when does my personal right to believe and have opinion grant you the right to call me a bigot and a hater? Because I disagree with you? Does that give you the right to knock me on my right of freedom in this country and speech? Couldn’t I justifiably call you a bigot or hater or worse because you disagree with me? Tolerance has to work both ways.

      • Sean Kitchen // May 26, 2014 at 3:43 pm // Reply

        I’m assuming your last name is Cancencia, but why are you commenting anonymously on here? And yeah, voting to take away the rights of a minority population is showing tolerance towards the majority population or another group of people. Great logic! I guess we should be tolerant of a homophobic State Senator who said “we’re allowing them to exist.” I guess allowing gay people to exist in America is a bar that is too high?

  2. But as these results show, the majority of Republicans are bigots, misogynists and racists. That means over 50%, it doesn’t mean all of them.. That is why the GOP is perceived to be the party of hate. Mike Fleck tried to inject progressive thinking into the GOP, but he fell short. I suspect he will change his registration to Democrat soon.

  3. There are 1800 democratic write-ins for Fleck and Irvin … it too is to close to call. So how does any self righteous democrat justifying write-ing in Irvin. Sounds like bigotry is bipartisan in rural America.

  4. Andy Wilson // May 26, 2014 at 8:15 pm // Reply

    The state below says a great deal. It says that John Eichelberger is a homophobe, of course. But reading between the lines, its also telling me that Eichelberger helped out Fleck’s challenger in order to get Fleck the boot. And Eichelberger has a record of considering LBGT people as second rate citizens. Whenever any elected official thinks that they are better than others, that tells me that they no business making public policy.

    “A lot of people thought Mike was a homosexual [before 2012]… If he had just gone out of his business and people thought he was a homosexual or heterosexual or whatever, there wouldn’t be a problem.”

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