On Wednesday, Representative Brian Sims (D-Phila.) rose to speak during the unanimous consent portion of the PA House session. He began to speak in praise of the historic marriage equality rulings handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, but was cut off with a procedural tactic by fellow Representative and self-styled Tea Partier Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler).
It shouldn’t matter, but Rep. Sims is the first openly gay lawmaker in Pennsylvania history.
Rather than apologize for the slight, or just be satisfied at having silenced a political opponent, Rep. Metcalfe doubled down and let his bigotry all hang out:
I did not believe that as a member of that body that I should allow someone to make comments such as he was preparing to make that ultimately were just open rebellion against what the word of God has said, what God has said, and just open rebellion against God’s law.
Rep. Sims’s response was far more dignified: he introduced legislation to provide civil marriage equality for same-sex couples in Pennsylvania. In a prepared statement, Rep. Sims said:
After Wednesday’s decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court, it is past time for Pennsylvania to join the 12 states – soon to be 13 because of California – and the District of Columbia that already provide this basic measure of equality and dignity to their residents.
Rep. Sims also requested the Legislature formally admonish his colleague for his remarks, but it declined to do so because its rules only apply to statements made on the floor of the House. One hopes the good people of Western Pennsylvania hold Mr. Metcalfe accountable since his fellow legislators can’t or won’t.
Daryl Metcalfe, another Infamous Pennsylvanian.