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Pennsylvania GOP State Rep. Mike Fleck Comes Out

MikefleckMike Fleck, a Republican State Rep. from Pennsylvania, came out of the closet today, a closet he stayed in for nearly 40 years because of his religion and his relationship with the Boy Scouts of America.

"Coming out is hard enough, but doing it in the public eye is definitely something I never anticipated," said the lawmaker, who was married to a woman for more than adecade, according to PoliticsPA.

"I’m still the exact same person and I’m still a Republican and, most importantly, I’m still a person of faith trying to live life as a servant of God and the public. The only difference now is that I will also be doing so as honestly as I know how."

The Republican Party is all about the government needing to stay out of people’s lives. I’m not a one-issue person and it’s not a one-issue party," he said.

Fleck, who is 39-years old and an Eagle Scout, said his staff position with the organization contributed to his staying in the closet.

From the subscriber-only Huntingdon Daily News, which broke the story:

As an executive for the organization, Fleck said "now my livelihood depended on hiding my true sexual orientation, something I was very good at."

He continued that during his 20s, he firmly believed what he’s been taught, that homosexuality was a choice and so never felt in great conflict because he’d learned to suppress his feelings.

"I wanted to live a ‘normal’ life and raise a family," Fleck said. "I also believed that by marrying, I was fulfilling God’s will and I thought my same-sex attraction would simply go away."

Fleck also said that he tried religious therapy to rid himself of same-sex desires, but to no avail. "I sought out treatment from a Christian counselor, but when that didn’t work out, I engaged a secular therapist who told me point blank that I was gay and that I was too caught up in being the perfect Christian rather than actually being authentic and honest," he said.

As for his ex-wife, Fleck said she remains his best-friend. "My wife and I became closer than ever [after I came out to her], but it was bittersweet as we both concluded that the marriage was over," he said.

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  1. Oh what a tangled web...

    It says "Fleck also said that he tried religious therapy to rid himself of same-sex desires, but to no avail."


    Backwards! He ought to be to ridding himself of religion, mankind's greatest and most persistent hoax.

    Posted by: WebHybrid | Dec 1, 2012 12:05:44 PM

  2. As easy as it is to make cat calls, I think we should wish him well.

    Posted by: Stephen | Dec 1, 2012 12:07:13 PM

  3. At least he had the balls to come out on his own and not wait to be outed or get caught in some tea room.

    Posted by: jleo71 | Dec 1, 2012 12:11:30 PM

  4. @Editor: sounds like he was in the closet for 20+ years, not 40.

    Posted by: shane | Dec 1, 2012 12:13:09 PM

  5. welcome to the club!

    Posted by: Grover Underwood | Dec 1, 2012 12:18:54 PM

  6. I hope now he realizes gays CAN live a normal life and raise a family if they so desire

    Posted by: Will | Dec 1, 2012 12:20:27 PM

  7. I'd love to wish him well, Stephen, but he's still going to be bass-ackward and in no position to be a law maker.

    "I’m still a person of faith trying to live life as a servant of God and the public. The only difference now is that I will also be doing so as honestly as I know how."

    Well, I'd rather he kept his "servant of god" crap to himself and out of his public office. If he had an inkling of common sense and the ability to make rational decisions, he'd come to his senses and realize what a cobbled-together piece of trash the whole bible is. I wish I could believe otherwise, but historically, and factually, it's a disaster made by men, not some omnipotent superbeing, so if he's going to be in a position to make decisions for others, he'd damn sure better be making them based on facts and rational thought, not because of "faith". The whole pick-and-choose christianist religion is a despicable joke that has caused the needless deaths of millions. And so many continue to follow their fears because they haven't got the gumption to peer outside their comfortable little crutch box of religion.

    He wasn't an honest person of faith BECAUSE of his religion and BECAUSE of his associations. So what's going to make him so honest now? Because others paved the way for him to flame out and spread his wings, so now it's okay to come out, come out wherever you are?! Screw that.

    Posted by: ESA | Dec 1, 2012 12:22:05 PM

  8. Still a Republican, huh? lol.

    Posted by: Kip | Dec 1, 2012 12:22:49 PM

  9. Good for him. Religion and a rural and/or conservative upbringing can warp a person when it comes to sexuality. I know from experience. I can only imagine the courage it takes to come out to your wife and mother of your kids. But he made that leap on his own, and is coming out on his own (from the sound of it) which also takes a lot of courage. Good for him. I wish him the best.

    Now PA has two openly gay state reps, one on each side of the aisle. Maybe they'll be able to work together and (finally) get the ball rolling on marriage equality!

    Posted by: Rich B | Dec 1, 2012 12:23:01 PM

  10. "mankind's greatest and most persistent hoax."

    How so? I'm sorry but where exactly do you believe all that exists comes from?

    Posted by: Gast | Dec 1, 2012 12:28:32 PM

  11. "The Republican party is all about the government needing to stay out of people’s lives."

    If the Republican party didn't exist, gay Americans would have all of their civil rights in all 50 states. It's as simple as that.

    Posted by: David in Houston | Dec 1, 2012 12:29:14 PM

  12. "We don't know where everything comes from, so god did it. And it happened exactly like written in the Bible!" Seriously? For once in your life *think*

    Posted by: Steve | Dec 1, 2012 12:31:56 PM

  13. I'm going to put aside the political aspects of this for the time being and say congrats to Mike Fleck on coming out. Because obviously, given his background and community he grew up in, he could have become another suicide statistic. He could have continued to lie and live in the closet. But he hasn't and I'm happy for him as an out gay man, that he's comfortable enough to come out himself.

    Posted by: Francis | Dec 1, 2012 12:33:01 PM

  14. @Gast - Well, you're right on one count: you are indeed sorry.

    Posted by: WebHybrid | Dec 1, 2012 12:35:33 PM

  15. "Hey, so, even though i'm gay i'm still a slave to both the organized religion that kept me closeted and the political party whose continued persecution and demonization of people like me has led me to still be afraid, even as a grown man, to openly challenge them on their bigoted policies."

    part of me says "well, this is a good first step

    and the other part of me looks around and sees a world of teens and tweens who are already more man than this guy will likely ever be.

    congrats on coming out. now time to actually DO SOMETHING to undo the harm and prejudice you've condoned, and thus promoted.

    and skip the jesus talk. we all saw Carrie.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Dec 1, 2012 12:37:23 PM

  16. btw, his comment aobut the the GOP "staying out of people's personal lives" is one of those things like "fiscal responsibility" that the GOP likes to say, yet not practice or even Properly preach.

    all an intellectually-honest republican need do is look at the galling attacks on civil liberties and individual rights and freedoms that are indeed the new GOP party platforms.

    lgbt equality? a woman's right to choose? the GOP is all about wasting time and money to deny individuals their rights and personhood. bleh.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Dec 1, 2012 12:42:54 PM

  17. @ESA I left the church too after being a youth minister. It's a hard transition and eventually I got my beliefs in order, shook the guilt off and stopped hating myself amidst the duality. I can only hope he transitions into a well-balanced person who doesn't serve both sides.

    Posted by: Stephen | Dec 1, 2012 12:46:08 PM


    That's a non-answer

    Posted by: Gast | Dec 1, 2012 12:53:05 PM

  19. @Gast...I always thought the republicans created the universe. I'm sure I read that somewhere on the internet. Or maybe it was just that god was a republican when he did the big one. I'm not sure. Can you clear that up for me?

    Posted by: PAUL B. | Dec 1, 2012 12:54:39 PM

  20. It's just fascinating how we denounce ignorance, yet prefer to stay in a state of ignorance around our very own existence. I reject religious prejudice as much as any fair minded individual. But I still got questions which answers lay far beyond the reach of science.

    Posted by: Gast | Dec 1, 2012 12:59:47 PM

  21. Right on LittleKiwi

    Posted by: Phil | Dec 1, 2012 1:00:06 PM

  22. He 'aint perfect, but he's heading in the right direction. I wish him the best and give him credit for the step he just took.

    Posted by: Yeek | Dec 1, 2012 1:04:12 PM

  23. @Gast

    Religious lunatics are the ones needing to defend their absurd beliefs and oppressive policies.

    So no, no answers from me. Whatever you need to know, just look it up in the bible. Or the koran or baga vaghita. Or pray for an answer (and if you hear one, well, uh....). Or wear some magic underwear! That'll provide you with all things knowable. Or ask that infallible drag queen in Italy.

    Or whatever.

    Posted by: WebHybrid | Dec 1, 2012 1:05:20 PM

  24. the irony, of course, is that all of the "institutions" that he's still choosing defend are the very reason he remained closeted (and frankly deluded about reality) for so bloody long.

    perhaps, now, folks like him will realize that we do indeed need LGBT-education in the public school system. starting at the elementary school age. jennifer has two daddies. billy's big brother has a boyfriend. gay people freakin' exist. they're your classmates, your teachers, your friend's parents, your own family.

    GOP bobbleheads will of course oppose teaching children about the realities of LGBT people. and this coward, ten bucks says, will likely not raise his voice against it.

    even though such an approach to education would have liberated him decades before.

    there's a very specific reason that the catholic church indoctrinates children into their web at age 8, folks.

    all this highschool bullying stuff and highschool outreach is usually too little too late. get to the root. LGBT people exist. there are gay kids in every class. education needs to start at the elementary level.

    it's about more than just rights. it's about a culture of understanding. which this man, by throwing his weight behind the GOP, is actually working against.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Dec 1, 2012 1:05:43 PM

  25. "How so? I'm sorry but where exactly do you believe all that exists comes from?"

    No one knows - not him, nor I, nor you, and least of all anyone who put pen to paper to write that "holy" book of lies and mythology that has ruined more lives than can ever be counted. Including this state rep who felt he had no choice but to live a lie and the poor woman that married him, who now knows she was also living a lie when she could have been with a man who really loved her instead.

    Posted by: natamaxxx | Dec 1, 2012 1:09:08 PM

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