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

    As @DAVIDINHOUSTON points out, this is a complete crock. The 2012 Republican party is nothing of the kind. It's all about government intruding in people's personal lives and in trampling on our civil rights. So he's delusional on that front, still warped by the Party propaganda.

    On a personal level, good for him for finally coming out. There is no happiness from inside the closet and no political clout. It's better to be an openly gay representative than one who is continuing to hide in shame. If he takes off his rose-colored glasses, he can be a more effective legislator. If he's smart, he can try to move his Party out of its path to extinction and towards the non-interference stance he mistakenly thinks is already there.

    Posted by: Ernie | Dec 1, 2012 1:09:40 PM

  2. That's good.Too bad he's been brainwashed by the Bible bullcrap.He sounds like just another self loathing homo victimized by religion.

    Posted by: Miguel | Dec 1, 2012 1:11:09 PM

  3. Just because man, through religion, tries to remake God in his own image does not mean that God doesn't exist. It just means that the god created by our common religion doesn't exist.

    The Supreme Reality is far too vast and complicated to be chained to the little mind of man, be it through religion or science.

    Posted by: Joey | Dec 1, 2012 1:11:48 PM

  4. Either ur gay or republican, someone tell him pls

    Posted by: MArk | Dec 1, 2012 1:17:38 PM

  5. Gast:
    There are 4 giants standing at 4 corners to prop up the sky. That's is why it hasn't fallen off.

    Posted by: simon | Dec 1, 2012 1:23:11 PM

  6. While I think public examples of people rejecting religious doctrine in favor of personal authenticity are always helpful, I would look for some apology on his part for his past anti-gay votes. And how do we categorize his support for Mitt Romney who adopted viciously anti gay policies?

    The gay Republican is full of contradictions and it's a weird path. They must really, really love the idea of small government for all the personal torment they endure and create. Until a hurricane washes away their belongings anyway.

    Now that they are all trying to avoid taxing the wealthy the ruse is up, however. When it's just tax policy on the table they show their true colors- it's about selfishness and greed. In a general election they can blather on about this guy's character or that scandal, but when taxes are isolated as the issue we can see what they want above all else. Money.

    Posted by: Rob | Dec 1, 2012 1:31:27 PM

  7. GAST - look outside the box, in your case the Christian one. There is no coherent or sensible religion as such anywhere...but beyond them all is an enormous body of metaphysical literature and ongoing comment which sounds more right than all the rest put together - sans doctrin, atonement, virgin birth, sans priesthoods, devils and original sin.

    I have a daily, heartfelt, upbeat, conscious faith built on the synchronicity of clues continually placed before me by what I can only call the Universe. It's wholly personal and definitely a matter of choosing to trust, recognize or believe. Best is that you don't have to do it at all unless you are willing to let your feelings be your guide.

    I know all the counter arguments. It is they which lead you to a full stop. Then you can choose what feels best, or nothing at all. There's no hurry just an open road.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Dec 1, 2012 1:33:44 PM

  8. @Rob, it's more like this - to be a "gay republican who is accepted (read: tolerated, conditionally) by the GOP all one must do is never, ever, call out and rise up against the bigotry and prejudice of the GOP'S policies and campaign tactics."

    you get gay republicans who say thigns like "i've never been treated badly as a gay person by republicans, but gays treat me bad for being a republican"
    which is some intellectually dishonest bunk, of course.

    of course the GOP is faux-nice to you. you cower before them.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Dec 1, 2012 1:40:05 PM

  9. Congrats to him, but now that he's out, I'm sure a lot of his Republican buddies and co-workers are going to sudden be "too busy" to talk to or hang out with him.

    Posted by: FuryOfFirestorm | Dec 1, 2012 1:50:26 PM

  10. Where do we come from? Easy, Joni Mitchell told us in 1969:

    We are stardust
    We are golden
    We are billion year old carbon

    She was off by 3.5 billion years, but we are literally the product of the carbon from exploding stars. We can see to within 400 million years of the Big Bang, and when the Webb Space Telescope goes up in 2018, we'll be able to see the beginning of the universe. What happened before the Big Bang? Still under investigation, I favor the multiverse model.

    The only reason a lot of people buy in to religion is because they want to believe they get a cosmic do-over, that they'll get another chance at life when they die here on our tiny planet in our tiny galaxy in a suburb of the universe. Well, religion has had 8,000 years to prove it and they've got nothing, nada, nichts, zilch.

    Posted by: Henry Holland | Dec 1, 2012 1:54:44 PM

  11. Congratulations on coming out of the closet. But what may seem like a big step to you is only a small, almost insignificant one. You'll continue to be one hot mess until you get out of the abusive relationships (Catholic church, Boy Scouts, and Republican Party) that kept you there.

    Posted by: Mitch | Dec 1, 2012 1:59:02 PM

  12. Golly, I wonder what his voting record is like?

    Posted by: Marc C | Dec 1, 2012 2:39:35 PM

  13. I've always acknowledged that I have immense difficulty wrapping my head around the logical contortions that are necessary for a gay person to identify politically with the Republicans -- but at the same time, I can acknowledge that if we want to see the Republican Party actually change its tune on LGBT issues, we need to have people in their camp making our case too.

    Remember what Tammy Baldwin said on election night about the difference between people talking about you if you're outside the room and people talking with you if you're in it -- we don't necessarily have to agree with the likes of Mike Fleck or Richard Tisei on everything, but if their presence in the GOP helps that party to realize that they should adjust their thinking because we're not the enemy, then that can only be a good thing.

    So by all means, congratulations to Mike Fleck.

    Posted by: Craig S | Dec 1, 2012 2:43:56 PM

  14. I wish him well. Sorry about his career, which I suspect just ended.

    I do wonder what his anti-gay voting record has been up until now. If he's been privately closeted, then good for him. If he's been actively working against us, just "Hey, I'm out now!" doesn't mean all is forgiven.

    Posted by: Lymis | Dec 1, 2012 2:47:34 PM

  15. I find it quite refreshing that he came out by himself, not because he was involved in a sex scandal.
    I wish him good luck in his new life

    Posted by: jjose712 | Dec 1, 2012 2:53:48 PM

  16. the thing is, Craig S, the GOP's anti-gay stances dont' exist because "republicans don't yet truly know enough LGBT people to change their minds" but because the GOP's fiscal policies in no way help their base.

    this is the reality. every country, all over the world, has their party/parties that run on anti-gay policies. these same parties have fiscal/healthcare policies that screw over their base. hence, the anti-gay angle.

    a republican can't walk into a townhall meeting and say "Hey! vote for me and i'll ensure a tax break for the wealthiest americans, and not you, and you'll still be pretty much in a bad financial bind."

    instead they say "dontcha hate those gays?"
    the idiots scream "YES!", vote GOP, and vote against their own best economic interests.

    the sad reality about gay republicans is that as long as they sit on their hands and refuse to call out the prejudice within their own party, they aren't exactly doing any of the necessary work.

    where in this man's confessional has he addressed the fears of being openly gay in the anti-gay party? he didnt' mention it. wimps never can.

    in a perfect world gay republicans would be out grassroots-ing it to show their fellow republicans how and why they should support LGBT Equality.

    dont' hold your breath that this fella will do it.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Dec 1, 2012 2:57:46 PM

  17. "The Republican Party is all about the government needing to stay out of people’s lives." Oh please tell us another lie since you have been not telling the truth for 39 years.

    Posted by: Mike | Dec 1, 2012 3:04:28 PM

  18. fun fact - only gay republicans, and in fact *most* republicans, are the One-Issue Voters.

    and that one issue is bigotry for the straights, and cowardice for the gays.

    you're not "seeing more issues" by being gay and voting republican. you're basing your vote on your pathetic need for your piece-of-s**t family to tolerate you conditionally.

    check out his voting records. expanded wiretapping, eh? nice.

    so much for smaller government, eh?

    this man isnt' someone we'd want on our team. move along, blanche.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Dec 1, 2012 3:08:29 PM

  19. Um, if Rep Fleck is so concerned with being honest, and the Republican party isn't a one-issue party, why did he wait until AFTER the election to come out? Was he afraid the GOP might field a challenger for his seat or Republican voters would reject him if they knew he was gay?

    Because the timing of this, right AFTER the election, is... interesting.

    Posted by: Caliban | Dec 1, 2012 3:20:09 PM

  20. Fleck needs to stay to his Neanderthal Republican cave dwellings and recruit other delusional closeted GOP members on religious salvation.

    Posted by: Sam | Dec 1, 2012 3:38:35 PM

  21. I bet he still votes AGAINST us every time he can just to impress the Republican Party and improve his chances of promotion !

    He is yet again a perfect example of all the self hating gays out there who flock to the Republican Party thinking it will somehow "cure" them or somehow they are less bad if they support a political party who claim to have the moral high ground (even though in reality they are lower than a snake's belly!).

    He's still a Republican so I hope he gets voted out next time. I also hope he gets throw out of the scouts so he can experience the kind of hate and bigot he and his party have inflicted on others for all these years.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Dec 1, 2012 4:15:10 PM

  22. I wish Mr. Fleck all the best, and URGE him to keep his religion to himself while he does the peoples work. The Bible and the US Constitution are two diametrically opposing documents, and I will continue to place my "faith"in the work of Jefferson, Adams and the other founders of our republic: not in the written oppression of generations of lunatics.

    Posted by: NotaRepublican | Dec 1, 2012 4:30:31 PM

  23. This man's experience shows how far we still have to go as humans/society. At least he's taking a few baby steps. In my opinion we're still in the infancy of the evolution of understanding and acceptance of people who are "different" particularly when assessed on a global scale. This includes a multitude of differences including sexual orientation. I think our greatest weapon is to continue to come out and share our individual experiences with as many others as often as possible. Live openly and honestly. Come out to make the world a better and more honest place!

    Personally I'm a huge opponent of all religions beliefs and find it a huge black hole on human development and intellectual evolution. As to where we all came from -- I think science has developed some likely theories. And while I'm naturally curious and amazed at most of the unanswered or unanswerable questions such as this one I don't understand why people are so hung up on this. Who the hell cares? I'd so much rather that we spend our emotional energy on living today and learning to love ourselves and others rather than continuing to spin our wheels on matters that don't ultimately matter.

    Posted by: KC | Dec 1, 2012 4:40:11 PM

  24. Ex gay therapy kills LGBT people. Thank God he came out, we need more gay Christians working to help free LGBT people. Maybe he is bisexual, I just hope he does not turn out to be another one of those fake gay Christians who say they are also Republican who say that they are gay to try and get gay votes. The proof is in what he does now, will he help open the Boy Scouts of America so LGBT people can be a member? How will he help LGBT people get their marriage Civil Rights? How will he help LGBT people get good jobs and keep them? I will be watching what he does.

    Posted by: Chris | Dec 1, 2012 4:49:49 PM

  25. Wow so much hatred for religon fact is the majority of gay and lesbian people have a religous belief I'm proud to be Jewish and love g-d but I'm also fine with my sexuality, y'all have to relize this in not an either/or type thing you can be religous and openly gay.

    Posted by: Lee | Dec 1, 2012 5:07:01 PM

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