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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. Well done. I hope he will find happiness.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Dec 1, 2012 5:21:39 PM

  2. The criticism (NOT hatred, there's a big difference) is against so-called organized religions, Lee.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Dec 1, 2012 5:37:40 PM

  3. Religion gives us false hope. Bertrand Russell put it like this:
    no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave, that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspirations, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system.

    Posted by: simon | Dec 1, 2012 5:59:46 PM

  4. Mike Fleck is my couisn and I am very very proud of him for coming out.

    Posted by: perky | Dec 1, 2012 6:12:32 PM

  5. Without hope we have nothing.

    Posted by: Gast | Dec 1, 2012 6:41:07 PM

  6. He can start by being a spokesperson against the ex-gay "therapies" and all of that hateful destructive crap. Then he can concentrate on challenging the Boy Scouts and their hateful policies. Then he can convince his church that gays deserve equal rights. Then he can do the same with the GOP.
    Then, and only then, can he be forgiven for aiding and abetting the enemy.
    I won't hold my breath.

    Posted by: StillMarriedinCA | Dec 1, 2012 6:59:09 PM

  7. No matter we have hope or not, we still have nothing.

    Posted by: simon | Dec 1, 2012 8:00:22 PM

  8. But he said he remains republican because they don't believe in gov't interfering in people's lives?
    Banning Equal rights for LGBT"s is Gov't interence" loser....

    Posted by: Alan Brickman | Dec 1, 2012 9:02:50 PM

  9. SIMON - what nonsense. You can have as much of nothing as you want. Many of us heartily believe in many things, and dying with these beliefs means we do in fact have them. You have no say or sway in the matter.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Dec 1, 2012 10:47:49 PM

  10. UFFDA, please reread the nonsense of Bertrand Russell above. Your belief will perish with your body unless you believe in such nonsense as "soul" and "God".

    Posted by: simon | Dec 1, 2012 11:16:54 PM

  11. @ECHTKULTIG not all organized religons are evil some have committed wrongs but others have done great things to say all religons are like say the catholic church is as bad as sayin all gays are like Jeffery dahmer. I'm Jewish and the overwhelming majority of Jewish temples are very gay friendly.

    Posted by: Lee | Dec 1, 2012 11:20:19 PM

  12. Well, I just have to wonder, is there a boyfriend in all of this self-righteous "coming out"? Did he finally meet a guy that every time he looked at, he pitched a tent, like a good Eagle Scout would do?

    I think the easy availability of "gay stuff" on the internet is going to bring out a lot more closeted gay men. It's harder to deny who you are when you realize you're not the only one, not the first one, and that some of those others are just too hot to pass by.

    Posted by: is there a badge for that? | Dec 1, 2012 11:23:04 PM

  13. Fleck is a member of the Religious Right. He went to Liberty University and sought out Christian "counseling".

    While I agree with the distinction, there is too much religious hatred which wraps itself in the flag of religious criticism. While I was raised evangelical = conservative but to the left of the Religious Right, I left that flavor of Christianity because I could no longer live there - even before I began to deal with my being gay. I am now proudly Episcopalian.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Dec 2, 2012 1:47:06 AM

  14. He's from Pennsylvania, but he'll have a U-T after his name in print. Don't worry, though--he'll get primaried and switch parties soon enough.

    Posted by: jd | Dec 2, 2012 6:03:24 AM

  15. Best wishes! Brave man!

    Posted by: billmiller | Dec 2, 2012 9:08:50 AM

  16. Mike is a hero. Forget party affiliation. Know thy truth self evidence. MLK Saided. Be true to in the mirror. I know Mike and he's a Angel. One of the nicest guys you could ever meet. Very cute too. Bless you Mike. I came out at 7 years old in 1968 to my parents. I'm also black and born again Christian since I was 12. Boys out till I was 18. Model actor. Engaged but can't get married in PA(yawn) which is so lame boring and tired and backwards racist and corny. But anyway Gods speed Mike. Heck Joshua Speed was Abe Lincoln's boy toy. USA stop living in the rock ages. Being gay is no big deal. Its biological. Can't change it.

    Posted by: DJ | Dec 2, 2012 9:22:40 AM

  17. I was in the boyscouts until I was 18.
    Please excuse typo.

    Posted by: DJ | Dec 2, 2012 9:30:06 AM

  18. It is important to work with our President to come up with a solution for the fiscal clip.As the Democratics are saying the Reps are not coming up with any ideas.This is all about 2% of Americans taxes going up.It has always been Medical and anything else that has help the poor that has been cut.Unfortunatly we all are going to suffer this time around instead of just yhe poor and middle class

    Posted by: june sullivan | Dec 2, 2012 10:30:36 AM

  19. What we really need are better therapists like Fleck's who told him the truth about how his priorities were damaging his life. Congratulations for his courage to live his life free of the burdens of deception.

    Posted by: Rob Zeleniak | Dec 2, 2012 10:32:23 AM

  20. @Rob Zeleniak:
    Agreed, as personally heroic as coming out must have been for Fleck, would he have done it without a *REAL* therapist sitting him down and giving him the old "listen honey..."? Unlikely. I think one of the *new* lessons that the public can draw from this (sorry, but that the GOP is filled with self-loathing closet cases is really old news) is witnessing someone who consulted a religious 'therapist' who was probably not qualified and didn't help him at all, while talking to a real, professional, religiously unbiased therapist brought him closer to self-acceptance and happiness. It's yet another body blow to the ex-gay movement's crumbling credibility. And maybe some other GOP closet cases will reconsider that next appointment with the Liberty University graduate and pick up the phone and call up a real shrink's office.

    Posted by: P | Dec 2, 2012 11:45:31 AM

  21. Some people are really bitter. He's a politician who might actually be in a position to do some good, and came to terms with his sexuality. He's still religious because he sees that there is some potential for good in it. Sure, it can lead to bad stuff but I'm not sure what grouping of human beings in this world doesn't have the potential for good and bad, whether religion or the LGBT community. And a lot of people become Republican because they believe in the core of what the party originally was--fiscal restraint, small government, personal liberty. Again, it's got a bad platform now because people warped it, but it could become a force for good again.

    Sometimes people stay with things that seem outmoded or silly to you because they're scared of change. And that's not good. But sometimes they stick with it because they really think that it's possible for us to work from within to change our institutions. Until it becomes clearer which side of things this guy is on, why not give him the benefit of the doubt instead of spewing vitriol?

    Posted by: Stefan | Dec 2, 2012 8:15:51 PM

  22. I agree with Matt26. Well done Mr Fleck. I too hope that you will find happiness.

    Posted by: andrew | Dec 2, 2012 9:05:07 PM

  23. Hahaha, he is not as good at hiding it as he thinks. He has a very gay voice. Judge for yourself:

    Posted by: Michael | Dec 2, 2012 9:17:08 PM

  24. @Lee: I guess you can be religious and openly gay if you ignore some of the b*ll s*it that is in your bible. Especially what folks call the Old Testament. You can also be a moral human being if you ignore some of the horrible morality yahweh preached to his people. You know, like kill all the people even the little children in the towns that you conquer. Or stone to death the guy who was gathering wood on the Sabbath, or kill 70,000 people because yahweh was pissed that David took a census of his people and on and on with the biblical horrors. Free yourself from all that primitive nonsense and really live as a free man.

    Posted by: andrew | Dec 2, 2012 9:57:55 PM

  25. Besides being immoral, one needs suspension of belief to take seriously the words of some primitive men barely out of their caves. Yet we have people here who prefer to find answers about the natural world in those fairy tales. It is even more unfortunate that the Christian Talibans interpret those words in a certain way to oppose social changes everywhere in the World.

    Posted by: simon | Dec 3, 2012 1:22:26 AM

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