Brian Sims Is Now Pennsylvania’s First Lawmaker Sworn In While Out

Sims"The tide has changed," said Brian Sims, a civil rights activist and former Bloomsburg University football player who became the first openly gay lawmaker elected to Pennsylvanis's General Assemly.

"2012 will go down in history as when being anti-gay puts you in the minority."

While Sims is the first person elected while out of the closet, Republican State Rep. Mike Fleck came out of the closet last month, a move Sims says will only accelerate the push for LGBT equality there.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Sims said that with two gay members, the legislature would have a more difficult time ignoring gay civil rights issues such as discrimination in the workplace and in housing – the focus of legislation he has already introduced – as well as hate crimes and bullying.

Sims also plans on using his new position to fight gun violence that plagues Philadelphia and the nation. "We had more murders last year in Philadelphia than in all of Germany," Sims said. "Some people may have a deer problem. We have a murder problem."

[Image via Current]

Posted January 2, 2013 at 9:30am ETC by Andrew Belonsky
in News, Pennsylvania