Brian Sims | Gay Marriage | News | Pennsylvania | Supreme Court

Out Gay PA Rep. Brian Sims Demands Censure After Colleague, Citing 'God's Law', Silences Him


Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Sims, the first openly gay lawmaker elected in Pennsylvania history, is asking legislators to censure ultra-conservative Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (pictured, below) who blocked him from making remarks about the SCOTUS rulings on marriage. Metcalfe's reasoning for blocking Sims was because he was preparing to make remarks that were "open rebellion against what the word of God has said, what God has said, and just open rebellion against God's law."

WHYY reports: Metcalfe

In a part of the house session where members can speak on wide-ranging topics, Sims had just begun his remarks when he was shut down.

"I wasn't planning on chastising anybody. I wasn't planning on discussing how far we have to come in Pennsylvania or that we really have no civil rights in Pennsylvania," Sims said. "It was really just going to limit my comments to how important the cases were."

It takes just one legislator to end the impromptu remarks.  Rep. Daryl Metcalfe was one of the House Republicans who objected.

"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," said Metcalfe, R-Butler.

Two more Democratic legislators got up to speak in support of Sims. Neither was allowed to proceed.

Sims has asked the House to censure Metcalfe, the AP reports:

On Thursday, House Speaker Sam Smith, R-Jefferson, told Sims the proper procedure under the circumstances would be either going through the Ethics Committee or seeking a House resolution. Sims said he plans to pursue the matter.

“This is a guy who hates women, he hates gay people, he hates minorities and he hates immigrants,” Sims said.
Metcalfe is among the most conservative state lawmakers. He has sponsored pro-gun-rights rallies and organized opposition to people who enter the country without legal permission.

Metcalfe said he regularly attends a nondenominational Christian church near his home in western Pennsylvania. He said the comments Sims would have made about the high court's decisions would have been “ultimately offensive to the majority of my constituents, and myself.”

PennsylvaniaIn other news, Sims has announced he'll introduce a marriage equality bill:

“About two hours ago, I shopped around a co-sponsorship memo for a marriage bill, and I’m going to introduce an LGBT marriage equality bill,” he says, adding the Supreme Court cases “helped light the fire under my colleagues to do it now.”

The co-sponsorship memo, which is sent out to House members for additional support, notes it “would re-define the definition of marriage as a civil contract between two people who enter into matrimony, and eliminate the current prohibition against same-sex marriage in our Commonwealth. It is important to note that this bill provides protections for religious organizations and entities that do not wish to sanction, perform, or in any way recognize such marriages.”

Said Sims on Facebook last night:

A quick thought before I head to bed: What happened the last two days in Harrisburg wasn't a Democrat vs. Republican thing. This was the State House vs. a few tea partiers. From the Speaker handling all of this appropriately to the many members of the Republican caucus I've heard from who've apologized for the lack of decorum, it's clear to me that the entire State House was angered by the shenanigans. That's the progress I'm looking for and I'm thankful to be finding it! Lots to do but lots to celebrate these days...

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  1. Rep Simms, they are Teavangelicals. It was nonsense they were not about the social issues when the were elected.

    Posted by: Gus | Jun 28, 2013 10:14:34 AM

  2. If a law-make does not understand the concept of separation of church and states, he is not qualify to be there making laws.

    Posted by: Teehee | Jun 28, 2013 10:14:59 AM

  3. Sims needs to pursue censure against Metcalf. They only way to shut these wingnuts up is if the whole body of the legislature slaps them -- hard. Get a censure vote. This is immoral and despicable action by Metcalf and the whole body needs to say so.

    Posted by: Alex Parrish | Jun 28, 2013 10:17:54 AM

  4. Well said, Mr. Metcalfe! The religious history of God's law and it's place as the bedrock of our great Christian nation absolutely needed to be used for censorship of one of your fellow representatives! ONE voice could threaten the very fabric of our theocracy and... oh, wait.

    Posted by: Dane | Jun 28, 2013 10:18:20 AM

  5. What ever happened to separation from church and government? Sims should have attacked the religious zealots by bringing up quotes from Thomas Jefferson or even the Constitution! Fight fire with fire. I agree with Teehee!

    Posted by: KurCus | Jun 28, 2013 10:18:33 AM

  6. I hope he gets the other guy censured, to begin... that kind of speech should be grounds for impeachment...

    and I'll go ahead and say what everybody is probably thinking... Brian Sims is beautiful....

    Posted by: V-8 | Jun 28, 2013 10:21:52 AM

  7. As awful as the comments by these right wing nuts are to hear, I believe that their outrageous bigoted mean-spirited statements are the main reason that the polls have swung so far in our favor so quickly. Even people who are a little bit racist or a little bit sexist or a little bit bigoted in some other way, don't like openly hostile statements against minorities, women, gays, immigrants, etc. So many right wingers now live in a bubble of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, right-wing church and communities where anyone who isn't a Teavangelical is afraid to speak up, that they don't understand how their comments sound to people who aren't as extreme as they are.

    Posted by: Houndentenor | Jun 28, 2013 10:23:39 AM

  8. Yes V-8, I had the same thoughts about Sims. Oddly enough, Metcalf didn't do a thing for me.

    Posted by: Mike in the tundra | Jun 28, 2013 10:27:32 AM

  9. I, for one, would be more than happy to be in open rebellion of God's Law with Brian Sims.

    Posted by: yuninv | Jun 28, 2013 10:35:56 AM

  10. All those members of the Republican causus that emailed Sims with their apologies for Metcalf's behavior ... Thanks ... but why didn't you speak up when it happened?

    Support in private in nice but it just doesn't resonate quite like support in public.

    Know why Metcalf got away with this? Religion.

    Posted by: JONES | Jun 28, 2013 10:37:25 AM

  11. OK, anyone else getting an ad for Liberty University Online at the bottom of the story? I hope you're charging them triple Andy!

    Posted by: ThomD | Jun 28, 2013 10:38:20 AM

  12. The First Amendment states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." -----The phrase "separation of church and state" is derived from a letter written by President Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to Baptists from Danbury, Connecticut, and published in a Massachusetts newspaper soon thereafter. In that letter, referencing the First Amendment to the United States Constitution



    District Offices
    Cranberry Township Municipal Building
    2525 Rochester Road
    Suite 201
    Cranberry Township, PA, 16066
    Phone: (724) 772-3110
    Fax: (724) 772-2922
    Hours: Monday - Friday 9am - 4:30pm

    Capitol Office
    144 Main Capitol
    PO Box 202012
    Harrisburg, PA 17120-2012
    Telephone: (717) 783-1707
    Fax: (717) 787-4771
    TTY: (855) 282-0614

    Posted by: HA! | Jun 28, 2013 10:43:50 AM

  13. Mecalfe's comments are remarkably clear examples of the arrogance of a certain kind of Believer. That "nondenominational Christian church" he frequents is probably on of the cultish pastor-centered kind that has little to do with Christianity. He will say that his interruption was a pre-emptive action to put of being persecuted.

    Posted by: gregorybrown | Jun 28, 2013 10:44:46 AM

  14. Metcalfe should move to Afghanistan, clearly his Taliban mentality would be more at home there than in this democratic republic.

    Posted by: andrew | Jun 28, 2013 10:47:54 AM

  15. Metcalfe SHOULD be censured. His comments about "open rebellion against what the word of God has said, what God has said, and just open rebellion against God's law" have NO place in civil, secular government. That would still be true if Sims HAD been planning to make remarks about the lack of marriage equality in PA.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jun 28, 2013 10:52:48 AM

  16. I was glad when Sims came out--his experience as a college football player who was gay were quite inspiring.

    Unfortunately, it seems that, as time goes on, he is beginning to both look and sound stereotypically "gay" with his new beard and spectacles.....and his PC statements (instead of just sticking to the question of gay rights and the homophobia of the colleague in question, he instead did the standard Far Left "Roll Call" of aggrieved persons....."He hates women, minorities, immigrants......yada, yada, yada).

    You are wasting an opportunity to change people, Mr. Sims, by letting yourself become just another rainbow flag-waving clone who others can easily dismiss as such....

    Posted by: Rick | Jun 28, 2013 11:03:03 AM

  17. And christianists claim "They're the ones being persecuted"!!!

    Posted by: aj | Jun 28, 2013 11:08:58 AM

  18. Rick, you really are the most talented troll I know.

    Posted by: yuninv | Jun 28, 2013 11:09:22 AM

  19. Early this morning at work, during a break in the action, I logged onto Huffpo and read this news report. My reaction then as now is this: I have reached the point of no return where evangelical, Republican reprobates such as Daryl Metcalfe are concerned: the only good evangelical is a d...... never mind. I'll try taking slow, deep breaths again. I'm sure I'll calm down. Just gotta remember...I'm better than they are. We're better than they are. Violence solves nothing. Don't stoop to their level. Don't let them provoke you. OK. Now, breathe... slowly, deeply. Now, exhale... OK. Once again. Breathe.........

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jun 28, 2013 11:16:17 AM

  20. "I have reached the point of no return where evangelical, Republican reprobates such as Daryl Metcalfe are concerned: the only good evangelical is a d...... never mind."

    So I interpret this to mean that it is still OK, as far as you are concerned, to be a homophobic, Evangelical reprobate as long as you have a (D) next to your name, like Ruben Diaz or like the good black Democrats down in Mississippi and Alabama who voted against gay marriage by ten-to-one margins when referenda were held in their states.

    Am I right?

    Posted by: Rick | Jun 28, 2013 11:31:57 AM

  21. Mr Sims - challenge Metcalfe to a Boxing match in a ring.....tell'm to try and kick your gay ass......Id pay to see you beat his!!!!

    Posted by: disgusted american | Jun 28, 2013 11:32:05 AM

  22. @Rick: "the only good evangelical is a d...... never mind."

    Rick totally misses the point again. Trolls often do. The 'd' is not for democrat, you bottom-feeding moron, it is for DEAD. Whether Jamal means it or not -- it is a common phrase in US English. Perhaps English isn't spoken where you live -- that's OK, but check-it-out before making dumb assumptions about it.

    Posted by: Alex Parrish | Jun 28, 2013 11:42:07 AM

  23. @Alex Parrish

    Duh. I understood perfectly well that the "d" stood for dead. But our friend Jamal seemed to take great pains in the previous sentence to only call out homophobic Evangelicals who were Republicans, rather than homophobic Evangelicals, in general.

    Which is entirely in character for Far Left automotons, for whom keeping the Democrat Party in power and realizing the agenda of the left is far more important than eradicating homophobia.

    So I will ask you the same question I asked Jamal.....and I dare you to answer it rather than avoid it.

    Posted by: Rick | Jun 28, 2013 11:51:41 AM

  24. His new beard and spectacles make him stereotypically gay? Sometimes, the "real" @Rick is more of a parody than the parody Rick. Do straight men not have beards? Perhaps Rep. Sims needs glasses to, um, see.

    Anyway, Rep. Sims is completely right here and any Rep. who believes that he's representing "God's law" in a state legislature shouldn't be in government. He should be holed up in a Church out of the public sphere.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jun 28, 2013 11:59:44 AM

  25. Although I hesitate to respond to an experienced troll like Rick -- he has managed to push my buttons this morning and I will -- and then I'll sign off and hope that others can ignore him when I couldn't. Rick -- you know full-well that homophobia is called-out on this site and in the media regardless of whether the homophobe is D or R. The only reason Repubs get called-out 10 times as often is that there are 10 times as many homophobes in the tea party as the rest of the world. The accusation that homophobes are given a free-ride if they are Dems is just bullpuckey an you KNOW it is, so clearly, you are just trolling for an argument, and, to my embarrassment, I have engaged you. I will not do so in the future because despite your efforts to make yourself sound reasonable, you are not. You purposely ask inflammatory questions based on Bull**** assumptions which you know to be untrue just to see if you can rile-up normally rational people like me. Today you managed -- but this is the last time I will respond to your nonsense. Why don't you go get a life?

    Posted by: Alex Parrish | Jun 28, 2013 12:03:15 PM

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