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:

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…


  1. Gus says

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

  2. says

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

  3. Alex Parrish says

    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.

  4. Dane says

    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.

  5. KurCus says

    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!

  6. V-8 says

    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….

  7. says

    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.

  8. Mike in the tundra says

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

  9. yuninv says

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

  10. JONES says

    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.

  11. ThomD says

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

  12. HA! says

    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


    E-mail: dmetcalf@pahousegop.com

    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

  13. gregorybrown says

    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.

  14. andrew says

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

  15. Caliban says

    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.

  16. Rick says

    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….

  17. jamal49 says

    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………

  18. Rick says

    “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?

  19. disgusted american says

    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!!!!

  20. Alex Parrish says

    @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.

  21. Rick says

    @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.

  22. says

    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.

  23. Alex Parrish says

    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?

  24. Ted B. (Charging Rhino) says

    Typical. Pennsylvania has historically been described as “…Philadelphia on one-end, Pittsburgh on the other, and rural Alabama in the middle”. And these days that’s probably insulting even to Alabama.

    Here in NJ we don’t have that problem as the rural-folk in the Pines still sacrifice goats to oak trees.

  25. Derrick from Philly says

    Thanks Alex and Ernie.

    But y’all know that you can’t communicate (let alone reason) with that lunatic butch queen.

    Just let the staff at Bellevue’s psychiatric ward take him away from the hospital library’s computers, and take him on back to his room.

  26. MateoM says

    “the “real” @Rick is more of a parody than the parody Rick.”

    Ernie, you’re totally right.

  27. Rick says

    “Wait, when did beards and glasses become gay things??”

    Big, thick beards like the one he has grown are definitely a “Bear” thing.

    Maybe straights won’t notice if they are unfamiliar with “Bear” culture, but that is still what it is.

    Yes, some straight men have beards, but they are a tiny minority and are usually highly individualistic and usually considered a bit “eccentric”

    The point is that he originally presented himself as a clean-cut, All-Americana boy who was captain of his college football team, devoid of any “eccentricity” or weirdness…..including the recitation of Far Left dogma……but his appearance and his behavior now seem to be deviating from that…..and that reduces his credibiltiy as “just another guy” and likewise, his ability to increase the comfort level of the many people out there who still need to be reached.

    He can do whatever he wants; it is his life; if he wants to be another Center City Bear clone, that is his right, but he is undercutting his ability to influence people by doing so.

  28. johnny says

    Rick, rick, rick… you are so out of touch.

    Beards are gay now? Seriously, dude you are not in your right mind.

    Most of the men in Michigan are bearded. Most of the men in Montana are bearded. Most of the men in Alaska are bearded. Most of the men I’m talking about above are straight.

    And glasses being gay… idiotic.

    I was on your side sometimes when you ranted, but now you’ve lost me totally.

  29. says

    A tiny minority of straight men have beards and those are considered eccentric? Haha, where do you live, OzzieandHarrietLand, circa 1952? Rep. Sims looks like a state legislator with a beard, who needs glasses, and who just happens to be way hotter than most state legislators I know, no offense to them. Maybe you should consider stand-up, Ricky?

  30. Bill says

    @HA!: it is not just the First Amendment. Article VI of the U.S. Constitution states that “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

    Note the phrase “no religious test,” which predates the First Amendment. Metcalfe should be censored, and maybe impeached, for violating Sims’ constitutional rights, and the right of all citizens to have a government free from religious tests.

  31. SFRowGuy says

    My impression for the Pennsylvania, home of the city of ‘Brotherly Love’ is, it sounds more the state of ‘Hate You’

  32. david from Edmonton says

    What ever happend to the Constitutional expectation of separation of Church and State? Clearly citing the Constitution for the 2nd Ammendment is ok but the other parts are not. at least here, we can expect our politicians to keep region out of the governing of the state and that they respect that there is diversity and taking one particular stand alientates, diminishes and marginalizes everyone else (which I am thinking is contrary to Christian belief, and other beliefs as well).

  33. Randyowen says

    Not really the state of Hate you, PA is really two states as was said by someone earlier there’s Philadelphia and to a lesser extant Pittsburgh (mainly due to size and the encroaching countryside) which are bluer than almost anyone else (i think Philly voted int the 90% range for democrats)and everywhere else in the state that is pretty conservative. That is changing faster than Metcalf thinks though…
    And as for poor Rick…
    This is without a doubt one of his silliest arguments… i have thoroughly enjoyed it as a comedic interlude… unfortunately he is all to serious…

  34. Geoff says

    Pennsyltucky strikes again. Hope the haters succeed in seceding. They’ve got to go. We don’t want them here anymore. They’ll be much happier in a holy land of their own creation…and, believe me, it’s their own creation.

  35. WHATWHAT says

    Glasses are gay? WTF Rick, even you can’t believe this sh*t. You know who wears glasses? Everybody! People with eye issues that need glasses to correct them.

    And beards are gay? Quite the opposite, beards are typically a sign of masculinity and virility. And based on recent studies, straight women prefer their straight men with a very heavy stubble. The bear community is all about machismo and aping “straightness,” hence their reliance on body hair and beards as a sign of typical masculinity. Which I thought you were into. You sound dumber every time you post something. You’re like Ann Coulter, spouting BS just to piss people off. Granted, it works, you get your reactions. But you’re full of it, even you know it.

  36. bob says

    I don’t live in Metcalfe’s district, thank goodness, but my rep is almost as bad. Every vote of hers seems to be approved by the Bishop. Unfortunately in this part of PA, the corpse of a Republican,dead convicted child molester would win an election over an educated forward thinking Democrat.

  37. Art says

    Christian|God’s Love| I never see it. They are all about hate and should keep their filthy mouths shut in public.

  38. V-8 says

    I think that he’s going for a hipster look, Rick…. though I have to agree with u that, at one point in history, a beard was a sort of code for gay (hence the term “bearding” as in Katie Holmes stopped bearding for Tom Cruise a few years ago)… beard and glasses, nerdy hipster, gay or straight…

  39. terry says

    What kind of messed up system allows one member to completely shut down comments being made, or about to be made by another. Metcalf, an idiot for sure, is still within his rights as the system currently exists. Change this rule and shut down Metcalf. Voices must be allowed to be heard, sometimes even voices we’d rather not heard.

  40. says

    Here’s the email I wrote Rep. Metcalfe…

    Rep. Metcalfe:

    Your objections which silenced Democratic Representative Brian Sims from speaking about DOMA were based on your opinion that he was in “open rebellion against God’s law”.

    I assume you are a Christian? In that case, here are a few examples of God’s law you might want to familiarize yourself with, lest you accidentally wage open rebellion against God’s law yourself.

    On practicing your religion in public so that others will witness your righteousness, Jesus said in Matthew 6:1, “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”

    On having love and empathy for those who are different from yourself, he said in John 13:34, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

    And on speaking out against what you perceive as another’s sins, when you are yourself, being human, necessarily sinful, in Matthew 7:5 Jesus said, “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

    Additionally, in raising your personal religion as an objection to Rep. Sims comments, and in stating that “There’s no free speech on the floor”, you seem to be in open rebellion against a law of the United States of America, which you have vowed to protect as a member of the Pennsylvania legislature, which is the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. This Amendment prohibits the United States from establishing a state religion, which means that your personal religion does not rule the land. It also means that Rep. Sims does, in fact, enjoy the right to free speech. It reads:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    I hope that these examples will help you avoid accidentally finding yourself in open rebellion against the laws of God or the United States of America.

    Jeffrey Flood

  41. says

    Got ANGER? Get EQUAL!
    Want to flee unEqual PA for a Free-Marriage State? Save the schlep!
    Here’s your opportunity to get EQUAL in Pennsylvania:

    This is a call for Pennsylvania Plaintiffs and Participants!
    Email: TwoHusbands[at]gmail[dot]com
    Feel free to publish and share the link to this Facebook Note!

  42. Allen from Austin says

    You should have been in the Texas Senate Chamber last Tuesday night.. The way Senator Wendy Davis was treated was downright shameful… The Senate rule book was basically tossed out the window by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and all hell broke loose.