Republican State Rep. Mike Fleck comes out, a letter by Brian Sims


By Brian Sims

Source: Huffington Post

Days after the November election, I had an opportunity to explain to a future colleague that although the election may not have been a referendum on all issues that divide the right and left, it was undoubtedly a referendum on the use of anti-LGBT measures as a “wedge” issue to increase Republican turn out at the polls. With the historic elections of out, LGBT officials all over the country, and in offices reaching as high as the U.S. Senate, as well as four marriage initiative wins at the ballot box, it’s clear that whether the right still believes its anti-gay rhetoric or not, the ability to use it as a means to gain majority votes is a thing of the past.

It is with this knowledge that I happily invited the news that my colleague in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Mike Fleck, came out of the closet this weekend, making him one of just a handful of Republican elected officials to do so, and likely the only one currently serving in office. I’ve been asked a lot about his announcement and while I’m certain there will be more conversations in the future, I wanted to take just a quick moment to address it.

First, I hope that this moment can help each of us reflect on our own personal lives and the many trails we travel. As they say, “life is a journey” and we are all entitled to walk our own paths, at our own pace. Coming out is a process that is different for everyone. Over the entirety of our lives we all struggle to better know ourselves — gay, straight or otherwise — and we should be encouraging and supportive of those who have the courage to be true to themselves.

The representative is an honorable man who has served his community well, and while I may disagree with him on a number of policy issues, if we are ever going to claw our way back out of this awful partisan divide that so many of our politicians have thrust us into, it’s going to have to start with finding places of mutual respect and common ground. This is the perfect place to start.

Read more of the full article on Huffington Post here

Check out Brian Sims on the Politics Panel at dot429’s 2012 StraightTalk Conference below. 



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