A Republican representative blocked an openly gay colleague from talking about the Defense of Marriage Act. According to Representative Daryl Metcalfe, he cut off gay representative Brian Sims because his comments would be an “open rebellion against God’s law.”
“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.
Metcalfe also hindered the discussions of two other colleagues who were prepared to talk about DOMA.
“His comments did not live up to the standards set by this body,” Sims said during the conference. “This is a guy who hates women, he hates gay people, he hates minorities and he hates immigrants.”
Several Republicans apologized to Sims after the incident.
“Honestly, on the floor, it did not seem like it was that big of a deal. A lot of members went up and spoke with Representative Sims afterwards,” said House Republican Caucus Steve Miskin in an interview with NewsWorks. “There was a lot of discourse. Between both sides of the aisle.”
Sims is the first openly gay elected official in Pennsylvania’s history and hoped to reintroduce a marriage equality bill for the state in light of the Supreme Court ruling that DOMA was unconstitutional. While attempts on proposing an equality bill have occurred before, Sims’ proposition would be the first for 2013.
“[The bill] 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,” Sims said earlier this week. “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.”