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PA's first open-gay Legislator has PA's most anti-gay Legislator in Same District

One wonders if their local townhall meetings are filled with (sexual) tension...

Quote:Republican State Rep. Mike Fleck is Pennsylvania's first openly gay legislator, coming out to The Huntingdon Daily News in an interview published Saturday. Interestingly, State Senator John Eichelberger, whose senate district encompasses Fleck's house district, is one of the most anti-gay legislators in Pennsylvania.

Eichelberger was the lead sponsor of a proposed constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman. He explained why in 2009, calling same-sex marriage "dysfunctional" and saying that it could ultimately cause "polygamy" and "marrying younger people." Gay people, he said, don't need rights: they should just be happy that America is "allowing them to exist."

"They’re not being punished," Eichelberger told Democratic State Senator Daylin Leach during a debate on WHYY's Radio Times. "We’re allowing them to exist, and do what every American can do. We’re just not rewarding them with any special designation."

Fleck and Eichelberger's districts lie in the center of the state's conservative heartland, known derisively as Pennsyltucky or geographically as the "T," a reference to the state's shape when metropolitan Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are excluded.

Eichelberger, who made a public appearance with Fleck just last week and co-sponsored the Huntingdon Senior Expo with him for years, yesterday expressed confusion in a terse blog post.

"The news this morning of Representative Mike Fleck announcing that he was homosexual, was stunning to most who read it...I don’t know what the reaction is around the area and doubt if most even know about the news. Tomorrow will bring more coverage, perhaps on a national level."

Not that he didn't, like, know Fleck was gay. Eichelberger told The Altoona Mirror that he "had heard from people that Fleck was gay 'for quite a while...[but he] 'was very surprised it was handled this way.'"

It would, of course, be fantastic if Eichelberger turned out to also be gay. The list of high-profile gay-bashing conservatives who themselves turn out to be gay is a long one: Rev. Ted Haggard, Senator Larry Craig, and the Rev. George Rekers, who in 2010 needed help "lift[ing] luggage" from a hardbodied Rentboy.

Fleck, however, is described as a moderate, has not publicly criticized gays before (unless I'm missing something), and has not had to vote on a gay rights-related bill since his taking office in 2007.

Blair County party Chairman A.C. Stickel told The Mirror, "I am disappointed he would find it necessary to make a public announcement." Others warned that while they welcomed Fleck, they continued to oppose gay marriage. Fleck has not said whether he will support gay marriage or a law protecting gay Pennsylvanians from discrimination in housing, public accommodations and the workplace-- measures state Republicans have vociferously opposed. (Many liberal cities like Philadelphia have local anti-discrimination ordinances.)

The 2012 Republican Party platform insists that "the union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard."

Polls show that half of Pennsylvanians now support gay marriage. But "the political climate in the commonwealth has not forced legislators to make highly publicized votes on the issue," the Harrisburg Patriot-News reported just two weeks ago. "And while polls offer support for the idea that gay marriage will eventually come to Pennsylvania, there are also indications that it is unlikely to happen in Harrisburg or at the ballot box anytime soon."

Fleck struggled to suppress his homosexuality in the most difficult institutional contexts imaginable. He graduated from Christian conservative Jerry Falwell's Liberty University. Later, he worked as a district executive of the Boy Scouts, the target of an ongoing legal dispute with the city of Philadelphia over the organization's prohibition on openly gay members.

Fleck also sought "Christian counseling," which likely refers to the bogus "conversion therapy" that seeks to make a gay person not gay, now banned under a recently enacted California law. Last year, Michelle Bachmann's husband Marcus became a lightning rod for criticism when it was discovered that his Christian counseling center offered the "therapy." Marcus is, incidentally, widely rumored to be gay. "I mean, conducting therapy that's largely about listening to gay dudes talk about their naughty, naughty sex urges is a pretty gay job to have," mused Gawker's Richard Lawson.

“I sought out treatment from a Christian counselor, but when that didn’t work out, I engaged a secular therapist who told me point blank that I was gay and that I was too caught up in being the perfect Christian rather than actually being authentic and honest,” Fleck told the Huntingdon Daily News. "I know of none who've been successful...They've only succeeded at repressing their identity, only to have it reappear time and again and always wreaking havoc not only on themselves, but especially on their family."
I honestly don't care in the slightest bit about gay issues. Bang whoever you want, i could care less.

It is just a way for our masters to put us at each others throats over yet one more issue.
Valorius;49068 Wrote:I honestly don't care in the slightest bit about gay issues. Bang whoever you want, i could care less.

It is just a way for our masters to put us at each others throats over yet one more issue.

Maybe Centre county will send their Senator packing and pick a new one that can find better things to do for his constituents.
All the most rabidly anti gay people are all closet homos anyway.
Do they cancel each other out?
Vampire pig man since September 2012

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