Freshman Pa. State Rep. Brian Sims, the first openly gay legislator in the state, will introduce a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania. This comes after an anti-gay marriage legislator stopped Sims from speaking on the House floor on the issue in Harrisburg because he would have offended "God's law."
Sims and state Rep. Stephen McCarter plan on introducing the bill within the next two months, and it faces an uphill climb. Both chambers of the legislature are controlled by Republicans and the governor is also a Republican. A poll this spring found Pennsylvanians supporting gay marriage by 54% to 41%.
On Wednesday, as Sims prepared to speak on the House floor on the Supreme Court decisions on gay marriage, he was blocked by a parliamentary objection by arch-conservative Daryl Metcalfe.
"For me to allow him to say things that I believe are open rebellion against God are for me to participate in his open rebellion," Metcalfe told the AP. "There's no free speech on the floor."
Sims sought to censure Metcalfe for denying him the right to speak. "This is a guy who hates women, he hates gay people, he hates minorities and he hates immigrants," Sims said.
Pennsylvania and New Jersey are the only two states in the Northeast that don't allow gay marriage, though Democrats in New Jersey passed a bill only to see it vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie. After the Supreme Court decisions, New Jersey lawmakers were preparing another attempt. If it succeeds, it will make Pennsylvania more and more an outlier.
It's awesome that Sims is not backing down, doing what is right and taking the fight to same-sex marriage opponents. He learned his lessons well being captain of his college football team.