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Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Republican State Rep. Mike Fleck: ‘I’m Gay’

By Keegan Gibson| Politics PA
Saturday, December 1, 2012

Pennsylvania State Rep. Mike Fleck (R-Huntingdon) publicly acknowledged Saturday that he is gay, making him the first openly gay lawmaker in Pa. and the only currently sitting openly gay Republican state legislator in the country.

In a deeply personal story by the Huntingdon Daily News (subscription), Fleck, a devout Christian, explained the difficult road to his announcement.

“Coming out is hard enough, but doing it in the public eye is definitely something I never anticipated,” he said. “I’m still the exact same person and I’m still a Republican and, most importantly, I’m still a person of faith trying to live life as a servant of God and the public. The only difference now is that I will also be doing so as honestly as I know how.”

Mike Fleck

He said his party affiliation remains strong.

“The Republican party is all about the government needing to stay out of people’s lives,” Fleck said. “I’m not a one-issue person and it’s not a one-issue party.”

More of his testimonial from the Daily News is below.

Fleck, 39, has a resume that would impress Republicans anywhere. An Eagle Scout by age 18, he graduated from Liberty University in 1995 and worked professionally for the Boy Scouts of America as a district executive in Huntingdon County from 1999 to 2004. He was married in 2002.

In the legislature he’s been a moderate Republican; he was targeted by the conservative Citizens Alliance for Pennsylvania in 2011. However, aside a few votes in committees where Fleck doesn’t serve, there haven’t been significant votes on gay rights issues during his tenure.

He and his wife separated about a year ago; they do not have children.

He will be joined in Pa. in January by Brian Sims of Philadelphia. The Democratic attorney is the first openly gay candidate to run and win office in Pa.; he ousted Rep. Babette Josephs (D-Phila) in April.

Ted Martin is Executive Director of Equality Pa., the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organization. He says Fleck is now the only openly gay Republican legislator in the nation, although another will take office in Ohio in January. Former Missouri Republican Rep. Zach Wyatt is also openly gay.*

“There’s an opportunity here to have an open discussion in a new way,” Martin said. “There’s a real live voice to talk about it inside the Capitol, inside the Republican caucus. I hope Representative Fleck will want to work with us.”

“I respect his process, respect that this isn’t easy,” said Martin, who came out at age 32. “I would hope people respect his integrity and his privacy.”

There’s no conceivable political upside to the announcement in Fleck’s district which is one of the most conservative in the state. Registered Republicans outnumber Democrats nearly 2-1.

Fleck won a four-way primary for the seat of outgoing Rep. Larry Sather in 2006 and was unopposed for re-election this year. The 81st district comprises most of Huntingdon County with parts of Blair and Mifflin. Under the new map expected to be in place for 2014, he will have a slightly more moderate district: all of Huntingdon, a smaller part of Mifflin and a part of Centre County in the suburbs of State College.

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22 more reader comments:

  1. Well an openly gay republican isnt really new, but lets see if he now fights for the rights of others

    Posted on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 2:59pm
  2. … One wonders how the hell he justifies being a republican, considering. Tho the Log Cabin crowd manages, so I suppose t;s possible.

    Posted on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 3:00pm
  3. Welcome out into the world and now that you don’t have to pretend anymore stop telling the world that you are a conservative person that believes you and everyone like you should have no rights.

    Posted on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 3:05pm
  4. Live free. that is the dream of America a place that accepts you and does not allow the primitive tongue of the religious whacks in the world to enslave people… I say we burn the churches and burn down America until they understand the power we have!!! 2 harsh?? ok, forget it. lol

    Posted on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 3:12pm
  5. Welcome to the family Mike! Bet the air is a lot fresher out of the closet!

    Posted on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 3:30pm
  6. How he can live with himself as a gay man in the political party that does nothiong but work against his personal best interests and freedoms is still beyond me.

    Posted on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 3:43pm
  7. Welcome…your politics may leave me cold, but your courage and bravery do not.

    Posted on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 4:09pm
  8. A gay republican is as useful as a chronic masterbater with no hands

    Posted on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 4:38pm
  9. he is in the wrong party then

    Posted on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 4:43pm
  10. So much for his re-election… Maybe he’s moving on to a new career.

    Posted on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 4:44pm
  11. So when is he going to come out of the GOP? If he does not, he’s just another wart on the ass of society.

    Posted on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 4:47pm
  12. Just Do Not Understand HOW Anyone Can be a Gay Republican: Is That Like “Jews for Jesus”?

    Posted on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 4:48pm
  13. Sorry, but I don’t believe anyone can be gay and a republican. The whole republican platform is totally against gay people. So why?

    Posted on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 5:00pm
  14. Whatever Mr. Fleck, whatever.

    Posted on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 5:28pm
  15. Not ALL Democrats support GAY rights, here in California many voted in favor of proposition 8…

    Posted on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 6:07pm
  16. omg y be republican and be gay -_-

    Posted on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 6:18pm
  17. bookstore queen

    Posted on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 6:47pm
  18. i was thinking the same thing Brandon

    Posted on Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 6:52pm
  19. Isn’t that an oxy moron….Gay Republican what’s next …gay nuns?

    Posted on Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 12:15am
  20. Jewish Nazis? Black KKK?

    Posted on Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 1:25am
  21. raise the glass being gay..isn’t america is a free country why can’t you accept gays???? crab mentality

    Posted on Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 12:51pm
  22. CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING YOU!! Welcome to the out world. Now, if we can just get our equal rights………………………..

    Posted on Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 4:00pm