Pennsylvania Democrats are calling on a lawmaker who stopped a committee meeting to have a gay panic meltdown to resign.
In a recent committee meeting, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe instructed Rep. Matt Bradford not to touch him, after the Democrat briefly placed his hand on the Republican’s sleeve to get his attention.
He suggested Metcalfe, who is married to a woman and has four children, might be gay, and told him, “keep your hands to yourself.”
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“Like, if you want to touch somebody, you have people on your side of the aisle who might like it, I don’t,” he added.
Bradford and the rest of the room erupted in awkward laughter. Bradford said the meeting was “officially off the rails” and then did his best to keep the meeting on track.
“My intent was just to beg for your permission for about 30 seconds,” he explained of his behavior.
“Then beg, don’t touch,” Metcalfe responded.
The Pennsylvania Democratic Party posted the following statement on its website, calling on Metcalfe to step down:
State Representative Daryl Metcalfe has always been a problem in Harrisburg. He has invited white supremacists to the capitol testify on behalf of his positions, defended white nationalists, and refused to condemn racist violence. The Pennsylvania Democratic Party has previously called upon Metcalfe to resign over his repeated racism.
In addition to being racist, Metcalfe is homophobic. He has silenced gay lawmakers, held up non-discrimination laws and, just today, went on a random homophobic tirade directed at one of his colleagues.
“Enough is enough. Daryl Metcalfe is a walking, talking embarrassment to Pennsylvanians and doesn’t deserve the honor of serving in public office,” said Brandon Cwalina, spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party. “For years Metcalfe has taken policy positions based on bigoted misconceptions and fear of minority groups and the LGBT community, but today he has gone beyond the pale. We are again calling on Daryl Metcalfe to resign and to apologize to all Pennsylvanians for his ridiculously bigoted behavior.”
Rep. Brian Sims, the first openly gay elected official in the state, whom Metcalfe silenced as he tried to speak about marriage equality from the House floor, had his own statement on the incident.
“You can’t make this stuff up! The most homophobic, transphobic, racist, sexist, xenophobic member of our government is using legislative time, and tax payer dollars, to interupt [sic] a meeting to announce his sexual orientation,” Sims wrote in a Facebook post.
“THIS is what dealing with Republicans in Pennsylvania has become. THIS is why they’re attacking our youngest and most vulnerable members of the LGBT community. THIS is what a broken moral compass, combined with gerrymandered, false leadership looks like,” he added.
Metcalfe told a reporter with the Pittsburgh NBC affiliate that he has no intention of resigning.
Rep. Daryl Metcalfe says he has no plans to resign amid calls by PA Democrats for him to step down over "homophobic remarks." The Republican from Butler County says he spoke up to shed a light on Rep. Bradford's inappropriate behavior. Waiting to hear from Rep. Bradford. @WPXI
— WPXIJennifer Tomazic (@JenniferTomazic) December 6, 2017