Last month or so, I saw a post on David Mixner, about Brian Sims being in New York City raising money form the NY Gay A list type folks. Sims announced running for the PA House and he has been busy working hard towards that end. Then a few days ago, I received an email, that included a request from the Victory Fund, to support Brian. Here is how David Martin who sent the email puts it:

The Victory fund argues in the email below that one step in changing all that is to elect – for the first time ever – an out gay person to the state legislature.

This irritates the heck out of me. That’s like saying one element in the temperature reaching 80 degrees is for the sun to come out. Who can argue that having an out person would be a good thing? Of course it would be! But such an argument, while not untrue, is misleading!  Anyone in Pennsylvania who truly cares about the future of LGBT Rights deserves better than this flimsy rhetoric.

The truth if the matter is that even without an out legislator, we came closer to passing HB 300 in the last session than ever before. But losing the House to GOP leadership changed everything, and it is fallacious to suggest that simply having on out elected official will not change that.

Below, is the reasons I sent back to the list serve from which I had received the original.  Interestingly, that message was not approved or published. I guess they care more about the bull shit than the facts.

While having an out gay man in the PA legislature may help encourage other LGBTS to run for state office. It won’t do a thing to move any LGBT legislation forward, and could actually slow it because Sims is running against one of the strongest and most vocal supporters in the PA HOUSE. The thing that is keeping any LGBT legislation from moving out of committee is Darryl Metcalf. He now heads an important committee, and he will continue to do so until he loses his re-election, or Democrats take control of the House again. Electing Brian Sims won’t impact either of these in any way. This is nothing against Brian who is a smart, articulate, and handsome guy. Just the reality of the real issues that are stopping LGBT legislation. Brian, who I believe has been on the board of the Victory Fund would do more for LGBT RIGHTS if instead of going against one of our strongest supporters who has a fair amount of power in Harrisburg, moved and ran against some GOP incumbent. THAT would have a very real impact on moving LGBT Rights forward in PA.

Sims has much to offer, but not by replacing a powerful and vocal supporter as a powerless freshman. Brian’s story is powerful and I’m sure he will continue to be a force for good, but let’s turn that against our foes, not one of our strongest supporters.

The true step towards passing statewide progress for LGBTQ Pennsylvanians is to take back the House from GOP leadership. That and/or getting Darryl Metcalf out of there. That has nothing to do with Brian Sims.


  1. I’m not even sure who Brian Sims is but I commend any GLBT person who wants to work on my civil rights or who’s willing to put themselves through a political campaign in the hopes of making things better in this state. I also know for certain that whatever he’s doing, it HAS to be more helpful to PA’s GLBT population that a badly written, badly editted, badly formulated argument that his race isn’t important to gay civil rights. How about instead of trashing the idea of electing an openly GLBT assemblyperson, you spend half the amount of time supporting the idea. Seems likle he’s doing something to help and you’re just doing something to complain. 

    • Thanks for trying to add to the dialogue and posting your thoughts. I’d be interested to know what you feel is a “badly formulated argument” ?

      The truth of the matter is that no LGBT bill will have an ability to move forward as long as the GOP controls the PA House. That is clear.  As long as Darryl Metcalf is in charge of the committee that  a LGBT bill will need to come out of- there is no chance of it leaving committee.That is true stuff. Brian is running against one of the strongest, most outspoken progressives in the PA House who has been a hard fighter for LGBT Rights. That’s a fact. It is also true that his opponent has enough seniority to have some power in Harrisburg. Again, just a fact. If Brian is elected, he will be a starting freshman with no real power at all. Just a fact.Replacing a well respected and extremely vocal, hard fighting progressive with a freshman out gay candidate won’t do anything to fix the two issues that are holding up LGBT Rights.

      Brian is smart, articulate, handsome, and has a wonderful story to share.  He was a successful athlete, and he is a real inspiration to many. I like Brian a lot, and I think he would make a good representative. I just wish he would choose to do what he is doing and work to take out a GOP rep rather than a consistently hard working progressive.

      Again, thanks for your comment!