Americans United weighs in on the shout-down of PA Representative Brian Sims by PA Representative Daryl Metcalfe, who claimed that Sims was in “open rebellion of God’s Law.” Click through the link below the quote to read the entire AU opinion.
One of the primary purposes of democratic assemblies is to allow a variety of voices to be heard, but that civics lesson seems to have escaped a Pennsylvania lawmaker who prevented one of his colleagues from speaking last week because allowing him to do so would have been “open rebellion against God’s law.”
Following the Supreme Court decisions on California’s Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, openly gay Rep. Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia) was granted unanimous permission to discuss the rulings on the floor of the House of Representatives. As the first openly gay member of the Pennsylvania legislature (and one of only two now in the legislature), he seemed the perfect choice to comment on the historic judicial developments.
But as Sims was still speaking his first sentence, a group of lawmakers shouted him down. Under the rules of the Pennsylvania legislature, this meant Sims’ unanimous consent to address the chamber was revoked. He was then unable to complete his remarks, said the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The newspaper said it remains unknown exactly which lawmakers did the shouting, except for one who chose to come forward – Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler).