State Representative Brian Sims is an openly gay member of the state House of Representatives, and on Wednesday he took to the House floor to speak about the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling invalidating key provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
House members are granted the privilege of speaking on any subject they wish under “unanimous consent,” meaning no other lawmakers object. Sims was 9 seconds into his remarks when unanimous consent was withdrawn by at least a handful of lawmakers, who at that time, rejected requests to name themselves. One of those lawmakers would later be revealed to be Conservative Butler County Republican Daryl Metcalfe, who would tell a Philadelphia radio station that he objected because Sims’ words would represent an “open rebellion to God’s laws.”
On Thursday, Sims got another chance to speak and requested that Metcalfe be reprimanded for his actions.
“My understanding of the rules of this body is that I could never call another member a bigot, a homophobe or a racist, nor would I. But I do ask that this body recognize that the language that was used against me as a member does not live up to the standards set by this body,” Sims said in his remarks.
No immediate action was taken and Sims was told that his complaint would be more appropriate for the Ethics Committee.