Today, Mike Fleck, a Republican member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, became the first openly gay member of the Pennsylvania legislature. He told The Huntington Daily News his secret in a tell-all interview.
"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," Fleck said. "The only difference now is that I will also be doing so as honestly as I know how."
His coming out is a brave move that should absolutely be applauded. But all of these citizens cheering him on might want take a look at his voting record before they start donating money to his campaigns or anything like that.
Over the course of his career, Fleck has voted eight times against legislation that would help protect the environment. One of the most notable examples was a February 2012 vote that allows counties to choose whether or not to enact a severance tax on companies who extract oil and gas using hydrofracking methods.
Fleck also has voted to limit civil liberties of Pennsylvania voters. In 2012, he supported the loosening of wiretapping laws. He also voted for the enacting of voter ID laws which would require registered voters to show photo identification when they went to the polls. Both of these acts passed and were signed into law. Fortunately, a judge struck down the voter ID laws before last month's election.
He has never had to vote on any same-sex equality laws.
Fleck told the hometown paper, "I don't see anything changing in my life, I don't see my voting pattern changing." Well now that you're publicly part of a group that needs a lot of help from its legislature, you really should take a second glance at some of those privacy and discrimination laws that you vote for.