I’m sure Mike Fleck is very grateful to Senator John Eichelberger for continuing to allow him to exist. Hopefully the experience of actually knowing some gay people will help moderate the views of some of the more openly bigoted representatives.
Republican State Rep. Mike Fleck is Pennsylvania’s first openly gay legislator, coming out to The Huntingdon Daily News in an interview published Saturday. Interestingly, State Senator John Eichelberger, whose senate district encompasses Fleck’s house district, is one of the most anti-gay legislators in Pennsylvania.
Eichelberger was the lead sponsor of a proposed constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman. He explained why in 2009, calling same-sex marriage “dysfunctional” and saying that it could ultimately cause “polygamy” and “marrying younger people.” Gay people, he said, don’t need rights: they should just be happy that America is “allowing them to exist.”
“They’re not being punished,” Eichelberger told Democratic State Senator Daylin Leach during a debate on WHYY‘s Radio Times. “We’re allowing them to exist, and do what every American can do. We’re just not rewarding them with any special designation.”