By Mollie Reilly
An openly gay lawmaker was silenced by colleagues on the Pennsylvania House floor Thursday when he attempted to speak about the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act.
State Rep. Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia) took to the House floor on Thursday to discuss the high court’s landmark ruling, which found the federal law barring the government from recognizing same-sex marriages legalized by states to be unconstitutional. However, as WHYY News and Philly.com report, Sims’ remarks were blocked by several state lawmakers using a procedural maneuver.
One of those lawmakers, conservative state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler), told WHYY that he believed Sims’ comments would be a violation of “God’s law.”
“I did not believe that as a member of that body that I should allow someone to make comments such as he was preparing to make that ultimately were just open rebellion against what the word of God has said, what God has said, and just open rebellion against God’s law,” Metcalfe said.
Sims said he had no intention of criticizing gay marriage detractors, and had only planned to highlight the importance of the court’s ruling.
“I wasn’t planning on chastising anybody. I wasn’t planning on discussing how far we have to come in Pennsylvania or that we really have no civil rights in PennsylvaPennsylvania,” Sims said.
Two other Democrats attempted to speak in support of Sims, but they too were blocked.