The Keystone Student Voice:
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Student Equality Coalition (PSEC) and LGBT youth across Pennsylvania commend Republican State Rep. Mike Fleck (R-81) for coming out today, becoming the first openly LGBT lawmaker in the Keystone State. Not only is Fleck the first and only legislator currently in Pennsylvania’s General Assembly who is openly gay, he is also one of only two openly gay Republican state legislators nationwide.
This is a historic and significant event for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. A Pennsylvania General Assembly that reflects the true diversity of her citizens is a better state for us all. Fleck said he hopes his openness will help others better understand the journey people have to take to live an authentic life, according to the Huntington Daily News.
Rep. Fleck represents a largely conservative and rural district stretching over Blair, Huntingdon, and Mifflin counties in Central Pennsylvania. In the breaking article in his local paper today, he noted that he remains committed to the same political ideals as before the announcement, as he has since he was first elected in 2006.
PSEC has been proud to work with Rep. Fleck. Prior to his big announcement, Rep. Fleck was already a friend of PSEC as a cosponsor of the Pennsylvania Safe Schools Act (HB 2636), which is a landmark anti-bullying bill to update Pennsylvania’s weak safe schools statute. Supporters of the PASS Act have appreciated considerable diversity of cosponsors, in terms of political affiliation, gender, and now–as of today–sexual orientation.
“Rep. Fleck has made history in becoming the first openly gay member of the Pennsylvania legislature. We could not be more proud of his courageous decision to be open and affirming of his identity.” said PSEC Executive Director Jason Landau Goodman.
PSEC wrote personally to Rep. Fleck on the day of his announcement. “On behalf of the thousands of LGBT youth we represent across the state, we thank you for coming forward and becoming a role model for us.”
PSEC is excited to continue working with Rep. Fleck in helping make the Commonwealth a better place for all Pennsylvanians, regardless of their sexual orientation.