PA Swears In First Out Gay State Rep
was sworn in as the first openly gay person elected to the Pennsylvania state legislature.
Brian Sims, 34, ran unopposed in the November election after ousting longtime Rep. Babette Josephs in the Democratic primary in the Center City district. "The tide has changed," said Sims, a civil rights advocate who recently stepped down as board president of Equality Pennsylvania, the statewide lesbian and gay advocacy organization. "2012 will go down in history as when being anti-gay puts you in the minority." By coincidence, Sims will be one of two openly gay lawmakers in the General Assembly this year. In a surprise announcement last month, Rep. Mike Fleck, a sitting Republican lawmaker from Huntingdon County, revealed that he was gay.Sims vowed yesterday to focus on gun control, saying, "We had more murders last year in Philadelphia than in all of Germany. Some people may have a deer problem. We have a murder problem."