Lawmaker barred from speaking to legislature for fear that he might violate “God’s law”
HERE‘s one for the books:
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 [above] 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.
Steve Benen has more of this matter HERE:
Maybe now would be a good time to note that the separation of church and state still exists; American policymakers’ ability to discuss Supreme Court rulings should not be based on one person’s interpretation of “God’s law”; and theocracies, as a rule, are not a good idea.
Pressed for further explanation by the Associated Press, Metcalfe didn’t back down, adding, “For me to allow him to say things that I believe are open rebellion against God are for me to participate in his open rebellion. There’s no free speech on the floor.”
Do you ever get the feeling some folks just aren’t cut out for public service?
Let’s also note that two of Sims’ Democratic colleagues rose to defend him, and they were blocked from speaking, too.
Update: Metcalfe is the same state lawmaker who argued in 2009 that any U.S. military veteran who supports combating climate change “is a traitor.” In an email Metcalfe wrote at the time, he added, “Remember Benedict Arnold before giving credibility to a veteran who uses their service as a means to promote a leftist agenda. Drill Baby Drill!!!”