POLITICS
12/01/2012 11:32 am ET Updated Dec 02, 2012

Mike Fleck Comes Out: Republican Becomes Openly Gay Pennsylvania Representative [UPDATE]

Pennsylvania state Rep. Mike Fleck (R-Huntingdon) came out Saturday.

“I'm still the exact same person and I’m still a Republican and, most importantly, I’m still a person of faith trying to live life as a servant of God and the public. The only difference now is that I will also be doing so as honestly as I know how," Fleck said, according to Politics PA. The Huntingdon Daily News, a subscription-based news service, first reported the story.

Fleck, who was married to a woman for almost a decade, said his Christian faith kept him from coming out for years.

“I wanted to live a ‘normal’ life and raise a family,” Fleck said. “I also believed that by marrying, I was fulfilling God’s will and I thought my same-sex attraction would simply go away."

Fleck was also actively involved with the Boy Scouts of America -- an anti-gay organization -- as an Eagle Scout and then as a district executive for the group.

Despite the GOP's resistance to same-sex marriage, Fleck said he would remain with the party because he's not "a one-issue person."

“The Republican party is all about the government needing to stay out of people’s lives,” Fleck said. “I’m not a one-issue person and it’s not a one-issue party.”

(h/t Politics PA)

CORRECTION: This story erroneously stated Fleck was the first openly gay lawmaker in Pennsylvania. Brian Sims was actually the first. We regret the error.

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