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.


Gay Marriage In The United States
Gay Marriage In The United States