Brian Sims (D) was set to become Pennsylvania’s first openly gay state lawmaker when he takes office in January, but now Republican Rep. Mike Fleck has beat him to it. Fleck, an Eagle Scout and Liberty University graduate, came out privately last year after years of trying to deny his sexual orientation and the end of his marriage to his wife. Now he’s gone public with his story, describing the long struggle to reconcile his Christianity with being gay:
FLECK: I sought out treatment from a Christian counselor, but when that didn’t work out, I engaged a secular therapist who told me point blank that I was gay and that I was too caught up in being the perfect Christian rather than actually being authentic and honest.
Through years of counseling, I’ve met a lot of gay Christians who have tried hard to change their God-given sexual orientation, but at the end of the day, I know of none who’ve been successful. They’ve only succeeded at repressing their identity, only to have it reappear time and time again and always wreaking havoc not only on themselves, but especially on their family.
Fleck says he has no plans to change the way he votes in the Assembly. Representing one of the most conservative districts in Pennsylvania, he has been criticized for only being a moderate Republican.