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Brian Sims Wins, Will Be Pennsylvania’s First Openly-Gay State Lawmaker

by David Badash on April 25, 2012

in News,Politics

Post image for Brian Sims Wins, Will Be Pennsylvania’s First Openly-Gay State Lawmaker

Brian Sims, who faced a contentious and bitter race against a fellow Democrat, last night won the primary election and will become Pennsylvania’s first openly-gay lawmaker in November, as no Republican is challenging him.

Sims defeated Babette Josephs, a 27-year veteran of the Pennsylvania House.

Yesterday, Josephs was accused of violating campaigning laws, and Sims has been the victim of a misinformation campaign, as The New Civil Rights Movement reported. Anti-gay mailers containing fraudulent information were sent claiming Sims will disenfranchise voters, demand mandatory ultrasounds before abortion, and make drastic cuts to education. Clearly, as a Democrat, those accusations were just ugly campaign lies.

The Victory Fund, which endorsed Sims, notes:

“Tonight we’re celebrating a historic victory for Pennsylvania and for Brian,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Fund, which endorsed Sims.  ”LGBT Pennsylvanians will finally have a voice in their state legislature, and what a strong and unyielding voice it will be.  We are thrilled for Brian, who ran a remarkable campaign.”

Sims, a former member of the Victory Campaign Board, is a distinguished policy attorney and civil rights advocate from Center City Philadelphia. The former Staff Counsel for Policy and Planning at the Philadelphia Bar Association, he recently stepped down as the President of the Board of Directors of Equality Pennsylvania.

Sims could have company in the Pennsylvania House.  Another Victory-endorsed candidate, Chris Dietz, was unopposed in his Democratic primary tonight to represent District 104.

The New Civil Rights Movement has been covering Sims since 2010, when NCRM author J. Rudy Flescher, who’s written several pieces about Sims’ campaign, introduced us to Sims’ “I’m From Driftwood” video, in which he recounts being the first NCAA football captain to come out to his team.

Just two weeks ago, NCRM author Jean Ann Esselink wrote an extensive profile of Sims for her weekly  “On Our Radar” series.

Congratulations to Brian Sims, all his supporters, and Pennsylvania!

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{ 2 comments }

bayareajohn April 27, 2012 at 3:56 pm

I'm on your side, but you make it hard to be. This piece is pretty good reporting but has this stuck in the middle:

"Anti-gay mailers containing fraudulent information were sent claiming Sims will disenfranchise voters, demand mandatory ultrasounds before abortion, and make drastic cuts to education. Clearly, as a Democrat, those accusations were just ugly campaign lies."

First, there's nothing in the flyers as presented in Fleischer's articles that appears anti-gay at all. There might be some in there, but as virulent as Flescher's peices are in support of Sims, it's hard to imagine he forgot to include "anti-gay" in the lists of offenses he gushes over.

Worse, if you researched it instead of just quoting Flescher's' conclusion and then declaring that the flyers were fraudulent (again, not even a word Flescher used), you might find as I did that worst accusations, the headline material, was a warning that Sims will compromise with GOP Corbett. The operative language: "DANGER, PHILADELPHIA, DANGER! Brian Sims says he will work with Harrisburg Republicans!" The flyer implies that this compromise mindset could lead to a list of GOP wins in abortion, minority disenfranchise, etc. While reactionary, overstated, and misleading, that's not fraudulent. But you called it that without examination, and concluded for us that it was "clearly lies".

This and so many other sites are hugely important to the civil rights movement. Don't stoop to FOX NEWS slanting and sleight-of-mouth to try to make your points more convincing. Lies do not work to support the truth, they undermine it. So does editorializing disguised as reporting. So does lazy reporting. You're better than that. We deserve to choose to be on the right side of issues for the right reasons, not just because we've been told they are right.

JShep924 April 24, 2013 at 11:47 am

well said, sir.

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