Metro Weekly

Brian Sims responds to rugby star feeling “persecuted” for anti-gay comments

Pennsylvania state representative and LGBTQ advocate says getting "backlash for being an idiot isn't persecution"

Brian Sims — Photo: Facebook

“Persecution is when you have less rights, less say, less protection from abuse…. Getting backlash for being an idiot isn’t persecution, it’s justice.”

Brian Sims, an LGBTQ rights advocate and state representative from Pennsylvania, responding on Twitter to a Metro Weekly story about Australian rugby player Israel Folau’s martyr complex.

Folau suggested he has been “persecuted” for his beliefs after receiving backlash for a comment he posted on Instagram saying that gay people were going to hell.

A devout Christian, Folau posted a graphic about how God’s plan for life involves humans going through various trials and tribulations.

A user asked him what God’s plan for gay people was, to which Folau responded: “HELL…Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God.”

Folau was heavily criticized for the comment, and began accusing others of being intolerant of his religious beliefs. He then compared himself to a “persecuted prophet,” adding a screen shot of verses from the Sermon on the Mount.

Sims responded on Twitter:

Sims, who was recently endorsed by the Victory Fund for reelection, has gained a national profile for his work and advocacy efforts, including proudly supporting LGBTQ rights.

In a notable event incident in the Pennsylvania State Capitol, Sims was shut down by another representative for trying to speak about the Supreme Court overturning a portion of the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act.

State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, who last year screamed “I’m a heterosexual” during a committee meeting after a male colleague touched his arm, invoked an obscure rule to prevent Sims from speaking, claiming his remarks constituted “open rebellion against God’s law.”

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at

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