Metro Weekly

Brian Sims welcomed anti-gay Mike Pence to Philadelphia with his middle finger

The gay lawmaker took issue with anti-gay and bigoted Pence visiting his district, calling Philly a city of "soaring diversity"

State Rep. Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia) — Photo: Brian Sims / Facebook

State Rep. Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia) offered a strong response to Vice President Mike Pence visiting Philadelphia, posting an image of him raising his middle finger to “officially welcome” Pence to the city.

Sims, who represents the 182nd district in Philadelphia and is Pennsylvania’s first openly gay lawmaker, took to social media to express his disdain for the vice president visiting his district.

“Vice President Mike Pence let me be the first person to officially welcome you to the City of Brotherly Love, and to my District in the State House,” he wrote. “To be clear, we’re a City of soaring diversity. We believe in the power of all people to live and to contribute: Black, Brown, Queer, Trans, Atheist, Immigrant, we want you and we’ll respect you.”

“So keep that in mind while you’re here raising money to attack more families, spread more lies, blaspheme with your bible, and maybe even talk to a woman without your wife in the room,” Sims added. “We have plenty of them, and they’re pretty much all more powerful and more real than you have ever been. So…get bent, then get out!”

The image has garnered thousands of reactions on Facebook and Twitter, with many supporters praising Sims for speaking out against Pence, who earlier this year denied his long documented bigotry and claims that he supported gay conversion therapy.

Some took issue with Sims flipping the bird, only to get a sharp retort from the representative.

Sims, who was 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 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.”

And earlier this year, Sims shut down an Australian rugby player who claims he felt “persecuted” after posting anti-gay comments online.

“Persecution is when you have less rights, less say, less protection from abuse, less representation, less support, and less ability to have wrongs against you corrected,” Sims wrote on Twitter. “Getting backlash for being an idiot isn’t persecution, it’s justice.”

Editor’s note: This article’s headline was updated to note Pence’s anti-gay beliefs.