Penn. GOP Lawmaker Calls Police After Phone Call with Rep. Brian Sims

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday August 7, 2020

Brian Sims
Brian Sims  (Source:Brian Sims / Facebook)

Pennsylvania Capital-Star reports that retiring representative Tom Murt (R-Montgomery) called authorities to his home on Monday evening after allegedly receiving a profanity-laced call from openly gay representative Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia) late that evening.

The reason for the call was unclear, Murt said, explaining to the Capital-Star that Sims "never actually articulated why he was so angry." Regarding the police visit, the paper reports it is unclear what will happen next.

The paper reports that a now-deleted tweet by Sims seems to indicate the call may have been regarding a "LGBTQ Bill of Rights," a memo introduced on Monday co-sponsored by Murt, according to LGBTQ Nation.

"The bill would expand the state's Human Relations Act to make employment, housing and other discrimination based on "sexual orientation and gender identity" illegal," reports reports the Buck County Courier Times.

"State laws currently offer the same protections against discrimination based on "race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, education status, handicap, or disability," the memo states."

The Courier Times cited a report from the Pennsylvania Capital-Star that said "Sims had denied threatening Murt, but did criticize the bill proposed by Murt and others as political pandering."

"Lol in my entire life I've never said these things to Tom or anyone else," Sims wrote. "I did make it abundantly clear to him that killing the effort to advance LGBTQ legislation in Pennsylvania with his weird campaign effort is something that I'd make sure advocates knew about. And they do."

Murt has branded himself as an LGBTQ+-friendly Republican lawmaker, and Sims, elected in 2012, is the state's first openly gay Representative. Sims alleges that Murt could have helped advance equality legislation but, for political gain, has failed to do so; meanwhile, only two weeks of state legislation sessions remain, LGBTQ Nation reports.

Sims alleged that self-described allies such as Murt don't care about passing such bills when they "pretend to care about equality legislation that they've had all term to advance, just in time for the elections, and not in enough time to actually advance equality."

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.

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