By Diane Anderson-Minshall
Originally published on Advocate.com December 01 2012 2:26 PM ET
Pennsylvania State Rep. Mike Fleck came out today in an article that appears in the Huntingdon Daily News. This makes him the first out gay legislator in the state and the only out gay Republican state legislator in the U.S., at least until January when gay Democrat Brian Sims takes his post in Pennsylvania's House.
Fleck, a 39-year-old alumni of the conversative Liberty University and former executive for the Boy Scouts of America was married (to a woman) until last year. He told the Daily News that “Coming out is hard enough, but doing it in the public eye is definitely something I never anticipated. I’m still the exact same person and I’m still a Republican and, most importantly, I’m still a person of faith trying to live life as a servant of God and the public. The only difference now is that I will also be doing so as honestly as I know how.”
According to PoliticsPA, the move will not affect his committment to the Republican party. “The Republican party is all about the government needing to stay out of people’s lives,” he said. “I’m not a one-issue person and it’s not a one-issue party.”
There is no apparent political upside to Fleck's coming out, says PoliticsPA's Keegan Gibson, as he represents one of the "most conservative [areas] in the state. Registered Republicans outnumber Democrats nearly 2-1."
In his talks with the Daily News, Fleck said he'd met a great number of gay Christians who tried to change their sexual orientation, but none who had done so successfully.