Pennsylvania Elects First Openly Gay State Legislator


Democrat Brian Sims on Tuesday night won a decisive victory in his Philadelphia district to become Pennsylvania’s first openly gay state representative.

Reports Gay Politics:

“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.

With 93 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday night, Sims had a clear 52 percent of the vote while Incumbent Democrat Rep. Babette Josephs had only 48 percent.

Sims has prided himself on a clean campaign focused on volume messaging on key issues like job creation. This, with the backing of several large donors, enabled him to overwhelm the competition.

However, it wasn’t all smooth sailing.  Incumbent Josephs, who held her seat for 27 years, spent thousands messaging that Sims would disenfranchise voters, would support mandatory ultrasounds for women prior to terminations, and attempted to use Sims’ desire for bipartisanship to suggest that he would be a lapdog to Republicans, all of which Sims’ stated positions on these matters denied.

The defeated Babette Josephs now faces an investigation over allegations she may have broken campaign rules, an allegation she has strongly refused.


Related Reading:

HRC’s Joe Solmonese Named Obama Campaign Co-Chair

PA House Panel Pulls Gay Marriage Ban Vote

Bethlehem Passes LGBT-Inclusive Civil Rights Protections

Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to -Marlith-.

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Past Member
Past Member 3 years ago

Congratulations to Pennsylvania!

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal3 years ago

Thank you citizens of Pennsylvania...

Mitchell D.
Mitchell D.3 years ago

No, Sandy, it may not make him a better man, (J.Edgar Hoover was gay, and certainly not a better human) or smarter, but it may give a broader perspective on things to the legislature.

Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia3 years ago

im not surprised this happened in Philly, people there are a lot more open to gays, theres a whole gay area that has plenty of business, a yearly festiveful. its a pretty cool place to see if you're gay.

John B.
John B.3 years ago

Good for Brian Sims and great for Pennslvania. Sandy if you would like to see what some of his qualifications are go to this link and read about some of them.

Lauren B.

Since gay folks are integrated throughout all jobs, schools, government, etc. already, we can celebrate that finally they can openly be themselves. Good for Pennsylvnia!

Sandy Erickson
Sandy Erickson3 years ago

Why be gay? Does that make him a better man? Smarter? I don't really need to know what you are doingin the bedroom(or where ever) I need to know that you can do the job.

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L.3 years ago

Another step forward...

Laurie A.
Laurie A.3 years ago

I am very happy to hear there is another gay human in state government. I heart PA.

Winn Adams
Winn Adams3 years ago

Way to go PA!