Gay Republican Comes Out and Stays In Denial

Pennsylvanian state representative Mike Fleck (R-Huntingdon) came out on Saturday, but sadly seems in blissful denial about the GOP’s aggressive government overreach.

Fleck, who describes himself as a devout conservative Christian, spoke for the first time about his sexuality to the Huntingdon Daily News, saying when he married his wife he wanted to live the life he thought his religion demanded of him.

“I wanted to live a ‘normal’ life and raise a family,” Fleck is quoted as saying. “I also believed that by marrying, I was fulfilling God’s will and I thought my same-sex attraction would simply go away.”

It didn’t, and before he separated from his wife last year, he sought help from a number of Christian counselors. Says the article:

“I sought out treatment from a Christian counselor, but when that didn’t work out, I engaged a secular therapist who told me point blank that I was gay and that I was too caught up in being the perfect Christian rather than actually being authentic and honest,” Fleck said.

On ex-gay therapy, Fleck manages to be truthful over its complete lack of efficacy and its potential harms, saying:

“Through years of counseling, I’ve met a lot of gay Christians who have tried hard to change their God-given sexual orientation, but at the end of the day, I know of none who’ve been successful,” he said. “They’ve only succeeded at repressing their identity, only to have it reappear time and time again and always wreaking havoc not only on themselves, but especially on their family.”

This announcement makes Rep. Fleck one of just two openly gay Republican state legislators, along with Ohio state Representative Tim Brown. He joins Democrat Brian Sims as Pennsylvania’s only openly gay House lawmakers.

However, Fleck said his new openness about his sexuality will not change how he votes or his party affiliation:

“The Republican party is all about the government needing to stay out of people’s lives. I’m not a one-issue person and it’s not a one-issue party.”

The denial of reality here is impressive. Fleck cannot seriously contend that the GOP is really the party of small government anymore. True, they continue to wave that relic of a banner whenever the issue of tax or social security comes up. But the very issue of gay rights proves the notion false when one considers that being anti-gay is not just a credential for being a Republican presidential nominee, but also part of the Republican party platform.

Furthermore, while the party is undeniably packed with anti-gay voices, many like Michele Bachmann who not only contends that being gay is a demonic choice but who is also an advocate of conversion therapy, the party’s intrusion isn’t limited to just anti-LGBT stances. The Republicans are the party who drove a ridiculously intrusive fetal heartbeat abortion bill in the state. They’ve also been accused of deliberately attempting to intimidate African American voters.

While Fleck’s coming out is admirable, his avoidance of reality negates an important point: if it weren’t for the institutionalized homophobia of the Republican party, Fleck might never have fallen prey to the notion that he needed to live a lie in the first place, or at least not continued to do so for quite so very long.


Related Reading:

GOP Pollster Tells Republicans to Evolve on Gay Rights

Fred Karger, Gay Republican, Ends POTUS Bid

Republican Uses Dead Gay Brother to Fight Gay Marriage

Image credit: Thinkstock.


Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill5 years ago

They GOP's aggressive government overreach? I think that is the Dems! They have taken over the auto industry AND our health care system!

Dennis Velco
Dennis Velco5 years ago

We invited Mike Fleck to join our LGBT LinkedIn Group...... AND HE DID.... just this morning where in we have a similar dialog running about him. Come join us and get actual dialog interacting with Mike Fleck.

Thanks for this article and your reporting. What you do is appreciated.

I posted it to my LGBT Group on LinkedIn to spur members to read your article and to make comment. I also scooped it at Scoop.It on my LGBT Times news mashup.

Link to group >>

All LGBT and community allies.... please come join me and 17,000 of your soon to be great connections on LinkedIn. The member base represents 80% of the world's countries.

It's core value is - Visibility can lead to awareness which can lead to equality. Come stand with us and increase our visibility on the globe's largest professional networking site. Be a professional who just happens to be LGBT - or a welcomed community ally.

Stella Gamboni
Stella Gamboni5 years ago

I don't know if he's a nice guy or not but he certainly is confused.

Gwynethrose F.
Gwynethrose F5 years ago

I agree with several of the comments...just because he finally came out doesn't make him a 'nice' guy.,..he's just a guy who has come out.

Dagmar Breg
Past Member 5 years ago

I feel bad for him. I wish he could accept himself for the way God made him.

Mari Garcia
Mari Garcia5 years ago

It is so sad that this man had to hate himself this much. Coming out is very scary. I am very carefull to whom I tell I am gay because I am scared of their reaction. I also know that I will go from being "Marianne", to "that lesbain over there". That I have to be extra careful around women so they don't think I am crossing lines and disrespecting them and their personal boundaries. For example, at work, everyone in my area are women, we constantly bump into one another, because we work in small space behind a counter as cashiers, and I have accidently brushed up again on or two of them. Them not knowing I am gay makes them not second guess the accidents, but I fear, if they knew I were, they would think I am doing something I'm not. I should not have to live a life where I have to hide a major part of myself because of the fear of ignorance and hate.

ali a.
ali a5 years ago


Samir Nassir
Past Member 5 years ago


Cheri L.
Cheri L5 years ago

Being gay doesn't make you a nice guy. I don't care what "group" you belong to the same bell curve exists when it comes to niceness, indecentness or any other ness you can come up with. People are people regardless of their color, religion, sexual orientaton or whatever.

Jane H.
Jane H5 years ago

the closet is often a killer--glad, for him, he's out now, but that doesn't necessarily make him a nice fellow.