Pennsylvania State Rep. Mike Fleck revealed publicly on Saturday he is gay, making him the only currently sitting openly gay Republican state legislator in the country and the first in Pennsylvania’s history, PoliticsPA reported.
Mr. Fleck told the Huntingdon Daily News that he is still the exact same person, still a Republican, and “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,” he said.
In an interview with the Daily News (subscription required), Mr. Fleck, 39, said he believed that by marrying, he was fulfilling God’s will “and I thought my same-sex attraction would simply go away.”
“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,” Mr. Fleck said. “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. 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.”
Mr. Fleck met his future wife in fall 2000 and said that “to this day she is still my best friend.” He moved out in the summer of 2011. He was elected to represent the state’s 81st District in 2006.