- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 27, 2017

An openly gay Pennsylvania lawmaker was praised on social media Wednesday after he said he had a phone conversation with the grandmother of a troll who called him a racist and homophobic slur on Facebook.

State Rep. Brian Sims, a Democrat, told The Huffington Post that he’s used to being the target of hate speech, but Wednesday’s post on his wall by a man named David was the last straw.

Mr. Sims said he checked out David’s Facebook page and was surprised that he couldn’t find any motive behind the outburst.

“What caught me about it was there wasn’t a reference to something I said or something I’d done or some policy,” the politician told The Post. “And when I looked at his page there was very little there ― but he’d posted a telephone number a number of times.”

Mr. Sims said he called the number about 6:15 a.m. and was greeted on the other end by the troll’s grandmother.

“I explained to her exactly who I as and what he had done,” he said. “Like any grandma she was very embarrassed at having this kind of convo and very ashamed at the actions of her grandson. The conversation ended with me telling her that I wanted to hear from him.”

Mr. Sims told The Post that he did end up speaking with David, but their conversation “didn’t resolve anything.”

“It is the ultimate calling card of a coward to ― under the guise of night and behind a keyboard ― use the kind of language that in person would cause most decent people to respond in anger and frustration,” the Democrat said. “The reason people do things like this is they don’t have the courage, the education or gumption to do this kind of thing in person.”

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