- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 21, 2018

An openly gay Pennsylvania lawmaker has drawn backlash after he “welcomed” Vice President Mike Pence to Philadelphia with a picture of himself flipping the bird.

“Get bent, then get out!” state Rep. Brian Sims, of Philadelphia, wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday ahead of Mr. Pence’s visit to a fundraiser for Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner.

“Vice President Mike Pence, let me be the first person to officially welcome you to the City of Brotherly Love, and to my District in the State House!” Mr. Sims wrote. “To be clear, we’re a City of soaring diversity. We believe in the power of all people to live and to contribute: Black, Brown, Queer, Trans, Atheist, Immigrant, we want you and we’ll respect you.”

“So keep that in mind while you’re here raising money to attack more families, spread more lies, blaspheme with your bible, and maybe even talk to a woman without your wife in the room,” he added. “We have plenty of them, and they’re pretty much all more powerful and more real than you have ever been.”

The picture accompanying Mr. Sims’ post showed the Democrat looking intensely into the camera and giving a one-fingered salute.

Mr. Sims’ Center City office was locked when a local Fox affiliate tried to get him on camera. A rep later said Mr. Sims had no comment, but he wound up spending a considerable amount of time defending himself on Twitter. It appeared that the Trump administration’s immigration policies at the border are what set him off.

Mr. Pence and Mr. Wagner both appeared undeterred by Mr. Sims’ outburst.

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