Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe
on Wednesday blocked Rep. Brian Sims, who is openly gay, from
speaking on the House floor on that day's historic Defense of
Marriage Act (DOMA) ruling.
Metcalfe, a vociferous opponent of gay
rights and a Republican, also blocked two other colleagues from
discussing the Supreme Court decision striking down DOMA, which
prohibited federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of
gay and lesbian couples.
“For me to allow him to say things
that I believe are open rebellion against God are for me to
participate in his open rebellion,” Metcalfe told the AP. “There's
no free speech on the floor.”
Under Pennsylvania House rules, members
have the right to veto another's remarks. Metcalfe and at least one
other member invoked this rule to silence Sims. Sims, a freshman
lawmaker, spoke on the floor Thursday under a “point of personal
Sims said on Thursday that he plans to
seek a House reprimand against Metcalfe.
“This is a guy who hates women, he
hates gay people, he hates minorities and he hates immigrants,” he
Metcalfe is the primary sponsor of a
proposed amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution defining marriage
as a heterosexual union.
Also on Thursday, Sims announced that
he would back a marriage bill in the House to complement a Senate
version introduced in March.