After Homophobic Comments, Pennsylvania Governor Urges GOP to Rethink Lawmaker's Job

by | December 7, 2017

By Wes Venteicher

Gov. Tom Wolf urged Republican state House leaders Wednesday to consider removing state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe from a committee chairmanship following controversial comments he made a day earlier.

Metcalfe, a Republican from Cranberry who chairs the State Government Committee, suggested during a committee meeting Tuesday that a Democratic colleague might "like men"' after the Democrat touched him on the arm.

"I'm a heterosexual. I have a wife. I love my wife. I don't like men, as you might," Metcalfe told Rep. Matthew Bradford, D-Montgomery County. "You have people on your side of the aisle that might like it. I don't."

Metcalfe later told the Tribune-Review that Bradford has touched his arm or shoulder often during meetings in recent months even though he has asked Bradford to stop.

Wolf, a Democrat, called Metcalfe's comments "offensive and discriminatory" in a statement posted on Twitter.

"Unfortunately, this is part of a disturbing pattern of behavior," Wolf continued. "I urge House leadership to re-examine whether it is appropriate for him to continue controlling a committee that oversees civil rights legislation."

Metcalfe, who is in his 10th term in Harrisburg, has been outspoken in his belief that homosexuality is a sin and marriage should only be between a man and a woman. He previously helped lead an unsuccessful effort to impeach then-Attorney General Kathleen Kane because she didn't enforce the state's former ban on same-sex marriage, and he once used a procedural maneuver to prevent an openly gay colleague from speaking on the House floor because he believed the colleague would "say things that I believe are open rebellion against God."

In addition to Wolf, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party has called for Metcalfe's resignation.

Bradford said Tuesday that he had spoken with House Speaker Mike Turzai, R-Marshall, about the incident. Bradford said he believes that Metcalfe owes at least an apology.

A spokesman for Turzai, who Tuesday said he was not aware of plans for the speaker to address the incident, did not return phone calls or an email Wednesday.

(c)2017 The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.)