Senator Jim Ferlo Comes Out: State Senator Jim Ferlo Says He Is Gay In Push For Pennsylvania Hate Crime Law Change

September 23, 2014 | By TheSpreadit More

senator jim ferlo comes out

State Senator Jim Ferlo comes out at rally in Harrisburg on Tuesday, news goes viral, bringing attention to the fight over Pennsylvania’s hate crime law.

Pennsylvania State Senator Jim Ferlo comes out as gay during a press conference with other lawmakers pushing for Senate Bill 42 and House Bill 177 to move forward in the legislature.

The pieces of legislation offer more protection to the state’s LGBTI community by adding lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens to Pennsylvania’s hate crime law.

The measures are facing a huge obstacle, time, the Pennsylvania legislative body has less than 10 scheduled session days for the remainder of 2014. Proponents of the two bills say if there’s a will, there will be a way. According to Action News, State Senator Larry Farnese of Philadelphia said:

“We can do a separate session or a special session on booze, we’ll do a special session on pensions. Why can’t we do a special session on equality?”

Some lawmakers believe the fact these bills need to be debated in the year 2014 is somewhat offensive and problematic, Representative Brian Sims of Philadelphia explained:

“Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. Get used to it. There’s a million of us in this state, and we deserve the same rights and the same protections as everybody else.”

Sims, a lawyer and activist elected in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 2012, is the first openly gay legislator in the Keystone State history. The Democratic legislator is credited for getting U.S. Senator Democrat Bob Casey to endorse same-sex marriage in 2013. Sims also managed to get Republican U.S. Senator Pat Toomey to vote for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in the U.S. Senate. Although it passed the Senate with bipartisan support, ENDA never received a vote in the House lead by Speaker John Boehner of Ohio.

Mike Fleck, a Republican-turned-Democrat member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives shares the first openly gay legislator title with Sims, since they both came out on the same day. With Ferlo’s coming out, Pennsylvania General Assembly now has three openly gay legislators.

Jim Ferlo who first joined the Pennsylvania State Senate in 2003, said in his remarks that his sexual orientation was always an open secret. Ferlo stated:

“Hundreds of people know I’m gay. I just never made an official declaration. I never felt I had to wear a billboard on my forehead. But I’m gay. Get over it. I love it. It’s a great life.”

Supporters of Senate Bill 42 and House Bill 177 hope to send a piece of legislation to Pennsylvania Governor, Republican Tom Corbett before the end of the year. Corbett who is facing a tough re-election campaign against Democratic candidate Tom Wolf has remained silent on the measures being considered. Corbett got in trouble in 2013 for comparing same-sex marriage to incest. According to available polling, Wolf is favored to win the race by at least 10 points.

Gay rights supporters say an expansion in Pennsylvania’s hate crime law is even more necessary now, after a gay couple was attacked in Philadelphia last week.

10 to 12 suspects were apprehended, but only three of them got charged.


Category: Politics

Comments (1)

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  1. BOSUX says:

    Just let the guy drop by his local funeral home and get a few cool ones to suck.

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