A conservative lawmaker in Pennsylvania really needs everyone to know that he’s definitely, totally a heterosexual after being briefly touched on the arm by a male colleague.
The strong verbal reaction came from Republican state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe of Butler County during a Tuesday meeting of the House committee he chairs, Philly.com reported. During the meeting, Democratic state Rep. Matt Bradford of Montgomery County was discussing a bill on land use when he gently ― and very briefly ― laid a hand on Metcalfe’s arm.
“Representative Bradford,” Metcalfe said after being touched. “Look, I’m a heterosexual. I have a wife, I love my wife. I don’t like men, as you might. But stop touching me all the time.”
Surprised by the reaction, Bradford began laughing ― as did several of their colleagues.
“Initially I was shocked. You could have knocked me over with a feather,” Bradford told HuffPost. “Then it descended into a pretty nasty diatribe.”
Metcalfe continued: “It’s like, keep your hands to yourself. Like, if you want to touch somebody, you have people on your side of the aisle that might like it. I don’t.”
Bradford ceded his time to talk about the bill after the outburst, saying, “I don’t know where we go from here.”
Metcalfe’s anti-gay views are no secret. In 2013, he invoked a legislative rule to keep openly gay Democratic Rep. Brian Sims from talking about the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling ― because Sims’ words would have been “an open rebellion against Almighty God and God’s word.” This year, Metcalfe complained that Sims had called him an “ignorant, racist bigot.” He posted a video about the incident titled “The Intolerant Left.”
Bradford said he and Sims laughed over Metcalfe’s most recent remarks.
“I’m like the suburban Dem, with a wife and four kids himself,” Bradford said. “Not that [my sexuality] matters, but [Sims] and I were laughing about it.”
Bradford described Metcalfe’s comments as “hateful and homophobic.” Metcalfe could not immediately be reached for comment.
“I think that whole thing says a lot about the gentleman,” Bradford said.