lawmaker gay state rep mike fleck should have stayed in the closet

This week, a lawmaker in Pennsylvania who is openly gay is likely to lose his seat, just days after Pennsylvania became the 19th state to allow same-sex marriage.

In 2006, Republicans put Mike Fleck in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the first time. In 2012, he told everyone he was gay. One of his fellow Republicans said that what he did was a huge political mistake.

Pennsylvania State Senator John H. Eichelberger Jr. told the Altoona Mirror, “If Fleck had just gone about his business, it wouldn’t have been a problem if people thought he was gay or straight or whatever.”

Eichelberger said that before Fleck came out, many people thought he was gay and didn’t mind.

“Mike was thought to be gay by a lot of people,” Eichelberger said. “He didn’t tell anyone, and that was fine. The feeling from many people is, he put them in a very uncomfortable position” by coming out.

On Sunday, the blog Raging Chicken Press was the first to write about the quote.

In a previous Facebook post, Fleck said that he has always known that coming out could hurt his political career.

I am gay. I don’t wear it on my sleeve, it doesn’t define who I am, and to be honest, it’s the least interesting thing about me. Still, I knew that when I came out as gay, this race would come down to whether or not the people in my district could accept that I was gay. People are afraid of things that are different.

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