During the heated Pennsylvania primaries, Representative Mike Fleck (R-Huntingdon) -- who came out as gay in 2012 -- appeared to have lost the Republican primary for state representative ahead of a flurry of anti-gay campaigning by Senator John H. Eichelberger Jr. and the Citizens Action Network of Pennsylvania, an arm of the Pennsylvania Family Institute.
Last week, Senator Eichelberger told the Altoona Mirror that "if [Fleck] had just gone about his business and people thought he was a homosexual or heterosexual or whatever, there wouldn't be a problem."
According to Harrisburg's Patriot-News, Rep. Fleck has secured the Democratic primary through a write-in vote of 901-886. Many Democrats and Republicans voted for Rep. Fleck on the basis of his work performance. It has been repeatedly stated that the entire reason the four-term incumbent lost his re-election bid is due to his sexual orientation.
When Rep. Fleck came out in 2012, he became the first openly gay representative in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was later followed by Democrat Brian Sims of Philadelphia, who became the first openly gay man elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
It will be very interesting to see the tide of events shift in this election as all eyes are now turning to the 81st House District.