|Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 182nd district
January 1, 2013
|Preceded by||Babette Josephs|
September 16, 1978 |
|Alma mater||Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Michigan State University College of Law|
Brian K. Sims (born September 16, 1978) is a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the 182nd district. Elected in 2012, Sims is also an American lawyer, politician, and activist on LGBT civil rights.
Early life and career
Sims was born in Washington D.C., as the son of two Army Lieutenant Colonels. Sims lived in seventeen states before settling in Pennsylvania in the early 1990s. He later completed his undergraduate studies at Bloomsburg University, in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania in 2001. In 2000, Sims was the co-captain of the Bloomsburg University football team, and was recognized as a scholar athlete. Following the longest season in the Division II schools history, Sims came out as gay. In doing so, the regional All-American and team captain became the only openly gay college football captain in NCAA history.
Activism and political career
Sims served as the President of Equality Pennsylvania, and as the Chairman of the Gay and Lesbian Lawyers of Philadelphia (GALLOP), until he stepped down from both positions in 2011. In 2009, Sims joined the faculty of the Center for Progressive Leadership and the National Campaign Board of The Victory Fund. Additionally, he was selected as one of the Top 40 LGBT Attorneys Under 40 in the United States by the National LGBT Bar Association in 2010.
In 2011, Sims announced his intentions to run for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, 182nd District. Sims received the endorsement of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. He ran in the Democratic primary against long-time incumbent Democrat Babette Josephs and won. He did not face a Republican challenger in the November election and was elected.
Sims was the first openly gay person elected to the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Because Pennsylvania State Representatives' legislative duties begin on the first day of December following their election, Sims shares the designation of being its first openly gay member with Rep. Mike Fleck (R–Huntingdon), who came out in a newspaper article published later that day.
In June 2013, after the Defense of Marriage Act had been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, Sims tried to make a speech in the Pennsylvania House supporting the decision. Daryl Metcalfe, who was one of several representatives who blocked Sims from speaking, said ”I did not believe that as a member of that body that I should allow someone to make comments such as he was preparing to make that ultimately were just open rebellion against what the word of God has said, what God has said, and just open rebellion against God’s law.”.
- "The Center For Progressive Leadership. Retrieved 2011-12-5". Progressiveleaders.org. Retrieved 2011-12-27.
- "Family Portrait Brian Sims". The Philadelphia Gay News. Retrieved 2011-12-27.
- "Sims to challenge Babette Josephs in 182nd Dist". The Philadelphia Gay News. Retrieved 2011-12-27.
- Zeigler, Cyd (2011-08-24). "Brian Sims tells his story nine years later". Outsports.com. Retrieved 2011-12-27.
- "Former college football captain was openly gay". Outsports.com. Retrieved 2011-12-27.
- "Sims For Pennsylvania: About Brian Sims". Sims4pa.com. Retrieved 2011-12-27.
- "Brian Sims announces candidacy for Pennsylvania's 182nd House District". Sims4pa.com. 2011-09-08. Retrieved 2011-12-27.
- "Brian Sims breaks the mold, unseats a long-time incumbent — NewsWorks". Newsworks.org. 2012-04-24. Retrieved 2013-02-02.
- "Gay Politics — Pennsylvania to get first openly gay state legislator". Gaypolitics.com. 2012-04-24. Retrieved 2013-02-02.
- Pennsylvania Constitution, Article II, Section 2 http://sites.state.pa.us/PA_Constitution.html
- "Republican State Rep. Mike Fleck: I'm Gay". Politicspa.com. 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-01.
- Reilly, Mollie. "Brian Sims, Pennsylvania Lawmaker, Silenced On DOMA By Colleagues Citing 'God's Law'". Huffington Post. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
- Brian K. Sims personal website
- Brian Sims for Pennsylvania official campaign website
- State Representative Brian Sims official caucus website
- Representative Brian Sims (D) official PA House website