(Warning: A photo featuring an obscene gesture appears below.)
On June 19, Pennsylvania state Rep. Brian Sims, a Democrat representing Philadelphia, posted a tweet directly targeted at Vice President Mike Pence.
The tweet contained a photo of Sims in a suit and tie, but with an uncensored middle finger in the air.
The image and its caption made quite a statement in the political and social media worlds.
“OFFICIAL WELCOME: @MikePenceVP let me be the first to officially welcome you to the City of Brotherly Love and to my District!” he wrote.
“We’re a City of soaring diversity. We believe in the power of all people: Black, Brown, Queer, Trans, Atheist, & Immigrant. So…get bent, then get out!”
OFFICIAL WELCOME: @MikePenceVP let me be the first to officially welcome you to the City of Brotherly Love and to my District! We’re a City of soaring diversity. We believe in the power of all people: Black, Brown, Queer, Trans, Atheist, & Immigrant. So…get bent, then get out! pic.twitter.com/G9eLrXgeVn
— Brian Sims (@BrianSimsPA) June 19, 2018
About a week ago, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf posted a tweet commending Sims for being recognized by USA Today as a “face of pride.”
— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) June 25, 2018
Now Wolf has appointed Sims to a commission he created to be “the Commonwealth’s advocate agency for its LGBTQ citizens.”
The commission contains eight separate functions, according to Wolf’s executive order, including to “promote the cultural arts of LGBTQ communities throughout the Commonwealth” and to “serve as a resource for community groups and provide forums for developing strategies and programs that will expand and enhance the civic, social, educational, cultural and economic status of LGBTQ individuals and communities.”
Overall, the panel is “one step of many we have taken to ensure obstacles are removed for anyone who is facing an unfair disadvantage based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression,” Wolf said in a statement.
Sims is one of three state lawmakers appointed to the commission, along with state Sen. Larry Farnese and Rep. Dan Frankel. All three have been outspoken proponents of legislation allowing transgender individuals to use the public restrooms of their choice without regard to their sex.
Sims’ post flipping off Pence remains on Twitter and apparently hasn’t negatively affected him in his role as a state representative.
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