Brian Sims: I Will Bring Victims to Harrisburg to Change the Law

Call your legislators.

brian sims enda

You can sign the “Change PA Hate Crime Law to include Sexual Orientation” petition all you want, but the real change is going to have to come from within the Pennsylvania state legislature. The good news is that there’s already a bill that’s been introduced to do it. The bad news is that it’s probably not going to happen anytime soon.

“One of the things I’ve learned is that sometimes it takes a horribly negative experience to get people out of their seats, for them to be active and engaged,” says State Representative Brian Sims of his colleagues in Harrisburg. “It’s not necessarily because they’re opposed but because they aren’t aware of the need. So we are going to be sure to utilize this horrible event to make sure that they hear about it. I’m going to be bringing two people with me who will be able to tell them all about it.”

Sims says that he hasn’t yet spoken with the victims of last week’s Center City attack of two gay men, simply because he’s been told that they need time to heal. “I want them speaking with victims’ advocates right now, not with me over policy,” he explains. “But we’ll find the time. I have to make sure that something comes of this, not just that I’m pissed off.”

The bill in question, seen below, was introduced during the 2013 session and likely won’t see any activity until 2015. Sexual orientation was part of our hate crime statute from 2002 until 2008, when the Supreme Court decided that the inclusion of sexual orientation was unconstitutional. The new bill would add gender identity, sexual orientation, and physical and mental disability to the hate crime law.

Around The Web

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • Brian Martenis

    Equality means everyone following the same rules. The rules should be the same for everyone as well. The current spotlight on this crime is almost like God Speaking to us, if you are into that sort of Philosophy. God is not pleased. A group of common thugs from an alleged Catholic/Christian HS yet. Must be a really great school! Ha. However, one should not judge, should one?

  • juliana faria

    Thank you Mr Sims, lets bring justice for this couple.

  • Guest

    This is the same guy that just advocated bringing the suspects to the Gayborhood and beating them up? Sims has lost all credibility, we need to be better than those that demonize and hate us, not stoop to their level.

    • vlo

      Brian Sims is a good man, always has been, so he got upset and said something out of anger. Have you never said something out of anger, hurt or fear? If so then please by all means run for electoral office and help out the community. I hate to break this to you from your very high horse in your glass house, in PA he is all we got. So either help him win the battle or get into politics, get the votes and do it yourself.

      • Guest

        Elected officials should be held to a very high standard. Imagine if a Republican had posted something like that…Sims needs to apologize to his constituents, and as a resident of his district he’s lost my vote.

        • TJW

          I suspect he never had your vote, Guest.

    • MJ

      He didn’t really say somethinmg so stupid, did he ?

    • TJW

      How about you read the exchange on his FB page about this issue. People have called him out just as you have, guest. He is actually engaging in discussion with people and did not take down his initial post of:

      “BREAKING: Looks like a photo of the gay bashing suspects having dinner just up the street from the attack has surfaced! I say we invite them back to the Gayborhood and see how round two with these cowardly, pieces of $&%^ goes!!!”

      Which does not “beating them up” is suggests round two. Now your mind jumps to violence but my mind jumps to showing those thugs what civilized, decent, intellegant, homosexuals do to hateful packs of trash. We read them and we school them and shame them and hopefully educate them!

      • Marie Antoinette

        I’ll do their hair.

      • philman

        “bring these cowardly pieces of @#(*& to the Gayborhood and see how round 2 goes” suggests to you educating them and schooling them? That’s a stretch. I’ve always found Sims to be a self-involved grandstander who has very little concern for the people in his community if it doesn’t lead to more publicity for HIM.

        • TJW

          A POLITICIAN WITH AN EGO?! Dear me! That’s never happened before in our great Union! One self-involved grandstander out of countless hords of benevolent selfless do-gooders isn’t too a bad a record for the good ol’ USA I suppose.

  • Sam_Handwich

    why did she get cream? it shows all the dirt

  • Jerry Kott

    I wonder if it has something to do with my partner and I being Gay Seniors? I am please that Mr Sims has given his support. However, hearing the mantra of contract Brian Sims, contact Brian Sims for some time and we did. However, we feel very disappointed in his response. We have real bullet holes in our property that we believe were put there because we have stood up to neighbors who have made it a hobby to harass and stalk us with impunity. In a recent Police report, it states that the neighbors, friends and family and kids were just ” having a good time” scrawling 25 menacing, alarming and disturbing taunts on the shared drive to our home.
    We can dream of accountability, can’t we?

  • Philip Stover

    Prosecute the attackers to the fullest!

  • AC

    Sims’ actions aren’t about seeking justice…he’s simply proving that he’s nothing more than a craven politician looking to expand his national profile. The two victims don’t need to carry the burden of others’ expectations, so it’s a little premature to speak as though they’ll want to go to Harrisburg and relive the night they were brutally attacked.

    • HereinDC

      That’s your speculative opinion of Sims.
      That’s your speculative opinion of “the burden” victim one.
      That’s your speculative opinion of ‘the burden” victim two.
      That’s your speculative opinion of “reliving” from victim one.
      That’s your speculative opinion of “reliving” from victim two.