HARRISBURG – Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday asked Republican House leaders to consider overthrowing a conservative representative as chairman of a key committee based on "offensive and discriminatory" statements he made about homosexuality the day before.
"Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident but part of a disturbing pattern of behavior," the Democratic governor said in a statement. "In light of this documented history of discriminatory statements, I urge House leaders to re-examine whether it is appropriate for Rep. Metcalfe to continue to control the committee overseeing civil rights legislation."
The governor was referring to Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, a Republican from Butler County, who chairs the state government committee of the House of Representatives. Metcalfe's comments during a committee meeting on Tuesday turned viral after they were captured on video and posted on the Internet.
In the video, Democrat Matt Bradford, a Democrat on the list, plays Metcalfe on the forearm for a fraction of a second and Metcalfe asks him to stop touching him and emphasizes that he is a straight man. "I do not like men, as is possible," says Metcalfe. He says to Bradford at one point, "As if, if you want to touch someone, you have people on your side of the aisle that you may like, I do not."
Metcalfe, a social conservative opposed to the protections of rights civilians based on sexual orientation, has made statements interpreted as anti-gay in the past.
Metcalfe said on Wednesday that he does not believe House leaders will try to remove him from his position as chairman of the committee, saying he feels he has been efficient and effective in that role. He called the governor's comments a "partisan attack" that he felt were motivated, in part, by the fact that he has been a critic of the governor.
Metcalfe said of the governor's statements: "I think it should be offensive." for everyone in this state and really should question whether or not this governor has a principle in the sense that he would be on the side of a perpetrator. "
Wolf and Metcalfe often adopt very different positions on social issues, especially when it comes to problems Regarding sexual orientation, the governor has expressed frustration that a bill that extends protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender expression or identity has not left the Metcalfe committee, Metcalfe said on Wednesday. that he does not think there are enough votes for the bill to pass on to his committee.
Wolf's comments came after the state Democratic party called on Metcalfe on Tuesday to resign, calling it "shame on the residents of Pennsylvania. ""
Counted the call of the Democratic Party of Pennsylvania for his resignation, Metcalfe said the sea You will not give up. He also noted that the party had asked for his resignation before.
He said: "Try to label people as sexist, homophobic or racist or whatever they want to use as their label … the fact is that most men in our culture will not want a man they do not know I touch them. "
Metcalfe said he had asked Bradford to stop touching him before. Bradford, who is married to a woman and has four children, said Tuesday he was trying to "hold him back so I could finish my thought" and that he was not going through Metcalfe.
"I have no idea what" Bradford said on Metcalfe's Tuesday, "and some days I'm glad for that"
Journalist Angela Couloumbis contributed to this report.