On Tuesday, a mundane government affairs meeting quickly went off the rails when Chairman of the Pennsylvania House State Government Committee Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R) erupted with a bizarre homophobic rant against his Democratic colleague after being touched innocently on his arm.
According to the Inquirer, Metcalf rudely interrupted Democratic Chairman Matt Bradford after he lightly touched his arm while making a point.
“Representative Bradford,” said Metcalfe, cutting off Bradford. “Look, I’m a heterosexual. I have a wife, I love my wife. I don’t like men, as you might. But stop touching me all the time.”
“It’s like keep your hands to yourself,” he added as a startled Bradford looked on and began laughing. “Like, if you want to touch somebody, you have people on your side of the aisle that might like it. I don’t.”
After the rant, Bradford, like most Democrats these days, had to be the adult in the room and try to bring the meeting back to some semblance of order.
“We are officially off the rails,” Bradford said with a smirk to the assembled panel before telling a stone-faced Metcalfe, “My intent was just to beg for your permission for about 30 seconds.”
“Then beg, don’t touch,” Metcalfe shot back.
“I don’t know where we go from here,” Bradford replied as laughter filled the room.
Following the meeting Metcalfe defended his reaction, even accusing his colleague of engaging in ongoing sexual harassment, claiming that for months Bradford was “continually reaching out and touching me.”
“If someone touches another person, and they say, ‘stop touching me,’ and they don’t stop, that’s serious business,” said Metcalfe.
Metcalf went further, suggesting that where he came from such behavior could be considered battery and justify a violent reaction in the interest of self-defense.
When asked Bradford said that he was merely trying to “restrain him so I could finish my thought.” Metcalfe has a reputation for drowning out his colleagues with long rants to suppress views that don’t align with his conservative worldview.
However, Bradford was clear that he was not trying to make a pass at his Republican colleague.
“I have no idea what goes on in his head,” Bradford said of Metcalfe, “and some days I’m glad for that.”
Many people on social media believe that Metcalfe’s outburst might have been a cry for help from yet another conflicted conservative grappling with his sexuality. In fact, Newnownext.com list at least 19 GOP politicians brought down in recent years due to gay scandals.
In 2012, two psychologists Richard M. Ryan and William S. Ryan wrote a study which created a lot of headlines, most notably a New York Times article titled, “Homophobic? Maybe You’re gay.” The study graded 784 college students on a 10-point scale after they were asked to sort “images and words indicative of hetero- and homosexuality” and place them in their respective categories.
From The Daily Beast:
“The “twist,” as they put it, were subliminal flashes of the words “me” or “other” before each image that can theoretically reveal subconscious bias based on how long it takes the subjects to sort images that don’t match their self-described sexual identity into the right category.
The result: The researchers isolated a “subgroup of participants”—more than “20 percent of self-described highly straight individuals”—who “indicated some level of same-sex attraction,” and who were “significantly more likely than other participants to favor anti-gay policies; to be willing to assign significantly harsher punishments to perpetrators of petty crimes if they were presumed to be homosexual; and to express greater implicit hostility toward gay subjects.”
“Thus our research suggests that some who oppose homosexuality do tacitly harbor same-sex attraction,” they concluded.”
Hopefully, Metcalf takes some time to talk to his wife and maybe a good psychologist to uncover the source of his sexual anxiety. Unfortunately for the citizens of Pennsylvania, issues like landlocked easements and roads may have to wait while Metcalfe sorts this out.
Featured image via YouTube.