Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R) serves as chairman of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives’ State Government Committee, but his days may be numbered. Democrats are calling for Metcalfe to resign from office after going on a homophobic tirade against Rep. Matt Bradford (D).
In committee, Bradford gently touched Metcalfe’s arm while speaking about a land use bill. But this apparently gained Metcalfe’s ire, who proceeded to lash out at the Democratic representative, proclaim his heterosexuality, and hint his colleague could receive sexual favors from his fellow Democrats.
“Look, I’m a heterosexual,” Metcalfe began. “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. If you wanna touch somebody, you have people on your side of the aisle that might like it. I don’t.”
The room quickly burst into laughter, as a hysterical Bradford called to postpone the committee for the time being. For starters, Bradford himself isn’t actually gay; he’s married to a woman with whom he has four kids. That means Metcalfe’s comments are a pretty obscene form of stereotyping, suggesting that men who gently place a hand on other men are gay. At worst, Bradford’s light touch is a testament that men have a tendency to bypass personal boundaries, but the real takeaway here is that Metcalfe holds some serious gendered, homophobic beliefs and sees gayness as an insult and something to fear.
“He kind of blew his lid as the chairman is known to do,” Bradford told CBS. “He’s well known to be a volatile character and today it kind of spiraled out of control.”
Meanwhile, Metcalfe doubled down on his comments, claiming that his ramble isn’t necessarily crossing a line. He also said Bradford touched his arm multiple times, which Bradford denied.
“The homosexual crowd thinks that they can, you know, flaunt their sexuality routinely throughout the course of the day and throughout our government now and debate after debate,” Metcalfe argued to CBS. “I wanted to send a clear message to Matt Bradford that I don’t appreciate his constant touching on my arm.”
Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party has issued a statement calling for Metcalfe to resign, arguing that he has previously silenced a gay lawmaker in the state legislature and encouraged racist beliefs in the state capitol.
“State Representative Daryl Metcalfe has always been a problem in Harrisburg,” the party said, CBS reports. “He has invited white supremacists to the capitol [to] testify on behalf of his positions, defended white nationalists, and refused to condemn racist violence. The Pennsylvania Democratic Party has previously called upon Metcalfe to resign over his repeated racism.”