A Republican representative in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has decided to come out as a homosexual, reports state.
Mike Fleck, 39, a professing Christian, told the Huntingdon Daily News yesterday that he has struggled with his sexuality for some time, and has decided not to fight it anymore.
“Coming out is hard enough, but doing it in the public eye is definitely something I never anticipated,” he told the paper. “I’m still the exact same person and I’m still a Republican and, most importantly, I’m still a person of faith trying to live life as a servant of God and the public. The only difference now is that I will also be doing so as honestly as I know how.”
Fleck separated from his wife a year ago after revealing his struggles to her.
“My wife and I became closer than ever before, but it was bittersweet as we both concluded that the marriage was over,” he told reporters yesterday. “She was everything I could have ever asked for, and to this day she is still my best friend.”
Fleck, a graduate of Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University and a Boy Scout leader, explained the situation further.
“I wanted to live a ‘normal’ life and raise a family,” he said. “I also believed that by marrying, I was fulfilling God’s will and I thought my same-sex attraction would simply go away.”
“I sought out treatment from a Christian counselor,” Fleck continued. “But when that didn’t work out, I engaged a secular therapist who told me point blank that I was gay and that I was too caught up in being the perfect Christian rather than actually being authentic and honest.”
He stated that he hasn’t come in contact with Christians who have overcome their homosexual temptations, which discouraged him about the matter.
“They’ve only succeeded at repressing their identity, only to have it reappear time and time again and always wreaking havoc not only on themselves, but especially on their family,” Fleck said.
However, Stephen Bennett, a former homosexual from the state of Connecticut, says that change is possible. He now is married with two children and operates a ministry that seeks to help those struggling as he once did.
“In the fall of 1981, as an 18-year-old aspiring artist with a dream and a freshman at one of New York’s art colleges, I reached one of the darkest periods in my life,” Bennett shares in his personal testimony. “On a cold, rainy night far away from home, I acted out on feelings I’d had throughout my entire childhood and teen years—I had my first homosexual encounter with another student.”
“I found many of my old high schools friends had also ‘come out’ as homosexuals, and I became very active in the homosexual bar scene,” he continues. “I lived for the night—my drinking became worse, I started using cocaine to help alleviate my mental turmoil, and found much love and acceptance by other men.”
After breaking free from his drug addiction after going to a treatment center, Bennett had a visit from an old friend named Kathy.
“Kathy held a Bible in her hand and asked if she could come in and talk with me. She told me she had left her religious upbringing and had become a real Christian,” he explained. “She told me how Jesus Christ changed her life and how, according to the Bible, homosexuality was wrong—it was a sin and an abomination in God’s eyes—how according to the Bible, I was not ‘born gay’—and that Jesus could indeed change my heart, my life, and set me completely free—today.”
He said that at first, he was resistant and argued with Kathy, but at the same time, he knew that God was working in his heart.
“That day, as Kathy read many of the Scriptures to me—Leviticus, 1st and 2nd Corinthians, and Romans, the Word of God cut right through me. I clearly saw my homosexuality for the first time as God saw it—as sin,” Bennett outlined. “Thereafter, anytime something happened between me and my partner sexually, I found myself praying for forgiveness to a God I didn’t know—on my bathroom floor. The Lord was tugging at my heart strings and I knew it.”
However, Bennett continued to fight against God while trying to find a way to reconcile his homosexuality with his Christian beliefs. He said that one night, he decided to just give himself completely to homosexuality, but the Lord intervened.
“I phoned my friend Kathy [and] … as usual, Kathy read to me from the Bible one last time, from the Book of Romans, how God will ‘call’ you—and if He keeps calling you and you hear, yet harden your heart, it may come to a point where He will make you a ‘reprobate’ in His sight, give you completely over to your sin, and allow you to believe ‘the lie,'” he said.
“Her words once again pierced through my heart,” Bennett recalled. “I asked her what I needed to do, and she told me right now to pray to Jesus—ask Him to deliver me from the homosexuality—ask Him to forgive me for my sins, and to come into my heart and life, be my Lord and Savior, and to take control.”
So he did. At 28, Bennett repented of homosexuality and believed the Gospel message that Christ had come to set him free from the power of sin. He left his partner and began to live sold out for Jesus Christ.
Bennett was married within a year to a woman who knew him as a homosexual and had been silently praying for him to find freedom in Christ.
“Today, life is wonderful!” he exclaims, 19 years since that day. “I have been set free, and it is all because of Jesus Christ and His love for me. Jesus is the answer for all of our needs, no matter what they are.”
Fleck said that his announcement yesterday was just to keep things real to those he represents. He told reporters that he has not changed his stance on other issues in light of his struggles with homosexuality.
“I don’t see my voting pattern changing,” Fleck said. “I just want to do my very best for the 81st District. I’m just trying to be authentic and I do owe it to my constituency to do that.”
His territory includes Amish and Appalachian constituents.