PHILADELPHIA, Pa. — Democratic Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Sims, who was the first openly homosexual elected legislator in the commonwealth, is being called to resign after he posted footage of himself on Thursday harassing an elderly woman outside of the Philadelphia Planned Parenthood in defense of mothers’ “rights” to have their unborn children murdered.
“Who would have thought that an old white lady would be out in front of a Planned Parenthood telling people what’s right for their bodies? Shame on you,” Sims stated in the eight-minute video, in which he repeatedly referred to the woman as an “old white lady” and claimed that she was “shaming” women who arrived at the facility.
“How many children have you clothed today? I’m sorry; I missed your answer,” he asked. “How many children have you put shoes on their feet today? Have you fed any children today or have you just stood out in front of a Planned Parenthood shaming people for something that they have a constitutional right to do?”
The woman largely ignored Sims as she prayed quietly, walking back and forth on the sidewalk.
“You’re here about the children? You can pray at home for children,” Sims continued. “It’s probably the same place that you can feed a child, but you’re not. Instead, you’re out here shaming people for something that they have a constitutional right to do.”
“What you’re doing here is disgusting. This is wrong. You have no business being here,” he asserted. “Shame on you ma’am for standing out here thinking you know what’s right for other people’s bodies.”
At one point, the woman told Sims not to put the camera in her face, but he refused.
“Let’s go protest out in front of her house and tell her what’s right for her body!” he exclaimed, continuing to talk at the woman while she is taking a phone call. “There’s nothing Christian about what you’re doing. There’s nothing loving, nothing kind.”
Thursday was not the first time that Sims has recorded himself targeting those outside of Planned Parenthood. Last month, he posted a video in which he offered to give $100 to anyone who could provide the identities of three teenage girls who were outside the facility (two sisters and a friend), classifying them as a “bunch of white people standing outside of Planned Parenthood shaming people.”
“So, we’re actually here just praying for the babies,” the mother of two of the girls replied.
“I’m not white, sir,” the third girl said. “I’m sorry. I’m pretty far from white.”
By Monday, the Republican Party of Pennsylvania had called for an apology from Sims, stating that he had engaged in “conduct that is certainly unacceptable and despicable coming from a state lawmaker.” By Tuesday, it had called for a criminal investigation into Sims.
“Not only does Rep. Sims … use physical intimidation, but he also threatens people with so-called ‘doxing’ or enticing viewers to provide identifiable information about his targets to increase the harassment and intimidation of his victims,” a letter to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, and others, reads.
“This conduct threatens not only their physical safety, but also their mental well-being and reputation,” it states, alleging that Sims violated criminal statutes that forbid harassment, threats and extortion, disorderly conduct, and official oppression.
Local television station CBS 21 said that some Republicans are calling for Sims’ resignation, and an online petition from a pro-life organization has likewise called for Sims to resign. A group called “PA Rep Brian Sims Must Resign” was also created on Facebook.
On Tuesday, Sims issued a partial apology in written and video form, acknowledging that he was “aggressive.”
“I know that two wrongs don’t make a right, and I can do better and will do better for the women of Pennsylvania,” he said.
However, Sims also defended himself, stating that he works as an escort at the Planned Parenthood location and is also a patient as he obtains PrEP anti-HIV pills at the site, and that “protestors” say “racist” things and pray against the facility.
“I have seen first hand the insults, the slurs, the attacks, the racism that those protestors aim at mostly young girls going there for clinical care — care that most of us on the outside can never understand — and last week was no different,” he claimed.
“What I should have shown you in that video was protestors gathered together to ‘pray at,’ not silently pray for, people coming in and out of Planned Parenthood as they intercepted them and harassed them.”
Sims, who lives in Philadelphia’s dubbed “gayborhood” and who identifies on his Twitter as a “#RuPaulsDragRace fanatic,” had also posted several angry tweets prior to his stated apology.
“‘Don’t discriminate against our discrimination. Don’t bully our bullies. Don’t hate our haters.’ – [Vulgarity] Grabbers and Baby Cagers,” he wrote just the day before.
Two days prior to the video, in response to Live Action sharing the footage of his harassment of an elderly woman, Sims wrote, “Bring it, Bible Bullies! You are bigots, sexists, and misogynists and I see right through your fake morals and your broken values.”
“Planned Parenthood protesters are scum!” he also tweeted the same day he recorded himself harassing the woman. “Old, fake, White, wrong!”
One undated photo that was shared online shows Sims wearing a Planned Parenthood pin that reads, “Don’t [expletive] with us; don’t [expletive] without us.”
Last June, Sims also posted a photo of himself giving the middle finger, stating that the vulgar gesture was intended for Vice President Mike Pence, who was visiting the Philadelphia area.
Speaking of being a city of inclusion of “queer, trans, atheist, immigrant” people, he added, “So, keep that in mind while your here raising money to attack more families, spread more lies, blaspheme with your Bible, and maybe even talk to a woman without your wife in the room.”
The Democratic Party of Pennsylvania has not released a statement condemning Sims’ actions, although it states that it has received a number of phone calls this week about the representative.