Republican sends anti-gay leaflet attacking opponent’s husband

A Republican running for re-election has been blasted for putting out a leaflet accusing his gay Democratic opponent of being in the pocket of “liberal gay activists.”

Republican state lawmaker Daryl Metcalfe, who sits in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, put out a leaflet with days to go until the November 6 midterm elections attacking his Democratic opponent Daniel Smith, Jr.

The leaflet includes a large picture the state’s Democratic Governor Tom Wolf with Smith and his husband.

The caption reads: “Wolf, Smith Jr. and the man he calls his ‘husband.'”

The leaflet targets Smith’s husband.

The leaflet also warns voters that Smith Jr. is “endorsed by liberal gay activist groups,” noting that he has been supported by Victory Fund, a group which backs LGBT+ candidates to address their under-representation in US politics.

In an interview with local news outlet KDKA on October 31, six days before the election, Metcalfe defended the leaflet.

He insisted: “The majority of people that believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, I think some of them will certainly make a decision on what he’s advocating for and who’s supporting him.”

Asked why the word husband was in quotation marks, Metcalfe said: “Because that’s not what I’m calling him. That’s what he’s calling him.”

Smith told KDKA that the leaflet made him feel “sad that we’re in a world [where] someone has to resort to something like that.”

Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (Daryl Metcalfe)

Of his husband, Smith added: “Being a politician, [Metcalfe] should know that that’s the law of the land. That’s where we are now. There’s no quotes around it, he’s my husband.”

Metcalfe has sat in the legislature since 1999, and carried the district with 67 percent of the vote in 2016.

The lawmaker has previously come under fire for his conduct in the House.

In April, Metcalfe branded gay Democrat Rep. Brian Sims a “lying homosexual,” adding that he believes Sims’ homosexuality is “immoral behaviour.”

In December 2017, Metcalfe interrupted a committee meeting to warn a male Democrat not to sit close to him.

After Representative Matt Bradford lightly touched his arm to get his attention, Metcalfe exclaimed: “Representative Bradford just, look, I’m a heterosexual, I have a wife, I love my wife.

“I don’t like men as you might, but don’t – stop touching me all the time. Keep your hands to yourself. Like, if you want to touch somebody you have people on your side of the aisle that might like it. I don’t.”

The Pennsylvania Democrats have described Metcalfe as a “walking, talking embarrassment to Pennsylvanians and doesn’t deserve the honour of serving in public office.”

A spokesperson said: “For years Metcalfe has taken policy positions based on bigoted misconceptions and fear of minority groups and the LGBT community.”