HARRISBURG—Rep. Thomas Murt (R-Montgomery) issued the following statement on his conversation with Rep. Brian Sims (D-Philadelphia) in which Sims threatened Murt after Murt issued a memo along with Reps. Kevin Boyle (D-Philadelphia/Montgomery), Pam DeLissio (D-Philadephia/Montogmery) and Wendi Thomas (R-Bucks) seeking co-sponsors for his legislation to create a LGBTQ+ Bill of Rights:
“On Monday, Aug. 3, at 9:30 p.m., Rep. Brian Sims sent me a text that was angry, enraged and wrathful, accusing me of treating LGBTQ+ rights as a ‘joke or a football.’ I immediately called him.
“In the past, Rep. Sims and I have been gracious colleagues and friends. He answered my call and he directly launched a verbal, hostile and threatening attack on me personally, using foul language, screaming at me, and stating that (in this order):
- ‘I will ruin you.’
- ‘You are finished.’
- ‘I will get you for this.’
- ‘I’m not done with you.’
“At that time, I did NOT know why Rep. Sims was so upset, nor did he explain it to me. I could only suspect that it might be about a co-sponsor memo I circulated earlier that day. In the past, Rep. Sims and I have worked together on LGBTQ+ issues, so I was not sure why he would have been so enraged about this particular bill.
“I said to him directly, ‘Brian, if you are angry about my LGBTQ+ Bill of Rights, because if it is – you know that I care about this issue as much as anyone.’ I also reminded him (through his yelling and screaming) that I have always treated him with the utmost of respect as a friend and a colleague.
“I asked him three separate times, ‘why are you attacking me and why are you so upset if we agree on this issue?’ He never answered me. I could not and did not further respond to him, as he would not stop yelling and screaming.
“His language was so loud and profane, my wife heard every word coming though the telephone. His language was so vitriolic, I walked outside with the telephone so my family would not hear his obscene language and his repeated use of the f-word.
“As I tried to get him to calm down, he only spoke louder and more belligerently, and continued to use the f-word repeatedly. Fearfully, I finally ended the call.
“I then called the Upper Moreland Township Police, who later visited my home. I spoke to an officer about what happened. I expressed to the officer that based on the actions and threats made by Rep. Sims, I was very concerned for the safety of me, my family and my staff.”
Representative Thomas P. Murt, Ed.D.
Pennsylvania House of Representatives