Pennsylvania Democrat lawmaker Brian Sims, who filmed himself harassing a pro-life woman and bullying teenage girls praying outside a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, announced in a video he is running for lieutenant governor.
“After 10 years in the State House, I’ve taken the lessons that my parents taught me & reinforced them in my work as a legislator: to take responsibility, commit to service, be courageous, & push for fairness,” the LGBT activist tweeted Monday. “I’m ready to take these values to lead the Commonwealth.”
After 10 years in the State House, I’ve taken the lessons that my parents taught me & reinforced them in my work as a legislator: to take responsibility, commit to service, be courageous, & push for fairness.
I’m ready to take these values to lead the Commonwealth. pic.twitter.com/lcNmYQghgr
— Brian Sims (@BrianSimsPA) February 15, 2021
In early May 2019, Sims videotaped himself as he rebuked a woman he referred to as an “old white lady” as she prayed the rosary outside the Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania facility.
“Who’d have thought that an old white lady would be out in front of a Planned Parenthood, telling people what’s right for their bodies?” Sims berated the woman as he filmed her praying while she walked. “Shame on you. What you’re doing here is disgusting! This is wrong! You have no business being out here!”
Sims continued to mock her:
Today’s protester – now, she is an old white lady – who’s going to try to avoid showing you her face. But the same laws, luckily, that protect her being out here also protect me from showing you who she is. And, so, my hope is you’ll donate $100 for every extra hour this woman is out here telling people what’s right for their bodies.
Sims then directly harassed the woman as she prayed:
I have a couple of questions for you, ma’am. How many children have you clothed today? I’m sorry, I missed your answer. How many children have you clothed today? How about 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 they have a constitutional right to do? Huh? Huh? If you’re here about the children, you can pray at home for children. 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 they have a constitutional right to do.
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Sims, who identified himself as the first openly gay lawmaker in Pennsylvania, then went on to attack the woman’s faith.
“We can talk about your Christian faith, about how your Christian faith believes in shaming people, about how your Christian faith believes in telling people you know what’s right for their bodies,” Sims said, adding she had to undertake “mental gymnastics” to reconcile being a Catholic because of the Church’s sex abuse scandal.
Sims then threatened, “If you can give me her address, we’ll protest in front of her home. Let’s go protest out in front of her house.”
Push back against Planned Parenthood protestors, PLEASE! They prey on young women, they use white privilege, & shame. They’re racist, classist, bigots who NEED & DESERVE our righteous opposition. Push back, please! #YouAreStrongEnough https://t.co/rYQOiAhC0D
— Brian Sims (@BrianSimsPA) May 2, 2019
The Democrat also posted a video on his Facebook page of three young pro-life women who were “sidewalk counseling” outside the Planned Parenthood clinic.
“What we’ve got here is a bunch of … pseudo-Christian protesters who’ve been out here shaming young girls for being here,” Sims said. “So, here’s the deal, I’ve got $100 to anybody who will identify these three, and I will donate to Planned Parenthood.”
In this video, State Rep @BrianSimsPA says he’ll pay his followers $100 if they are able to dox three teen girls he films who are quietly praying outside a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic. How is this guy still allowed to be on Twitter? pic.twitter.com/yfNCHhRSqY
— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) May 6, 2019
When Sims’ video was tweeted by pro-life organizations, such as Live Action, he responded, “Bring it, Bible Bullies! You are bigots, sexists, and misogynists and I see right through your fake morals and your broken values.”
— Brian Sims (@BrianSimsPA) May 5, 2019
Sims was chastised by other Twitter users for his bullying and harassment, though he was not banned from the social media platform:
— Chris Haase (@chrishaase) May 5, 2019
What’s next, Brian? Throwing a bag of marbles in the path of the Silver Sneakers walking club?
— J.G. Petruna (@jgpetruna) May 5, 2019
— John Ribeiro (@JohnFRibeiro) May 5, 2019
I’m very pro-choice, and watching this sucked. You’re literally bullying her. You decided to publicize a corner case scenario where your underlying premise is right but your target and delivery were overwhelmingly wrong.
— Ian Bowers (@iggdawg) May 6, 2019
You’re an elected official state representative? You represent all the people in your district, not just those who agree with your views. You might want to read up on what responsibilities you have as a public servant.
— efarina (@efarina) May 5, 2019
The Democrat later sent out a fundraising email for Planned Parenthood, in which he repeated how “angry” he is and doubled down on his attacks against pro-life protesters.
As New York Post reporter Salena Zito observed, Sims did not apologize to the peaceful pro-life protesters for his bullying and harassing behavior. Instead, he apologized to abortion activists because his “aggressive” and “inappropriate” behavior toward the pro-life protesters created a “distraction” from support for abortion rights.
“To the staff, volunteers, and patients of Planned Parenthood, I’m sorry to have created this distraction,” Sims wrote. “I vow to do better. I vow to keep fighting for the same values of progress for all that I’ve always fought for.”
Sims faced a national uproar over his bullying and harassment, as LifeNews reported.
Hundreds of pro-life activists gathered outside the Planned Parenthood facility in Philadelphia where the disgraced Democrat recorded himself as he bullied the woman and teens.
However, Pennsylvania Democrat leaders refused to take any meaningful action against him.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported House Democrat spokesman Bill Patton said Sims discussed his behavior with leaders from both parties.
“Democratic leaders addressed the matter with Sims privately and are satisfied it will not be repeated,” Patton said, adding that Republican leaders “are aware of this.”
The mother of two of the pro-life teens harassed by Sims said he “doesn’t deserve anyone’s vote for statewide office.”
“He violated his oath of office as a sitting state representative when he maliciously attacked and endangered three young girls who were exercising their First Amendment rights,” Ashley Garecht told Fox News, adding:
I was shocked by his announcement video which claims that he thinks every day about courage, empathy and values because none of his behavior in regards to my children, in regards to the other woman he harassed for eight minutes … he is not a man of courage, he’s a coward.
Garecht’s husband also tweeted:
Brian Sims is a disgrace, and our commonwealth deserves better. Any governor candidate who allies with him should be prepared. We held a rally with 2000 people in Philly when Sims did this. We will be just as vocal against your candidacy if you team up with Sims. https://t.co/ApfypGRqfE
— Joe Garecht (@joegarecht) February 16, 2021
Ashley Garecht said several months after Sims’ bullying, when Republican state lawmakers were discussing a plan to censure him, he sent her family a written apology, which she described as “disingenuous,” according to Fox News.
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