Republican Rep. Mike Fleck told The Daily News of Huntingdon County that his personal journey has been a long and difficult process.
Fleck won his House seat in 2006 and ran unopposed for a fourth term in the Nov. 6 election. He represents a district that includes rural Appalachian and Amish communities, located between the cities of Altoona and State College.
He told the newspaper he didn't discuss his struggles with anyone, including his wife, for many years. The couple split up last year, but he said his wife is still his best friend.
He said his greatest difficulty has been reconciling his faith with his sexuality.
Fleck becomes the first and only legislator currently in Pennsylvania's General Assembly who is openly gay. In the next legislative session, he will be joined by now-Rep.-elect Brian Sims, an openly gay Democrat from Philadelphia.
Fleck said he waited until after the election to disclose his sexuality in order to avoid unnecessary distractions for his friends and colleagues.