NORRISTOWN (KDKA) — An unusual encounter between two Pennsylvania lawmakers during a committee hearing got, you could say, “touchy.”
According to CBS affiliate KDKA in Pittsburgh, a touch on the arm triggered a very odd exchange between Republican Rep. Daryl Metcalfe of Cranberry and Democratic Rep. Matt Bradford from Norristown.
When Bradford touched Metcalfe’s arm, he called him out in front of everybody for doing it and reminded him that he is straight.
Metcalfe said, “Look, I am 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. If you want to touch somebody, there are people on your side of the aisle that might like it. I don’t.”
Bradford was clearly taken aback at the chastising from Metcalfe, who is the committee chair.
In response, Bradford said, “Okay, chairman, chairman. Okay we’re officially off the rails. So let me throw out a simple IDI. My intent was simply to beg for your permission for about thirty seconds.”
Metcalfe replied, “Then beg, don’t touch.”
As Bradford and others were laughing, Metcalfe was not amused. He told KDKA afterward that he has told Bradford in the past to keep his hands to himself.
“I don’t think people understand how serious it is when somebody says stop invading my personal space, stop touching me,” said Metcalfe.
“The video speaks for itself. I mean we’re going back and forth in a hearing. It’s often a contentious committee and I’m trying to get him to let me finish my sentence,” said Bradford.
The strange exchange was enough to stop the meeting.
Bradford said to the committee, “I don’t know where we go from here, really. Let me make a suggestion that we do a motion to postpone until our next regularly called meeting of the State Government Committee.”
Most troubling for Bradford was what seemed like criticism of homosexuality among those on the left.
“Clearly, there are some issues in terms of homophobia and the whole thing was pretty nasty,” said Bradford.
Metcalfe stands by his comments and said his heterosexuality is simply the truth.
“I thought he needed something a little bit stronger that brought his attention to it and the attention of others around and this has certainly done it,” said Metcalfe.
Metcalfe has long opposed what he calls “the homosexual agenda” because it contradicts his religious beliefs. According to their official bios, Bradford is married with four children and Metcalfe is married with one child.
KDKA is told Speaker Mike Turzai was made aware of the incident.