Wolf calls for censure of Rep. Russ Diamond

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Gov. Tom Wolf is calling on Republican leaders in the state House to introduce a resolution to censure a Central Pennsylvania legislator.

Wolf called a Wednesday press release from Lebanon County Republican Rep. Russ Diamond “abhorrent, disrespectful, dangerous.”

Diamond copied sections of state Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine’s comments Tuesday on several recent incidents of transphobia and replaced mentions of the LGBTQ community with the "unmasked community."

"Our children are watching. They are watching what we do, and they are watching how we act," Levine, who is transgender, said on Tuesday. "To all LGBTQ young people, it is okay to be you. And it is okay to stand up for your rights and your freedoms."

Diamond wrote the next day: "Our children are watching. They are watching what we do and they are watching how we act. To all unmasked young people, it is okay to be you. It is okay to stand up for your rights and your freedoms."

"There are no words that adequately describe my disdain for the antics Rep. Diamond displayed in his latest missive," Wolf wrote in a response on Thursday.

“Virtually no thinking person disputes mask-wearing as an effective means to stop the spread of COVID. Proud non-mask-wearers, such as Rep. Diamond, are not displaying their freedom, but rather their ignorance and lack of respect for themselves," Wolf said.

And, he added, comparing “disrespect for those not wearing masks to the decades of disrespect, threats and violence against our LGBTQ community goes far beyond the hallmarks of a decent society. For these actions to come from a legislator elected to fairly represent all his constituents is simply unforgivable.”

Wolf called for the Diamond's censure, saying "we need the Republicans to stop spreading misinformation to the general public, and we badly need them to be more responsible and more responsive to the health and wellbeing of all Pennsylvanians."

Diamond has responded on Twitter by mocking the political left for intolerance toward his position against the state-mandated public health measure.