Pennsylvania Republican state senator Mike Folmer has been arrested and indicted with sexual abuse of a minor, possessing child pornography, and criminal use of a communications facility. Police were signaled by the micro-blogging platform Tumblr after Folmer uploaded an inculpating photo to the site.
Folmer, an efficacious committee chair, has hindered the passage of LGBTQ rights legislation for years.
In 2016, Folmer obstructed the Pennsylvania Fairness Act in committee, stating he championed LGBTQ rights, but was concerned about “religious freedom” implications. “No one should be fired because they are gay,” he said at the time, before saying he didn’t see any necessity to pass the legislation.
In 2018, Folmer obstructed the bill again notwithstanding bipartisan support. “Everyone is in agreement that we don’t want to discriminate against LGBT people, but we don’t want to step on the rights of people with religious objections,” Fred Sembach, Folmer’s chief of staff, told the Philly Gay News at the time.
Folmer, a married father, and grandfather uploaded a pornographic image to Tumblr that was caught by the site’s newly-implemented security measures. The site reached the legal authorities who identified the exposed politician as the person responsible. Other images were discovered on his phone when he was arrested.
Folmer informed authorities he was having “some personal problems” when he was arrested.