Legislator mocks trans Biden nominee on Facebook, apologizes

A Pennsylvania legislator has issued a general apology after he shared an image on Facebook mocking the appearance of Pennsylvania’s recently departed health secretary

State Rep. Jeff Pyle, a Republican from Armstrong and Indiana counties in western Pennsylvania, said on Facebook that he “had no idea" the post mocking Levine “would be ... received as poorly as it was" but that “tens of thousands of heated emails assured me it was."

“I owe an apology and I offer it humbly," Pyle said, not specifically apologizing to Levine or other transgender people, but later repeating an apology “to all affected."

Comments on his Facebook page had called for him to resign.

Pyle, who was first elected in 2004, cited a conversation with the Democratic leader in the state House “who explained the error of my post." He stressed that he did not come up with the meme but merely shared it, though he said he should not have done so.

“From this situation I have learned to not poke fun at people different than me and to hold my tongue. Be a bigger man," he wrote.

Pyle wrote he would leave Facebook “soon" but was not resigning and would focus on a Butler Community College project and the economic revitalization of Pennsylvania amid the COVID-19 pandemic.