Pennsylvania’s two Democratic U.S. senators were for federal funding of a Philly LGBT community center that hosted “kink” sex parties — before they were against it.

The Senate voted unanimously to remove $1 million in funding requested by Sen. John Fetterman for William Way. Pennsylvania’s senior Sen. Bob Casey also withdrew his support for the funding.

However, Fetterman vowed to renew the funding request for William Way in the federal budget.

The controversy began Tuesday when the social media account Libs of TikTok noted in a post that an upcoming spending bill “includes $1M of your tax dollars to go towards renovating an LGBTQ Center in PA which boasts rooms to try BDSM and s*x f*tishes [sic] and hosts BDSM and s*x k*nk parties. There’s even a k*nk party happening there this weekend! @SenBobCasey and @SenFettermanPA are the ones who requested this funding.”

That’s when Casey and Fetterman sent letters asking the funding be pulled from the spending bill.

Fetterman’s March 5 letter says, “After further review, I am writing to withdraw my support and request the removal of the below Fiscal Year 2024 Congressionally Directed Spending project included in the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations bill.”

The letter then referenced the William Way renovation and expansion project. The renovation would “renovate and expand the existing Community Center into an inclusive, fully accessible, and welcoming space for all individuals to gather, learn and receive support.”

But after word of his kink-club reversal was trumpeted on Twitter, Fetterman announced Wednesday his staff had sent the letter without his knowledge or consent.

“The William Way LGBT Community Center has been doing critical work in Philadelphia for decades. I do not believe that we should penalize this center based on events that are entirely legal among consenting adults. I have no problem with what consenting adults do in their private time,” Fetterman told DVJournal in a statement.

“Unfortunately, at the 11th hour, my staff was made aware that funding for William Way, which was in the bill because I championed it, would not pass in the FY24 appropriations process. The choice was either to pull it or watch it get stripped out, attacked by Republicans, and ultimately killed. This is not the end of this fight, and I am going to fight for William Way to secure their funding in the FY25 appropriations process.

William Way is the host for The Aviary, which describes itself as “an all inclusive social party for any and all that wish to come and participate, with an emphasis on Kink Lifestyle themes. From Vanilla to Experienced, we welcome players of all skill types. All inclusive means we welcome anyone of any identity or sexuality.”

Renee Gilinger, the center’s capital campaign director, said, “The William Way LGBT Community Center was disappointed to learn that support for federal Congressionally Directed Spending to renovate and expand our historic headquarters on 1315 Street in Philadelphia was withdrawn as a result of lies and distortions about our center shared by political extremists.

“These extremists falsely stated that sexual behavior is allowed in rental programs of the center, which is inaccurate and against our center’s code of conduct.  The center will continue to be a safe haven for a broad range of hundreds of community groups who rent from us, including those that provide a space for sexual health promotion, community building, and education,” she said.

A screen capture posted by Libs of TikTok shows an online invitation to people interested in “BDSM, kink and fetish.” However, when DVJournal tried the link, all that came up was a blank screen.

“The William Way LGBT Community Center stands firmly against discrimination and will work with our elected officials to ensure that support for our center, and other LGBTQ institutions across the nation, is restored,” said Gilinger. William Way serves 5,000 people.

Casey’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

Libs of TikTok, an X (formerly Twitter) account, is run by Chaya Raichik and boasts 2.9 million followers. It’s known for ridiculing content posted mostly from LGBTQ and others on the left. It has also exposed teachers after posting content they’ve posted online.

“I’m new here, but I wasn’t aware that Democratic values and priorities are dictated by Libs of TikTok,” Fetterman quipped.

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