Head of state’s open records office opens up about same-sex relationship in new book

Terry Mutchler, a former journalist and the first head of the Pa. Office of Open Records, has spent much of her career sharing interesting stories about those around her.

But, her latest tale is about her own life.

In her upcoming memoir, Under this Beautiful Dome: A Senator, A Journalist and the Politics of Gay Love in America, she details the lengths she went to keep her relationship with Illinois state Sen. Penny Severns a secret from many people.

“1993 was a very, very, very different time, particularly in the Midwest,” said Mutchler. “It did not seem to us that we could do that safely or without incredible consequences to either one of us.”

In the video clip above, Mutchler talks about Penny’s death in 1998 and why it still took her years after that to be open about her sexuality. She also discusses the recent ruling in Pennsylvania overturning the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Mutchler’s book hits shelves in October and is available for pre-order on a variety of booksellers’ websites.