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Missouri GOP lawmaker comes out while denouncing ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill

The Vital Voice
Wednesday, May 2, 2012

JEFFRSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Republican state lawmaker, Zachary Wyatt on Wednesday publicly came out to his colleagues during a press conference asking for the withdrawal of Missouri’s “Don’t Say Gay Bill.”

Zachary Wyatt

In doing so, Wyatt becomes the only openly gay Republican state lawmaker in the country, according to PROMO, Missouri’s statewide advocacy organization for LGBT equality.

The announcement was made while Wyatt offered an amendment containing enumerated categories to an anti-bullying bill up for debate.

Wyatt, who represents Missouri’s 2nd District in the state House, said that he had heard anti-gay snickering, jokes and bigotry at the Capitol, which prompted his own personal story on bullying and to come out.

“We are incredibly proud of Representative Wyatt’s courage today,” says A.J. Bockelman, Executive Director of PROMO.

“We hope this announcement should serve as a positive example not only for the LGBT community, but also for Representative Wyatt’s colleagues. We truly hope the announcement will be met with support from his colleagues and friends from both sides of the aisle and respect his decision to be true to his identity and self,” Bockelman said.

Watch:

Wyatt’s announcement comes at a time when all eyes are already on state lawmakers from the LGBT community due to widespread attention surrounding Missouri’s “Don’t Say Gay” legislation, and the decision by the House to make a Concealed Carry Permit holder a protected class for employment.

If passed, the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” would ban public school-sponsored instruction, material, or extracurricular activities that discuss sexual orientation except when concerning human reproduction.

Wyatt’s tenure as the country’s only openly gay GOP state lawmaker is short-lived, however; he is leaving his “political life behind” when the legislative session ends to study marine biology at the University of Hawaii.

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Filed under: Missouri

20 more reader comments:

  1. Well good for him!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 11:03am
  2. WIN

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 11:05am
  3. GOOD! CAUSE THIS LAW IS RA-TAR-DED! As that one chick said on Awkward all the time. “You’re Welcome!”

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 11:06am
  4. Yay for him & for us gay folk to have him as an advocate! :)

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 11:09am
  5. I’m so happy for him we are the SHOW ME state for a reason I’m so thankful someone good is speaking for our state, good so far anyway:)

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 11:16am
  6. It’s a pity he still considers his party to be the GOP, so still a hypocrite.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 11:20am
  7. A gay republican. Sick.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 11:31am
  8. It does make sense. Republicans say what they really feel when they have nothing to lose. If he was going to stay around I wonder if he would have done it.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 11:34am
  9. I’ll never understand how you can be gay and a Republican…

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 11:48am
  10. I’m proud of you, Zachary! Do it for all of us!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 11:48am
  11. To everyone surprised that there are gay republicans, not every gay person is a flag-waving, make-up wearing flamer, and the same with politics. Look up the Log Cabin Republicans, and educate yourself.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 12:20pm
  12. Travis, go have a seat in the corner. You totally missed the point. Smh

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 12:26pm
  13. Travis, the so-called Log Cabin Republicans are no more than a group of overly rich gays who feel that true equality costs too much, and is unnessesary as they can BUY thier own equality. Complete and TOTAL DANGEROUS hypocritical “GAYS”( I’d use the F word here, but I’m sure someone would be pissy)

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 12:38pm
  14. Plus I should point out that you, Travis, with your usage of standard stereotypes and name-calling, do more harm for the community than any amount of bigotry can do.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 12:40pm
  15. he can go back in.we dont need his kind out.LCR =BIG JOKE.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 3:08pm
  16. I’m no Republican, but good for him! Gay people come in all shapes, sizes, colors, temperaments, religions, and political outlooks. I hope he will use his influence to advocate for his LGBT Missourians.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 3:26pm
  17. ^_^ <3

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 3:32pm
  18. Another one!! YAY!!!!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 5:59pm
  19. damn, he’s cute too! :)

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 5:59pm
  20. You know the Don’t Say Gay bill is bad news when a GOP lawmaker comes out as LGBT because he feels the same need we do for the bill to be shut down.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:21pm