Missouri Republican Lawmaker Comes Out, Denounces “Don’t Say Gay” Bill
“I will not lie to myself anymore about my own sexuality,” Wyatt said during a news conference at the state Capitol. “I am still the same person that I was when I woke up this morning and I will be the same person when I go to bed tonight. Today I ask you to stand with me as a proud Republican, a proud veteran and a proud gay man who wants to protect all kids addressing bullying in our schools.”
…Opponents have dubbed the legislation the “don’t say gay” bill. They contend it could forbid teachers from uttering the words “gay” or “lesbian” in the classroom or talking about bullying that gay and lesbian students face from their peers. The legislation also appears to forbid school-sponsored “gay-straight alliance” groups, which advocate for gay and lesbian rights.
The lawmakers at Wednesday’s news conference called for the sponsor of the bill to withdraw the legislation.
While I could say a thing or two about the whole gay republican thing, I’m glad to see anyone in power take a stand against state-sponsored bigotry. Wyatt is apparently the only openly gay republican currently serving in a state legislature.
Rep. Steve Cookson, the sponsor of the bill, has stated he won’t back down that easily. I’m sure there is some sort of ridiculous religious mumbo-jumbo behind his reasoning.
Cookson insisted his bill does not explicitly ban the mention of specific words. He did not say whether he intends to ban school-sponsored “gay-straight alliance” groups.
We’re much better off letting out-dated, religious thinking run our government. Empathy and understanding are far more counterproductive than encouraging parents to beat their children for acting gay. Get over it, Steve. The times they are a-changin’.
Do you think there are more LGBTQ friends in state legislature who will come out after hearing this? When will religion no longer be seen as an acceptable reason to write oppression into state laws?
Small victories, I suppose. Thanks for your support, Zachary Wyatt. Let’s hope more lawmakers follow your example.
(via The Washington Post)