Missouri GOP Lawmaker Says He’s Gay; Denounces School ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill

Today, someone in a position to (hopefully) get the discriminatory bill, HB2051, to bite the dust, spoke out in a major way.

Representative Zachary Wyatt, a Republican in the Missouri House held a Capitol news press conference today in which he publicly disclosed his sexual orientation and called on the GOP to end the legislation of the Sexual orientation bill, HB2051.

Stand with me as a proud Republican, a proud veteran, and a proud gay man who wants to protect all kids by addressing bullying in our schools.

In case you haven’t heard, HB2051:

Prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation in public school instruction, material, or extracurricular activity except in scientific instruction on human reproduction.

Over at OkToSayGay.org, many people have left comments and videos opposing the ridiculous bill, and Rep. Zachary Wyatt’s comments on the bill are also there.

Wyatt wrote a letter last week on House Bill 2051, in which he explains his disappointment:

I have become tired and frustrated with bigotry on gay issues from both sides of the aisle. Homosexuality is not a Republican or Democrat issue, and should not be portrayed as such. Students not only need, but have a right to feel safe when they go to school. They should be able to speak with teachers, counselors, or administrators when they get bullied. This bill would make that illegal.

As atheists, we understand the importance of supporting equality in other communities because of the bigotry and hatred our own community faces. As an atheist in Missouri, I am often embarrassed to live here among a population of people who are so ignorant of the world around them. Luckily, there are other populations of people who don’t hurt others with their archaic “values,” hurtful words/actions, and humiliating legislative tactics… and those are the people I support, the people who are railed against because they are “different” or “unnatural.” We are all different, just freaking deal with it.

Thank you Zachary Wyatt, for your honesty, for doing the right thing, for leading by example.

Want to help?

Sign this petition and express why you believe this effort is dangerously wrong for Missouri schools.

You can also upload your own story at OkToSayGay.org

About Shannon Burgdorf

A polymath (Greek πολυμαθής, polymathēs, "having learned much")[1] is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas.

I fancy myself this type of person - possibly one day I will live up to it.

So many interests so little time....

Actor, Writer, Mother, Wife, Atheist, Home Educator, Secular Humanist

  • BentleyOwen

    The more Republicans support equality, the farther marginalized anti-gay right-wing Christians become in their own party; and Democrats will have to be more explicit in their support of full marriage equality so as to appear ahead of the curve. This is a very positive thing.

  • Conspirator

    “I have become tired and frustrated with bigotry on gay issues from both sides of the aisle.”

    That’s a peculiar statement.  I know that democrats haven’t been perfect in their efforts regarding homosexual rights, but they rarely, if ever, come out against them.  Things like “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” were a compromise with the republicans, and it’s my opinion that in most cases where democrats aren’t progressive enough on these issues is because they are trying to hard to appease the right for some other reason.  Republicans on the other hand, can anyone cite a case where they supported homosexual rights in any way?  

    • Dromicosuchus

      Dick Cheney, for one.  He devoted some effort to convincing GOP legislators in Maryland to support the bill legalizing gay marriage that was passed there in February:   http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-02-18/news/31075969_1_gay-marriage-bill-marriage-legislation-marriage-equality

      Of course, he’s not in office anymore, so he’s a good deal more free to advocate that cause now than in the past, but…

    • http://www.facebook.com/chriswarr78 Chris Warren

      This ‘both sides of the isle’ nonsense is placating bullshit. A peculiar statement indeed. 

      • Johann

         My guess would be that he’s talking about the situation in Missouri in particular. Seems like I’ve heard a good deal of anti-gay news coming out of there lately.

      • http://northierthanthou.com/ nothierthanthou

         I’m sure we could find crap on both sides. The problem is that the quantity and quality will in no way be equal. Still, it seems obligatory for some folks. Diss the folks on eitehr side of you and that makes you a reasonable person. YAY!

    • Josh

      I’d call that statement straight up disingenuous.

  • http://profiles.google.com/mattand08 Matt Andrews

    Why, why, why, why, why would any rational gay man or woman associate themselves with the current Republican party, a group of people who could not be more pronounced about their willingness to discriminate against homosexuals?

  • http://www.facebook.com/chriswarr78 Chris Warren

    I have tremendous respect for this man outing himself in order to prevent this bill from being passed. I am also in awe of the fact that there exists gay republicans. I struggle to find the appropriate self-hating analogy to describe this oddity. Seriously. I even Googled for one.

  • Andrew Wilkens

    He’s the rep from the Kirksville area, where I went to undergrad. Considering the demographics of his constituents, it took a lot of guts to come out. I don’t know if he’ll have that job much longer.

  • Uppdawg

    The thing with Rep Wyatt is that, up until today, he has been a very bigoted man himself. He has acted and presented himself as a very (homophobic) anti-gay, anti-everything modern type of man. It was honestly no surprise to most of us (from his district) that he came out, and while I fully support him in his “outing” I just feel that this doesn’t change much about how much of a terrible representative he is. 

    And don’t worry about him losing his conservative fan-base in rural MO, he’s already planning to study marine biology in Hawaii instead of seeking re-election.

  • Nathaniel

    In other news, a KKK member threw off his hood to reveal that he was in fact a black man.

    “You know, I’m tired of hate coming from both inside and outside the hood. This is why I’m finally coming to out firmly protest tomorrows  planned cross burning. No need to do that twice a week. That’s just excessive.”

    He then ran away before the sound of angry shouts got to the street he was standing on.

  • Healthyhumanist

    I will be calling my congressman asap.

  • unclemike

    I’m very glad he’s doing the right thing here. But…

    “… bigotry on gay issues from both sides of the aisle.”

    I call shenanigans on that “both sides do it” meme. It’s not Democrats or progressives who are trying to outlaw gay rights advances (Amendment 1).

    • Erp

       There are Democrats who are against gay rights (or some gay rights).   It wouldn’t surprise me that in a place like Missouri there would be a fair number. 

  • charvakan

    “I have become tired and frustrated with the bigotry on gay issues from both sides of the isle.”  I am curious about this line from his letter. I am not claiming there aren’t any bigots who are democrats, but overwhelmingly bigotry on gay issues is an republican trait. He being a republican is just trying to pass it off as something more general, unfortunately that is not the case….

  • BeccaLiz

    I also went to college in his district.  I was literally speechless when I clicked on the hyperlink in this blog post and saw he represents Adair County. (Seriously:  my husband asked me what was wrong!)  Regardless of his political leanings and whether or not he plans to seek re-election, I applaud him for having the courage to come out of the closet in Kirksville.  It’s in rural Missouri and certainly not in an area where most people are going to be receptive to that sort of thing.


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