MO Republican Politician Comes Out, Denounces State “Don’t Say Gay” Bill

Missouri state Representative Zachary Wyatt is so upset about the state’s proposed “Don’t Say Gay” bill that the 27-year-old Republican took the rare step of coming out as gay himself. A former member of the Air Force, Wyatt, announced for the first time on Wednesday that he is gay and asked Republicans in the state Legislature to withdraw House Bill 2051.

Wyatt is part of a bipartisan group of nine state lawmakers denouncing the measure, which would prohibit classroom discussions, extracurricular activities or materials that involve sexual orientation beyond the science of human reproduction. It could, in effect, prevent a school from allowing a GSA or a teacher from even uttering the word “gay” or “lesbian.”

At the press conference in Jefferson City, Wyatt said:

“I will not lie to myself anymore about my own sexuality. 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.”

Um, proud? You kept your sexuality quiet all along, pushed a Republican agenda, voted against a statewide non-discrimination act and then only outed yourself after announcing you weren’t running for re-election—because you were moving to Hawaii to study marine biology.

You’re not proud. You’re Richard Chamberlain; coming out so late it doesn’t really matter. And by the way, Helen Keller could tell you were gay, lady.

Thankfully, the bill—sponsored by Rep. Steve Cookson—doesn’t look like its going to pass anytime soon. The current session ends May 18 and the measure hasn’t even gotten a hearing in committee.

No thanks to Wyatt.

Photo: Facebook

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  • Clueless

    This piece is dripping with bitterness.

  • Chris

    “Um, proud? You kept your sexuality quiet all along, pushed a Republican agenda, voted against a statewide non-discrimination act and then only outed yourself after announcing you weren’t running for re-election—because you were moving to Hawaii to study marine biology.
    You’re not proud. You’re Richard Chamberlain; coming out so late it doesn’t really matter. And by the way, Helen Keller could tell you were gay, lady.”

    While the above language may have been harsh, I’m glad somebody said it. I’ve been thinking the same thing ever since I first heard of this. I have strong feelings, based on his voting record, that if he was running for re-election, he would’ve stayed silent and continued to support this horrendously ridiculous measure.

  • I get it too

    If this Republican asshole thought he was going to get an ovation from the gay community for coming out, he is in for a rude awakening.

  • ousslander

    if it was so obvious that he was gay why need to need to rent a billboard or be on people magazine but he’s a self loathing republican who should be horse whipped and exiled from the gay community.

  • John

    MO Republican, lmao.

  • Trent

    @Clueless: You are spot on.

    It is easy to find the flaws in what he did, but at least he did it. Give him some credit people. He didn’t even have to do that.

  • Chris

    @Trent: @Trent: You’re correct in saying he didn’t have to do anything. However, as a gay man who has voted against equal rights, I do feel he owes the community (and the rational, logical world at large) something in order to repair the damage he’s caused.

    I also do not think that the amount of press that he’s getting (and the seeming accolades) is warranted.

  • mike

    He’s a lot like those professional athletes that come out after retirement, a little too late to help our community, but they think they deserve a standing ovation, uh, no.

  • LukeJoe

    Gay Republicans can go straight to hell! I refuse to act nicely to someone who wants to wrap themselves up in my community yet won’t empathize at all with the gay seniors who need social security and medicare and the gay workers who need strong unions and a fair shake from mega-banks. I have no respect for gay people who would cut social services, Pell grants, public university funding etc etc etc when they know the extremely high % of homeless teenagers who are LGBT. STRAIGHT. TOO. HELL.

  • Clueless


    I agree with you that he owes the community something in order to repair the damage caused by his actions but I do not understand why the author of this piece had to be so incredibly negative about a gay man finally standing up to his party’s flagrant disregard of queer rights. Better late than never, and who knows, maybe his example will make other gay people in similar positions reconsider their (misplaced) loyalties.

  • Chris

    @Clueless: The author’s language is perhaps a bit harsh, but the idea behind it is valid – while “better late than never” is a good attitude, in this case, he’s making a point and vanishing in a puff of smoke. He’s not sticking around to help, he’s not doing ANYTHING to help (he won’t even be around to vote if this ridiculous bill comes to a vote), so why is he getting any press? He’s a minor person, coming out in a showy way for no beneficial reason.

    To me, it reeks of egotism.

  • Clueless

    Fair enough, although I would dispute the statement Wyatt is doing nothing at all.

    Hopefully the act of denouncing his party’s stance on gay rights will at the very least reverberate with the people he represented, and maybe (MAYBE) help other Republicans realize that things are in dire need of reform.

    Sadly, with the state things are in now this seems very unlikely but bit by bit things will change.

  • Bob

    Pretty insensitive to call him a “MO” when he’s trying to do the right thing.

  • Joseph Hill

    I’m sick and tired of these Republican closet cases who usually have to be “DRAGGED” out of their closets! Being in the closet is the same as LYING. To me, it represents not only a character flaw, but a total lack of integrity…and by being a member of the homophobic Republican Party, this person has spent his life being an ENEMY of his own people and the ENEMY of any American who believes in equality, decency and fair play.

    As a side note, the Human Rights Coalition (the “gay” organization that dares not speak its own name!) can be counted upon to shower this jerk with applause….as they do with ALL the “Rosie O’Donnels” of the world who make careers out of their dissembling cowardice…for the sake of their careers.

  • EvonCook

    I went to college with Terry Dolan, (at the all male, Catholic Georgetown University) who later co-founded and chaired the National Political Action Committee (NCPAC) to circumvent contribution limits, promote Ronald Reagan and enable Jerry Fallwell only to be beaten in 1972 by Karl Rove for the chairmanship of the College Republicans. No doubt haunting gay bars for sex conflicted with his ultra-conservative politics, but self haters internalizing societal and religious homophobia can find a kind of repentance in hateful, homophobic zealotry and emphatic public denial, as well as pathetic solace in masochistic deeds however despicable and destructive. Dolan died in 1986 at the age of 36 from AIDS, a plague his achievements helped demonize, reduced timely recognition and identification of and prolonged misery for millions around the globe. Maybe, just maybe Wyatt is catching himself in time, but how can they live with themselves?

  • DragonScorpion

    A bit snarky in the article, but I agree. I’m not at all impressed with this big coming out episode. Given the details of his past positions and his future in politics, this took no real courage at all. In fact, it reminds me of when Ken Mehlman gave his mea culpa, coming out after having defended and aided in the GOP agenda to win the 2004 election for Bush & various Republican congressional seats by maximizing conservative turnout via amendments prohibiting marriage to same-sex couples on the ballot in numerous states. Too little, too late, pal.

    I notice a pattern that these guys tend to take such ‘bold’ actions when they are out of the spotlight and/or unable to face any significant political consequences for it.

    I can understand why some folks may want to support conservative agendas on fiscal policy, foreign policy, the size and role of government, taxes but I cannot fathom why any self-respecting homosexual would choose to be part of the GOP considering the bigotry of the party and their willingness to use demonizing & persecuting us as a political football to win elections. I suspect it’s because they have little to no self-respect.

    It reminds me of the spouse who stays with their abusive lover. And all for a political party? That should be much easier to quit than a supposed lover.

    ~ James

  • DragonScorpion

    I wanted to add that as a resident of Missouri, I’m disgusted by this bill and I certainly hope it doesn’t go anywhere. But, after our state passed one of those constitutional amendments backin ’04 establishing marriage as an exclusive right for opposite-sex couples only {by 71%!}, I don’t hold much optimism about the tolerance of this state. Obviously a huge number of Democrats and/or liberals in this state don’t feel that we really have any business being here, or at least deserving any dignity or semblance of equality.

    Maybe a lot has changed nationally in 8 years, but there’s a lot of backward folks here.

  • darkmoonman

    Hmm, no, Mr. Wyatt, no kudos for you. You spent your political career stabbing the rest of us out gay non-Rethuglicans in the back, without whose sacrificices you’d still be hiding in you closet.

  • EvonCook

    @DragonScorpion: Dear DragonScorpian, come visit and I’ll give you solace, relief and lots of service, just leave the lover at home! Is your sting as good as your name?

  • Alexi3

    It is so hard to understand proposed legislation like this in the year 2012. It’s like the Scope’s Monkey Trial and shows just how far we still have to go. So many of us live in “gay ghettos” in major cities that it’s sometimes such a shock when these ridiculous measures crop up. Everytime I convice myself that the gay marriage issue is moving forward however slowly in this country something like this proposed Missouri legislation pops up and my blinders come flying off. As for Mr. Wyatt himself, I just don’t care.

  • NYCGuy85

    If the Republican Party weren’t so in bed with a theocratical right wing I might call myself Republican and vote for one. But when a party is so far to the right of sanity, anything like this is a step in the right direction. Democrats are the choice by default.

  • David Myers

    I congratulate him on speaking up against this bill and for belatently coming out. But I heard his interview and he is presenting himself as an appologist for the Republicans and for Mitt Romney and is only trying to justify himself and other gay/lesbian Republicans who still want people to vote for Romney. Insane or what? Romney’s giving in to the tea party haters and giving up on his openly gay campaign staff member (throwing him under the bus) because of the demands of the right wing fundamentalists, show’s his “support” for gay people is meaningless. Romney is a candidate totally under the domination of the haters of the tea baggers and the Republican party and is no hope for any progress for the American GLBTQ community.

  • E

    I couldn’t care less if he came out as Martian. He’s still a right wing scumbag.

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