Missouri House Bill 2015 - The "Don't Say Gay" bill brought out unexpected controversy this past week in this state. Representative Zach Wyatt (R) Kirksville, MO took a stand in opposition to this bill saying:
I do not wish to make the mistake of following, rather than leading again. As such, I am compelled to speak out against my colleagues who have sponsored and pushed House Bill 2051. This bill, which has garnered national attention, has been dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. I have become tired and frustrated with the bigotry on gay issues from both sides of the isle. 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 with the go to school. They should be able to speak with teachers, counselors, or administrators when they get bullied. This bill would make that illegal.When I first read Rep.Wyatt's remarks I thought to myself, finally a clear-thinking Republican, a person who sees bullying and gay issues not a Republican or Democrat issue but rather humankind issues. What I didn't realize was that not only was Zach Wyatt speaking out in opposition to HB2051, he was actually 'coming out' and had in fact just told his family that he was gay before announcing his opposition to the bill and citing his reasons for his stand.
You can read his story in Progress Missouri or watch his appearance on The Lawrence O'Donnell Show from this past Thursday night http://video.msnbc.msn.com/the-last-word/47289559/#47289559
Rep. Wyatt will not be running for re-election as he has been accepted to the University of Hawaii to pursue his life's dream of studying marine biology. It will be sad not to have his type of thinking still in the legislature but perhaps one day in the future after a career in marine biology he will come back to the work of the people with renew vigor. Wishing you the best of luck Zach Wyatt.
UPDATE: My daughter just emailed me this in-depth Q and A with Zach Wyatt. Here is the link if you care to read more about this man. http://www.kirksvilledailyexpress.com/features/x1809303802/Q-A-with-Rep-Zachary-Wyatt