Missouri state Rep. Zach Wyatt's coming
out gay is being supported by fellow Republican Rep. Donna
Lichtenegger was one of three GOP
lawmakers who stood by Wyatt on Wednesday as he publicly announced
he's gay, the Southeast
“I was there as a friend of Zach
Wyatt, period,” Lichtenegger said. “I was only there because he
asked me to be there because he was coming out of the closet.
Whether he's gay or straight, he's still my friend and I wanted to
Wyatt said he came out to call on
Republican leaders to withdraw a proposed bill which would prohibit
the discussion of gay issues in Missouri's public schools.
The measure, sponsored by Republican
Rep. Steve Cookson, cleared its first hurdle in the House earlier
this month. If approved, the bill would also effectively ban
Gay-Straight Alliance groups from meeting on school grounds as
approved extracurricular entities. This week, the
Tennessee House decided to drop a similar proposal.
“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,” Wyatt said
at the news conference.
“Being gay has never been a
Republican or Democrat issue, and it should never be,” he added.
(Video of Wyatt's announcement is embedded in the right panel of this
our video library for more videos.)
Lichtenegger raised eyebrows last month
posted a guide on Facebook which described gay marriage as “legalized
“I didn't read the whole thing,”
she explained. “I learned a valuable lesson from that. Read it
all before you send it. Some of it was hurtful at the end, and I
didn't realize it was there.”
Wyatt is retiring at the end of the
Colbert skewers “Don't Say Gay” in school bill.)