Missouri state Rep. Zach Wyatt's coming out gay is being supported by fellow Republican Rep. Donna Lichtenegger.

Lichtenegger was one of three GOP lawmakers who stood by Wyatt on Wednesday as he publicly announced he's gay, the Southeast Missourian reported.

“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 support him.”

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 page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

Lichtenegger raised eyebrows last month when she posted a guide on Facebook which described gay marriage as “legalized perversion.”

“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 legislative session.

(Related: Stephen Colbert skewers “Don't Say Gay” in school bill.)