After deciding this year would be his last in the Missouri General Assembly, Zach Wyatt says he wanted to do something truly meaningful. He just didn’t know what.
But when news broke last month about a bill pushed by his fellow Republicans that would restrict discussion of sexual orientation in public schools — dubbed the “don’t say gay” bill — Wyatt finally knew what he had to do.
On Wednesday, he publicly announced for the first time that he is gay. According to the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, a national group that works to elect gay, bisexual and transgendered people to public office, Wyatt is now the only openly gay Republican currently serving in a state legislature in the United States.
“I will not lie to myself anymore about my own sexuality,” said Wyatt, a first-term state representative, at a news conference in the Capitol. “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.”