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12:25 pm
Wed May 2, 2012

Mo. lawmaker Wyatt says he is gay, denounces school bill

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 12:20 pm

Will be updated.

Updated at 11:59 a.m. with information that Wyatt is the only current openly gay Republican state legislator in the nation.

A Republican Missouri House member has announced publicly that he is gay and called upon GOP leaders to end legislation that would limit discussion of sexual orientation in public schools.

Rep. Zachary Wyatt held a Capitol news conference Wednesday at which he said he was disclosing his sexual orientation for the first time. Wyatt and several other lawmakers denounced a bill that would prohibit teaching, extracurricular activities or materials that discuss sexual orientation- unless they relate to the scientific facts about human reproduction.

With his disclosure today, Wyatt becomes the only current openly gay Republican state legislator in the nation, according to Denis Dison of The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute.

Progress Missouri, a progressive advocacy organization, captured Wyatt's address at the news conference this morning in video:

The bill appears unlikely to pass before the session ends May 18, but it has generated attention. Comedian Stephen Colbert mocked the Missouri proposal on his television show.

The legislation is sponsored by Republican Rep. Steve Cookson, who says he won't withdraw the bill.

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