Democratic leaders in Wyoming are calling for the resignation of a Republican state lawmaker who compared homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality.
Sen. Lynn Hutchings (R-Cheyenne) made the controversial statements while speaking to a group of students during a Gay-Straight Alliance Civics Day on Feb. 1.
According to the Cheyenne Star Tribune, roughly 10 Central High School students spoke to Hutchins about their support of a new bill protecting members of the LGBTQIA community. HB 230, or Enhancing Quality Employment Law, died on the House floor during a recent legislative session.
Wyoming Senator Lynn Hutchings compared homosexuality to bestiality/pedophilia to a group she was meeting with. The group was comprised of 14 & 15-year-old students who were members of their school’s gay-straight alliance. They were talking to her about a non-discrimination bill pic.twitter.com/ey9thXxbqd— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) February 10, 2019
If the bill had become law, employers would have been prohibited from discriminating against employees for their sexual orientations. The bill would also protect against gender identity discrimination. But for Hutchings, it meant something entirely different.
The senator's comments were recalled in a letter from a gay rights advocacy group called Wyoming Equality. In the informal complaint, the group wrote to Senate President Drew Perkins informing him about Hutchings' inappropriate comments.
Students reportedly had to tell the 58-year-old about the language of the bill. Then, she launched into a rant comparing homosexuality to sexual perversions like bestiality.
“If my sexual orientation was to have sex with all of the men in there and I had sex with all of the women in there and then they brought their children and I had sex with all of them and then brought their dogs in and I had sex with them, should I be protected for my sexual orientation?” she asked the students.
Hutchings did not seem to understand the extent to which her comments offended the students. Logo News reports some of the students identified as LGBTQ. She then proceeded to "fist bump" the members of the group, when a teacher began to cut their interaction short.
“As the conversation came to a close, Senator Hutchings then motioned to fist bump the students and embraced one of them," the letter read. "The students and teacher quickly removed themselves from the Jonah Business Center to process this interaction and provide a supportive space for one another.”
Wyoming Democratic Party Chairman Joe Barbuto released a statement Monday demanding Hutchings step down following the slew of incendiary, "insensitive and repugnant" remarks. His calls for resignation were also echoed online by residents and fellow Democrats.
“Her remarks were not appropriate for any audience, but that she said this to children is especially revolting," Barbuto said in a statement.
"It shows a clear lack of good judgment. Senate District 5 deserves a Senator who they can trust to behave and speak in a manner that upholds the dignity of the office and reflects an understanding that every person deserves to be treated with respect. Lynn Hutchings is now incapable of providing that level of representation. She must resign immediately.”
Republican leadership in the state Senate told media they would be looking into the details of the incident. However, Hutchings believes the students misconstrued her statements altogether.
She spoke to local outlet KTWO-TV last week defending herself from attacks and denied all the claims against her.
“No comparison of that nature was made," she said. "If the children took my questions of ‘what is sexual orientation?’ and turned it into ‘a comparison,’ that is indeed a lie. I can say nothing further.”
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