Wyoming Senator Lynn Hutchings offered a sickening and hateful opinion of homosexuality to 10 LGBTQ students at Gay-Straight Alliance Civics Day at the Capitol on February 1, according to the civil rights group Wyoming Equality.
Hutchings was meeting with the students as part of Gay-Straight Alliance Civics Day at the Capitol. The students wanted to speak to Hutchings about House Bill 230, known as the “Enhancing Quality Employment Law,” which died in the House on Monday night. The bill would have offered workplace protections to LGBTQ people.
According to Wyoming Equality’s complaint to Senate President Drew Perkins, Hutchings told the students: “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?”
The students attempted to clarify the meaning of the bill, but were “rebuffed” by “repeated interruptions” by Hutchings, according to the complaint.
Wrote Wyoming Equality in the complaint: “As the conversation came to a close, Senator Hutchings then motioned to fist bump the students and embraced one of them. The students and teacher quickly removed themselves from the Jonah Business Center to process this interaction and provide a supportive space for one another. After some time, they composed themselves and re-entered the Business Center to continue talking to other legislators and Wyoming Equality board and staff were made aware of the incident. It is our understanding that while the state legislature’s anti-harassment policy mentions no protected classes, including sexual orientation and gender identity, Senator Hutchings behavior was unacceptable and inexcusable. Fourteen- and fifteen-year old high school students wishing to engage with the legislative process should not have been confronted with the comments made by Senator Hutchings. Those students, some of which identify as LGBTQ, were deeply hurt and disturbed that they were compared to acts of beastiality and pedophilia. The students’ sentiment was exacerbated especially after Senator Hutchings hypothetically recounted the idea of sexually engaging with children then physically engaged with the students.”
Wyoming Equality asked Perkins to take action against Hutchings.
Writes the Casper Star-Tribune: ‘[Wyoming Equality spokesperson Shayna] Lonoaea-Alexander said Saturday that Perkins had told the group early in the week he was planning to meet with Hutchings to discuss the Feb. 1 meeting and Wyoming Equality’s complaint. The group has not heard back from Senate leadership as of Saturday, Lonoaea-Alexander said. The group had been hoping to wait for that response before publishing a public statement about the meeting with Hutchings, Lonoaea-Alexander said. However, a TV news report midweek on the meeting led to the group putting out a press release Friday. The announcement said Hutchings was aware of the complaint as of Friday.’
Cheyenne, Wyoming Mayor Marion Orr denounced Hutchings on Friday, tweeting: “Shame on you, Sen Hutchings. We deserve better. Our youth deserve better. Bestiality is equivalent to being gay? Really?”