Controversial issues not for faint of heart

An incident that happened in Cheyenne raised my level of alarm several notches in regard to Gay and Straight Alliance clubs in high schools. A group of 10 students from a Cheyenne-area high school came to the State Legislature and requested that Senator Lynn Hutchings leave her desk on the floor of the Senate and come out to talk with them. They asked Senator Hutchings to support House Bill 230 — Enhancing Quality Employment Law.

This bill is yet another attempt by Wyoming Equality to enshrine sexual orientation/gender identity language in Wyoming law. Private businesses should be free to hire whomever they find suitable without the thought-control police interfering.

Senator Hutchings was specifically targeted in this trap. The students were not upset during their interaction with her, during which she attempted to explain why she believed the bill was vague and poorly-worded, and why she would not support it. Even its sponsors are unwilling or unable to spell out what it means. She never used the words “pedophilia” or “bestiality” but merely obliquely referenced these sexual orientations as examples of what the bill could potentially mean. The students later claimed to have been shocked, demeaned, and traumatized by the conversation.

Wyoming Equality, the cheerleader for embracing all sexual orientations, must have had a hand in this, because the students surely could not have caused what happened next. Senator Hutchings has been reviled across the nation in newspapers and on television, has been featured in LGBTQ magazine, has had to endure her phone ringing off the hook at all hours of the day and night, and has been on the receiving end of threats of physical violence, racial slurs, and profuse and profane insults from as far-off places as Canada and Europe.

Legislators do not lose their First Amendment rights when they are elected. If high school students wish to participate in the legislative process, they need to understand that lobbying on controversial issues is a tough activity that is not for the faint of heart.

Sheila Leach,


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