We are all God’s children. We are all equal….I don’t know why anyone gay or lesbian should be less a human being than I am….gay and lesbian people can be just as happy in their marriage as I am in mine. ~ former United States Senator Alan Simpson, Wyoming
Wyoming, where I live, is a most interesting place. In land area it’s the 10th largest of the 50 United States. It has fewer people than any other state. (There are more wild critters than humans.) Wyoming is home to stunning landscapes of majestic snow-capped mountains, broad sweeping prairies, and lots of clean air and wide-open spaces. The state is also home to two world-renowned national parks—Yellowstone and Grand Teton.
Wyoming still has an Old West frontier mentality—independent and strong. Supposedly the most politically conservative of the 50 states, people here do not like big government interference in their lives.
On the other hand, Wyoming is known as “The Equality State.” It was the first state to grant women the right to vote (in 1869, before it was even a state). It was also the first jurisdiction to allow women to serve on juries and hold public office. In 1924, Wyoming elected its first woman governor, Nellie Tayloe Ross.
Sounds like a pretty wonderful place to live, doesn’t it? It is a nice place. I love it here.
So why am I telling you all this?
Well, the other day there was a seemingly small incident that exploded into a major crisis for one of Wyoming’s most senior and experienced politicians, US Senator Mike Enzi.
Senator Enzi was speaking to a group of Wyoming high school students. One student asked him what he and other US senators were doing to improve the lives of LGBT folks (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender). The senator tried to make a joke out of a serious question, one that concerns millions of people the world over. Here’s his weird response:
“I know a guy that wears a tutu and goes to bars on Friday night and is always surprised that he gets in fights.” Then he added, “Well, he kind of asks for it a little bit. That’s the way he winds up with that kind of problem.”
As you might imagine, Senator Enzi’s insensitive, cruel comments infuriated people all over Wyoming and the entire country.
This coming from a politician representing Wyoming in the United States Senate—Wyoming, the state where Matthew Shepard, a young gay man was brutally tortured and murdered nearly 20 years ago. The US Congress passed what is now a famous landmark hate crime law named after Matt.
The Matthew Shepard Foundation empowers individuals to embrace human dignity and diversity through outreach, advocacy and resource programs. We strive to replace hate with understanding, compassion and acceptance.
So how could a prominent, normally well regarded US senator like Mike Enzi, say such a thing in, of all places, Wyoming, The Equality State? The state whose official motto is “Equality”—the credo that all people are created equal and deserve to be treated with love, dignity and respect?
Well, no one is perfect. No place is perfect. But Senator Enzi does not represent the general attitude of the people he serves. A graphic example of that is the broad-based rebuke the people of Wyoming gave the senator. After his callous remarks, people across Wyoming donned tutus and showed up at local bars.
Here are some relevant comments from Spirit, in no particular order.
- God is all that is—literally everything and every being that exists. What you mislabel “good” or “evil” is your self-created illusion of what you think God’s creation is.
- All sexual orientations—lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or none are sacred and good.
- You are all a combination of masculine and feminine aspects. In that sense, you are all “gay.” Generally, but not always, only one aspect is dominant.
- All relationships, sexual or not, are chosen by you and are always for your highest and best good.
- We see you as God sees you—as bright, beautiful beings of light, wisdom and power. You’ve just forgotten that’s who you are, who you’ve always been.
- Your true nature, who you really are, is pure love. Love transcends sexuality and all other “differences” you perceive among yourselves.
- Love is all there is. Nothing matters more than love. Nothing.
Another prominent Wyoming politician is former US Senator Alan Simpson. For years, Senator Simpson has been an outspoken advocate for equality for all, including LGBT folks. Here’s a delightful short video he made a few years ago.
Copyright © 2017 by John Cali
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