pride wyoming
Republican Sen. Lynn Hutchings from Wyoming is under fire after she allegedly compared homosexuality with pedophilia and bestiality. This is a representational image of a pride flag during a gay pride parade in Bogota, Columbia, July 2, 2017. RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images

The Wyoming state unit of Democratic Party, on Monday, called for the resignation of Republican Sen. Lynn Hutchings after a civil rights group, Wyoming Equality, filed a complaint against her alleging she compared homosexuality to pedophilia and bestiality at a meeting with high school students.

Hutchings met with a group of ten students from Cheyenne’s Central High in Cheyenne, Wyoming, on Feb. 1. The students were members of the Gay-Straight Alliance and wanted Hutchings to support the House Bill 230, which would extend protections to LGBTQ employees from discrimination and harassment at work. The students, their club sponsor and a teacher visited the Capitol as part of biannual Gay-Straight Alliance Civics Day. According to the group, they met the senator and shared their thoughts on the bill.

During the meeting, Hutchings allegedly 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?”

In a statement Monday afternoon, Wyoming Democratic Party Chairman Joe Barbuto called for the resignation of the first-term senator and former House member in light of the allegations against her. Republican lawmakers in Wyoming have also launched an inquiry into Hutchings’ statement.

In a statement, Barbuto said, “Sen. Hutchings’ comments are indefensible, insensitive and repugnant. Her remarks were not appropriate for any audience, but that she said this to children is especially revolting. 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.”

Meanwhile, in a statement to KTWO-TV at Casper, Wyoming, Hutchings denied comparing homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia. She said, “No comparison of that nature was made. If the children took my question of ‘what is sexual orientation?’ and turned it into a ‘comparison’ that is indeed a lie. I can say nothing further.”

In a letter to the senate leadership on Feb. 4, Wyoming Equality complained about Hutchings, and in response, the civil rights group was told senate officials will meet with Hutchings about the same. However, according to a Wyoming Equality spokeswoman, they didn’t hear from the senate leadership after that.

In 2010, Hutchings challenged Rep. Bryan Pederson for Wyoming's District 7 but lost as the latter was unopposed in the Nov. 2 elections. And in 2012, after the retirement of Republican Rep. Peter Illoway, Hutchings won the seat at District 42 against Democratic Party candidate Gary Datus. She won the District 5 senate seat unopposed in 2018.

She was a former lobbyist for the nonprofit Wyoming Family Coalition.

Hutchings was embroiled in similar controversies in the past as well. In 2013, during a debate on the domestic partnership legislation, Hutchings said being gay was harmful to the mind, spirit and body and also spoke about the number of cases of AIDS.

Again in 2015, she was an outspoken opponent of a bill to extend protection to the LGBTQ community. She said they would create an “undue burden on the society” arguing that the discrimination faced by the community was nothing in comparison to the discrimination faced by African-Americans like herself.