Wyoming’s first-ever female senator drew backlash for transphobic comments in her graduation address at her alma mater, prompting the long-time Republican to apologize Monday.
US Senator Cynthia Lummis, 67, expressed regret for her discriminatory remarks on gender identity at Saturday’s University of Wyoming commencement ceremony.
In her speech, Lummis said that human rights come from God but that the government continues redefining these realities.
“Even fundamental, scientific truths such as the existence of two sexes, male and female, are subject to challenge these days,” Lummis said, receiving boos from the crowd.
The conservative paused and smiled amidst the heckling, clarifying that she was not “making a comment on the fact that there are people who transition between sexes.”
Inclusivity at UWyoming
The Advocate reported that Lummis issued an apology through her spokesman to those who felt “un-welcomed or disrespected” by her comments.
“My reference to the existence of two sexes was intended to highlight the times in which we find ourselves, times in which the metric of biological sex is under debate with potential implications for the shared Wyoming value of equality,” the statement read.
“I share the fundamental belief that women and men are equal, but also acknowledge that there are biological differences and circumstances in which these differences need to be recognized. That being said, it was never my intention to make anyone feel un-welcomed or disrespected, and for that, I apologize,” it added.
University of Wyoming President Ed Seidel soon followed with a statement of his own, clarifying that different people from all walks of life are welcome at the institution.
“One of our speakers made remarks regarding biological sex that many on campus take issue with. While we respect the right of all to express their views, from students to elected officials, we unequivocally state that UW is an institution that supports and celebrates its diverse communities that collectively make us the wonderful place that we are,” he explained.