Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) apologized after she was booed by graduates at the University of Wyoming for saying that male and female were the only sexes while delivering the school’s commencement address.
Lummis had said that “scientific truths such as the existence of two sexes, male and female, are subject to challenge these days” during her address to the graduates.
Besides eliciting boos, the senator’s comment drew a harsh response from several within the university, including from university President Ed Seidel, who released a statement noting that “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,” Seidel said.
Likewise, the university’s diversity, equity, and inclusion council responded to the senator’s comments in a statement saying that “intersex members of our community who have diverse chromosomal makeup should be seen and recognized” and “we deeply regret the harmful impact these words at our graduation ceremony may have had on those graduating as well as their families and friends.”
On Monday, Lummis apologized, saying it was not her intention to “make anyone feel unwelcomed or disrespected,” but she stood by the substance of her remarks.
“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,” Lummis said.