Actively Anti-Gay Legislator Also an Active Grindr User

In Depth

Congratulations to North Dakota State Representative Randy Boehning! The formerly closeted lawmaker is now out and proud thanks to the fact that no gay dudes are going to cover for an assclown who signs anti-marriage bills and then goes trolling for young sex on the internet. It’s much better out here, Randy! The air feels so fresh and cool!

News broke yesterday that Boehning (what a name, what a name, what a mighty fine name) had been caught sexting with men on the popular “location-based social network” while happily trying to take rights away from other gay men and women.

Here’s a brief rundown of what Boehning’s done during his time in public service, courtesy of The Washington Post:

Since his election in 2002, Boehning has proved a staunch conservative. He has pushed to allow guns in classrooms and churches and sponsored strict voter identification requirements. He once attacked Democrats over their effort to give poor kids extra milk at school. Twice, he’s voted against expanding legal protections for gays.

Twice! And the gay thing may not even be the worst of it. Poor kids getting free milk at school? I can see republicans doing the whole “we give gays rights and soon they’re fucking horses on the interstate” bit, but exactly what awful thing could happen if we gave children extra milk at lunch? Their bones would become so strong that they’d become Bruce Willis’ character in Unbreakable and then take over the world? Sounds better than bringing guns into classrooms to me.

Dustin Smith, the man who outed Boehning, says that his reasons for doing so aren’t malicious, but that he needed to get the word out that a gay state representative (and Boehning has now admitted that he’s gay) was voting against protection of the LGBT+ community in North Dakota, making it even harder for those who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender to find and keep jobs and be protected in cases of discrimination.

“We live in a state that discriminates against gay people,” he told The Post, adding that gays could be denied housing or restaurant service because Boehning and other politicians voted down the anti-discrimination bill. “North Dakota is kind of being left in the dust as far as civil rights are concerned.”
He added: “I’ve witnessed it going to high school. I’ve witnessed it in my own life, where you don’t have a chance to come out on your own terms and come out in your own way … I’m not trying discredit him in anyway. I’m just trying to point out the hypocrisy of it. He lives in a state where he represents constituents who don’t agree with his lifestyle. But he has to lie to them about his lifestyle and his personal beliefs to get elected.”

Boehning’s arguments for voting against gay rights are both weak and nauseating. First, he claims that he didn’t like the language of the bill (lolwut) because it covered not just those who identified as LGBT+ but also those who were perceived as such (which doesn’t sound wrong?). He also claims that he voted against his own self-interest because that’s what his constituents would have wanted him to do, and it’s all about the people. Except, you know, I thought politicians got into this whole thing in order to change lives and laws? How difficult is it for someone to see how bad conditions are for his minority constituents and still vote against them, especially if he falls into that minority group?

Boehning says that Smith’s public outing is a retaliatory campaign against him for not voting in the LGBT+ interest. That’s a good way for him to defend against the fact that he completely ignored the needs of disenfranchised citizens that he was elected to protect. He also says that he feels better about not keeping secrets anymore. But, according to him, you just don’t flip-flop on important issues.

“This has been a challenge for me,” he said. “You don’t tell everyone you’re going to vote one way and then switch your vote another way — you don’t have any credibility that way.”

First, Mr. Boehning, yes, lots of people do that all the time. Second, you don’t have any credibility now anyway. You should have at least used the last shred of it not to contribute to the stripping of civil rights for the people of North Dakota. Hope the coming out experience is as much of a learning one for you as it was for so many others of us out there.

Image via N.D. Legislator Branch/YouTube

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