Randy Boehning was known for casting anti-gay votes in the North Dakota legislature, but now that he’s been outed for sending nude pictures to men through a gay dating app, the Republican refuses to apologize, and actually says he’s relieved to be outed.
In April, the 52-year-old lawmaker voted against a bill that would have prevented employers and landlords from discriminating against people based on sexual orientation, joining laws already protecting people with disabilities and of all races.
But just a few weeks after he cast the vote, Randy Boehning was outed as a gay man himself. A 21-year-old named Dustin Smith was looking at a legislative website when he recognized a man he had seen on Grindr, an app used by gay men to find dates and hookups.
Dustin said he knew Boehning intimately — very intimately. In fact, the Republican legislator had sent an unsolicited picture of his penis to Smith.
When the news broke, Randy Boehning did not deny that he was using the app to send nude pictures and hook up with gay men.
“That’s what gay guys do on gay sites, don’t they?” Boehning told the Forum. “That’s how things happen on Grindr. It’s a gay chat site. It’s not the first thing you do on that site. That’s what we do, exchange pics on the site.”
Incredibly, Randy Boehning said he was actually relieved to have been outed as gay. Boehning said a fellow lawmaker warned him that a political opponent was threatening to out him in retribution for his vote against the gay discrimination bill (for the record, Dustin Smith denies that anyone told him to out Boehning).
“The 1,000-pound gorilla has been lifted,” he said.
Though he may be relieved to have the news behind him, many are latching onto the story and calling out Boehning for his hypocrisy. Dustin Smith called him out, asking, “How can you discriminate against the person you’re trying to pick up?”
The story has now gone viral nationwide, with coverage from many nationwide news outlets. To many, the story seems too ironic to be real — a Republican lawmaker, who happened to vote against protection for gays, is outed as gay himself. And with the name Randy Boehning.
Is it even possible to be in the closet if your name is “Randy Boehning”? https://t.co/AzpH0fvtzH
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) April 29, 2015
His name is Randy Boehning, not even kidding. https://t.co/noqUWfxPdr
— Richard Stanton (@RichStanton) April 29, 2015
For his part, Randy Boehning has also defended his decision to vote against the gay rights bill, saying he had problems with the wording of it. If the wording is clarified, Boehning said he could see himself voting for it.
[Image via NextStories]