As the line from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” goes, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” Variations of this famous line have been used in the centuries since Shakespeare first debuted his play to refer to someone whose opposition to something seems suspiciously exaggerated, and as if they have something to hide. Over the last couple of decades with the battle for marriage equality and LGBT rights, this line has proven especially fitting when describing politicians who have opposed extending equal protection under the law to the LGBT community.
Now it has come to light that one North Dakota lawmaker who has voted against gay rights was indeed protesting too much after he was outed by another user of a gay dating site. Republican state representative Randy Boehning initially would not confirm or deny that he sent explicit messages and pictures to another man on Grindr, but finally admitted on Saturday that the username Top Man! on the site was indeed his.
When first questioned about the messages two weeks ago, Boehning declined to comment on whether he sent the explicit photo and messages.
But on Saturday he confirmed he was Top Man! and said he doesn’t think sending a graphic photo of himself to a stranger is a lapse in judgment, as Grindr is an adult site where users often exchange such images.
“That’s what gay guys do on gay sites, don’t they?” Boehning said. “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.”
Boehning, who is not married, said there are people who know he is gay, but many of his family members and friends do not. He said Saturday he is also attracted to women and was relieved to come out because he no longer has to worry about being outed.
“The 1,000-pound gorilla has been lifted,” he said. “I have to confront it at some point.” (Source)
Nothing could be more fitting as another self-loathing, in the closet conservative lawmaker is publicly outed as being a member of a class of people he’s campaigned against. Now, I honestly don’t care if Randy Boehning is gay, straight, or bisexual as he’s claimed – but the fact that he’s made a career out of opposing equal rights is what disgusts me. You may ask why someone who is a minority would vote with and be a member of a political party that is full of people who are determined to keep rights away from them. The answer is sad, but very simple: money and power.
According to Project Vote Smart, Randy Boehning is very conservative and has not only voted against protections for the LGBT community, but he’s also voted to allow concealed weapons in schools, for requiring drug tests for welfare recipients, and against medical marijuana – just to name a few issues.
Randy Boehning has tried to play off his vote against protections for LGBT people, but his excuses are pretty weak:
Boehning, a self-employed general contractor, said he has voted against multiple attempts to extend protected-class status to include sexual orientation because he doesn’t believe his south Fargo constituents support it. Also, he has problems with the bill’s language, which would protect people who are “perceived” to be gay.
If “perceived” was removed from the bill, he might vote in favor of it, he said.
Asked whether he would be personally concerned about being discriminated against in the areas of housing, workplace or public accommodation, Boehning, who lives in a rented Fargo apartment, said landlords have the right to do as they see fit.
He said many members of the Legislature find themselves allying and clashing on a variety of issues, regardless of party.
“Politics makes strange bedfellows,” he said. (Source)
Indeed they do, Randy Boehning, indeed they do. The only question that remains is how many of his constituents will vote for him now that he’s been exposed?
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