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North Dakota GOP House Leader Stands Behind Grindr User and Bisexual Lawmaker Randy Boehning

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Rep. Al Carlson (below, right), the Republican House leader in North Dakota, is standing behind Randy Boehning, the GOP Representative who was outed after a Bismarck man contacted a local newspaper and said he had received d--k pics of the lawmaker on the gay hook-up app Grindr.

CarlsonCarlson told the Forum News Service:

“This is news to most of us, and what Randy does in his private life is his own business and he’s a good legislator. And we will defend the work that he’s done as a legislator for his district because he’s done a good job.”

As for the d--k pics, Carlson says he doesn't get it and would never do such a thing himself:

“I’ll never understand it. No matter how long I live, I’ll never understand that kind of things going on, but that’s a – he did it. Did it affect the way he does his job? I don’t believe that it did. Again, it’s his private life. Would I have done it? Absolutely not."

Boehning had alleged that he had been threatened with being outed by a fellow lawmaker. Carlson says they'll investigate:

“So as far as what we can do, there’s not a whole lot we can do. I have not talked to Randy. When he gets back, I’ll talk to him about the circumstances and see if there’s anything legislatively that we need to address, because that policy will not exist, where somebody blackmails somebody else for a vote in this place. You shouldn’t have someone trying to wreck your personal life because of some vote that they want you to take.”

Boehning, who said after being outed that he is bisexual, voted against a recent North Dakota bill that would have banned discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Carlson also voted down the bill.


Anti-Gay North Dakota Lawmaker Caught Sending Nude Pics to Another Man on Grindr

Boehning

State Rep. Randy Boehning, a North Dakota lawmaker who voted against bills protecting gay people from discrimination, was caught exchanging photos of his junk to another man on Grindr, the Grand Forks Herald reports:

GrindrBoehning refused to identify at this point who he believes is behind the purported political payback for his vote against Senate Bill 2279, the third such bill defeated in the past six years by North Dakota legislators.

The exchange came to light when Dustin Smith, a 21-year-old Bismarck man with no known connections to the Capitol, contacted The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead earlier this month, saying he recognized Boehning from a gay dating smartphone app called Grindr. Chatting under the user name Top Man!, Boehning sent Smith sexually suggestive messages and, in the early morning hours of March 12, an unsolicited photo of his penis, according to exchanges reviewed by The Forum.

"How can you discriminate against the person you're trying to pick up?" Smith said in a recent interview.

Boehning has confirmed he is "Top Man!" and that he is bisexual.

He also said that his family members and friends had not previously known that information but he is relieved that "the 1,000-pound gorilla has been lifted."

Boehing will now be forced to do his boning publicly.


HRC Warns 12 States ‘Don’t Repeat The Mistakes Of Indiana' In New Media Campaign

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The Human Rights Coalition launched a new ad campaign asking 12 state governors to reject bills that target LGBT people like the one Gov. Mike Pence passed in Indiana. HRC's new campaign comes after a study conducted by the organization yielded results stating that a majority of Hoosiers believe Pence’s bill is damaging Indiana’s economy. JoDee Winterhof, HRC's vice president for policy and political affairs, warned of the repercussions states could endure if they follow Pence’s example.

Said Winterhof:

"Gov. Mike Pence found that experimenting with anti-LGBT bills that allow businesses to discriminate killed his approval ratings and damaged the Hoosier economy. Governors who go down the same path as Mike Pence and put their state economy at risk in an attempt to further discrimination are going to find themselves at risk of being rejected by the voters."

The results of HRC's study reflects Winterhof's warning as a majority of voters (70% to 24%) believe that businesses should not discriminate against people based on sexual orientation or identity. Surprisingly a majority of Republican voters (58% to 36%) concur. Pence’s approval ratings have since plummeted, allowing for a potential Democratic challenger to make gains in the state. HRC's media campaign officially began today on social media in Alabama, Indiana, Louisiana, Florida, New Hampshire, Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and Texas. Although Pence attempted to clarify that official language in the new law would prevent LGBT discrimination, HRC isn’t buying it, noting that the state’s laws are still devoid of any clear LGBT anti-discrimination laws that would grant full protections to LGBT people in the state.


North Dakota Coffee Shop Praised For Banning Anti-Gay Lawmakers

Red raven epresso

A coffee shop in Fargo, North Dakota has banned lawmakers who voted down legislation that would have banned discrimination based on sexual orientation, reports WDAZ.

348sAn image posted on The Red Raven Espresso Parlor’s Facebook page - which has since been flagged and removed - showed a sign announcing that “the listed Men & Women are now banned from entering this establishment.” It included the photos and names of those who voted against the legislation unless “accompanied by a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Queer, Intersex or Asexual person” as published in the INForum newspaper (below).

Red Raven worker-owner Joe Curry told the Independent that he wanted to use humor to make a serious point and to show support for his customers, whom he described as mostly “lefties”.

“The ban was, I thought, very tongue in cheek, requiring them to be escorted by someone from the LBGT community. I hope that they thought about it, at least, and I hope some of them giggled. But in the end, they are all welcome here.”

He added that although there were some very vocal critics “using some language that was slightly hurtful”, the Red Raven has received an outpouring of love on social media.

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North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple Issues Memo Barring Anti-gay Discrimination for State Employees

Days after legislators in North Dakota killed an LGBT non-discrimination bill for the third time in six years, Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple has issued a memo to government departments barring discrimination against gays and lesbians, the AP reports:

Dalrymple"This administration expects all cabinet agencies to hire employees and to maintain agency staff based on ability and performance," Chief of Staff Ron Rauschenberger wrote. "Ours remains a policy of non-discrimination, including no discrimination based on sexual orientation."

All 38 Democrats from the House and Senate delivered a letter to Dalrymple later in the day asking him to issue an executive order to require state agencies to ban discrimination in hiring and employment based on sexual orientation. Democrats are the minority in the Legislature, where Republicans hold two-thirds majorities.

Dalrymple's staff late Monday said such an executive order already exists because the governor last year "reaffirmed and ratified" an order signed by former GOP Gov. Allen Olson in 1981 that mandates all state employees be provided "fair, equitable, and uniform treatment."

Dalrymple spokesman Jeff Zent said "all means all. It doesn't say some."

More here


North Dakota Rejects Bill That Would Have Banned Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

North Dakota this week killed an LGBT non-discrimination bill for the third time in six years, INForum reports:

Capture0403The House defeated the public accommodations division 30-61, with three members absent or not voting. The second division failed 35-56, defeating the bill as a whole.

The paper adds:

House lawmakers spent about 90 minutes debating Senate Bill 2279, which passed the Senate 25-22 in February and would have added sexual orientation to state law that already protects against discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical or mental disability or status with respect to marriage or public assistance. Complaints would have been investigated by the state Department of Labor and Human Rights.

...A dozen Republicans joined Democrats in voting for the bipartisan bill, including Rep. Thomas Beadle, R-Fargo, a bill sponsor. He said many large employers and prominent businesspeople in North Dakota backed the legislation, fearing its defeat would send a message that the nation’s fastest-growing state “is only open to some.”

“And while we can see the backlash in Indiana, the mere perception of LGBT discrimination will have negative consequences for our state,” he said.


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