Paul Koering Hub

Gay MN GOP Lawmaker Koering to Run as Write-In Independent


Gay Minnesota GOP state senator Paul Koering will seek re-election as an independent, write-in candidate after losing his primary, the Minnesota Independent reports:

"Koering told the St. Cloud Times over the weekend that he will run a write-in campaign for the state Senate seat he now holds. Koering lost to Paul Gazelka in the Republican primary after the National Organization for Marriage and the Minnesota Family Council made hay of Koering’s dinner date with a porn actor over the summer. Koering says an overwhelming response from voters in the district encouraged him to run. 'Wherever I went, people were telling me they were going to write my name in,' he told the St. Cloud Times. He said there was an 'overwhelming show of support from many friends and acquaintances.'"

Koering, who came out in 2005, supports Minnesota's ban on same-sex marriage and voted against a gay marriage bill in 2009.

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MN GOP Disappointed by Sen. Paul Koering's Dinner with Porn Star


Openly gay Minnesota Republican state senator Paul Koering may suffer consequences from his date with gay adult film actor Brandon Wilde last weekend, the Brainerd Dispatch reports:

The report of Koering's dinner drew a response from Tony Sutton, the Minnesota Republican Party chair. The e-mail from Sutton's office had a statement and a link to The Minnesota Independent story.

"Instead of focusing his efforts on job creation and the betterment of Senate District 12, Paul Koering has demonstrated incredibly poor judgment by spending time with an escort and pornographic film star," Sutton's statement said. "With his campaign message of lower taxes, sensible government and economic development, Paul Gazelka is the right leader for Senate District 12, and the Republican Party of Minnesota stands united behind his candidacy."

Gazelka challenged incumbent Koering and was endorsed by Senate District 12 Republicans. Koering initially sought the endorsement but pulled out of that contest shortly before the convention, stating he would run in the Aug. 10 primary.

Koering, first elected to the Senate in 2002, told the public he was gay in 2005 and was re-elected in 2006. He had no response to Sutton's statement. "I just don't know what to tell you," he said.

Gazelka, contacted by the Dispatch, said he had mixed emotions regarding the news of Koering's dinner. He said he was surprised, shocked and disappointed. "One emotion I do not have is glee," he said. "I want to focus on reining in government spending and creating jobs in the private sector." Gazelka said neither he nor his campaign had any role in spreading the story about Koering. "No, not at all," he said. "I was very surprised when I first heard about it."

Asked if he thought it was wrong for the senator to have dinner with Wilde, Gazelka said it was inappropriate for any politician to have a date with any porn star. The former Republican state representative said is focus would not be on this story. He described the situation as a mess Koering created for himself.

Koering reportedly told Wilde that he wanted to be re-elected so he could make gay marriage legal in the state. Koering's record, however, tells a different story. The openly gay lawmaker last year voted against a gay rights bill and called marriage equality a "pointless" issue. 

Gay MN GOP Senator Paul Koering Wines and Dines Porn Star


Openly gay Minnesota state senator Paul Koering was out on a date with gay porn star Brandon Wilde last weekend.

The Sword (nsfw) reports:

"Wilde first tweeted about his night with Koering on Sunday evening, writing, 'lol so funny!! in 45 mins im going 2 dinner with the senator :).' The senator, Koering, picked Wilde up and took him to Iven's on the Bay restaurant in Brainerd, where they dined on strip steak and beef medallions. In an exclusive interview with The Sword this morning, Koering was unapologetic: 'I don't see anything wrong with going out with him. Do I think that being a porn star is the best thing? No. But that's his choice. I think he's a nice guy.'"

Koering, who came out in 2005, supports Minnesota's ban on same-sex marriage and voted against a gay marriage bill in 2009, told Wilde the opposite (link nsfw):

"He told me he wants to be President one day! But first, he needs to win his re-election. He said once he was re-elected he'd work on gay rights issues and NOH8 stuff, you know? He said he'd make it so gay marriage was legal in Minnesota."

Koering denies expressing that to Wilde: "I don't remember telling him any of that. I don't support gay marriage. My job is to support my constituents, and that's not something they want."

But something Koering does want is a second date, and well, maybe marriage after that.

Gay MN Senator Koering: Same-Sex Marriage a Pointless Issue [tr]
Gay GOP Minnesota Lawmaker Says No to Gay Rights Bill [tr]

Marriage Equality Bill Introduced in Minnesota

Five Democratic lawmakers introduced a same-sex union bill in the Minnesota state senate yesterday, the Star Tribune reports:

Minnesota "A bill that would define marriage as a civil contract between 'two persons,' rather than a man and a woman, was introduced in the state Senate, sponsored by five DFL members. It has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee, but no hearings have been scheduled. The bill would strike language from state law that specifically prohibits marriage by persons of the same sex, along with language that refuses to recognize same-sex marriages from another state or country...In an apparent attempt to soften some opposition, the new bill states that nothing in it 'mean[s] the state of Minnesota condones homosexuality or bisexuality or any equivalent lifestyle,' or allows it to be promoted as such in the state's public schools."

Opponents of same-sex marriage have said they will try to pass a measure declaring marriage between a man and a woman in 2009, even though two attempts have failed to get out of the legislature in the past.

One thing we know for sure: openly gay state senator Paul Koering won't be supporting the measure. He considers it a "pointless issue."

Gay MN Senator Koering's Office Sends Offensive Blanket Email:
Same-Sex Marriage a 'Pointless Issue'

An aide to openly gay Minnesota senator Paul Koering has responded to letters about his recent decision not to support a marriage equality measure in the state with an offensive blanket email calling same-sex marriage a "pointless issue" that doesn't deserve the senator's time.

Towleroad reader Brendan Davis, who writes the blog Faces of Us, sent me this email exchange:

Koering This was Davis' email to Koering's office:

Senator Paul Koering District 12
131 State Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155-1206
Phone:651-296-4875 Brendan Davis 
2/18/2009 2:44 PM

>>> Senator Koering, My name is Brendan Davis and I am a 21 year old gay male from Marietta, GA. I know what you're thinking: 'Why does someone from Georgia care about our laws up here in Minnesota?! Mind your own business!' I wish it were that easy. It is my firm belief that members of the LGBT community should receive equal rights under the law in ALL FIFTY states, and anytime something like the Marriage and Family Protection Act is voted down, it hurts the entire community. I understand that you may feel the need to vote with your party on issues like this, but sometimes the opportunity comes up to tell young kids who may be struggling with their sexuality that being gay is OK. Telling them that you support their equal rights should they ever decide to get married is one of those ways. As I'm sure you know from experience, it's not always easy to grow up gay, and any way that you can tell a kid that it's alright helps. Please reconsider your vote.

And this is the response Davis received:

"My name is Ken Swecker, Senator Koering's Legislative Assistant.

"Senator Koering and I both would like to respond to the e-mails we've been receiving regarding his intention to not vote in favor of Senate File 120. I am currently responding to the e-mails to give you the Senator's home phone number so that you might call him over the weekend and speak with him personally on the matter. This much he asked me to do. To add to that, as a personal statement, is to say that SF 120 is something that the majority of the People of Senate District 12, the People that he was elected to represent, do not favor this piece of legislation. In case you have forgotten, we are a government of the People, by the People, and for the People. He was not elected serve his personal interests.

"I personally believe that instead of sending e-mails full of threats and hateful words you should take his example to heart and congratulate him on being a legislator who cares more about what the People of his district want than what he may want personally. You and I both know that this is a rare quality to find, and just because this is contrary to how you wish for him to vote, you must remember and respect he is here to represent the interests of his rural Minnesota constituents who voted him into office. As a constituent of his myself, I am happy to see him take non-personal votes on several issues. After all, I would not want another politician taking another vote that would serve his or her personal interests more so than the People's, would you?

"I can testify all day long about how much Senator Koering cares for the People of Senate District 12. He ran three consecutive times, being defeated the first two, and why did he put himself through so much hard work? Do you think it was because he needed another job? Absolutely not! He did it because he believed he was the best person to serve the People that he calls neighbors, friends, and family. And especially now, in a time like this, we are being bogged down with this completely pointless issue. There are People in Morrison and Crow Wing Counties, and across the State who are losing their jobs, their homes, their insurance, and were you to ask them if this is an issue that should take one second of precedent over these conditions they're facing every day, do you believe, do you honestly believe that they would say to you, 'Yes, please, waste the time of the State Legislature with a piece of legislation that will not help, but in fact, overshadow the current situation we're living in? Please, waste their time with this piece of legislation while I tell my son and daughter that mom and dad aren't hungry tonight?'

"I know very well that you will respond to this e-mail of mine with some probably quirky, snide, and very thoughtless comment that will make me out to be a bad person and threaten the Senator even more just as most of the absolutely tactless and disrespectful e-mails we've received have been written, but really, don't waste your time. We'll just put your e-mail where it belongs, in the trash.

"The Senator's home number is 218-###-#### He's free on the weekends.

"Very Sincerely, every word of it, Ken Swecker

"P.S. I hope you do not believe that this e-mail was written specific to the one that you sent, this is a blanket e-mail, being sent to everyone who has e-mailed us on this issue and I've already wasted too much time in responding to you. Good day."

Others have received the letter as well.


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