We have a digital scandal that can only be matched by former Congressman Anthony Weiner, but this one is somehow worsefor its hypocrisy. It takes place in North Dakota and features State Representative Randy Boehning (R-Fargo).
Here’s what happened. Representative Boehning, like the majority of his colleagues, recently voted against laws that would have made sexual orientation to a legally protected status. He had, naturally, amassed a relatively conservative voting record, and had voted against similiar bills in the past.
According to the Washington Post, that’s where Dustin Smith enters the story. Smith saw the April 2 story about the vote against gay rights, and recognized a picture of one of the men that had voted against the bill: the picture of Representative Boehning. But where did he recognize him from?
Grindr. For those of you who don’t know, Grindr is “a geosocial networking application geared towards gay, bisexual, and bi-curious men.” Smith and Boehning had conversed on the app, with Boehning using the alias of “Top Man!”. Included in the conversation was an unsolicited picture, sent by Boehning to Smith, of Boehning’s penis.
Smith went public with his story, and Boehning admitted that he was Top Man!, and is gay. He defended his use of Grindr, and specifically how he was using Grindr, saying:
“That’s what gay guys do on gay sites, don’t they?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 said that his outing was retribution from other lawmakers who were upset at his anti-LGBT votes. In a later interview, Boehning added that he was relieved that his secret was out and happy that, “I don’t have to look over my shoulder anymore.”
The point of this entry is not to condemn Representative Boehning’s votes, homosexuality or hypocracy. It is, however, it question his judgement. If you are gay, and trying to hide it – or, in fact, if you are trying to hide anything – you do not leave a digital trail! This has undone multiple politicians in the past, including former Congressman Anthony Weiner (who also sent unsolicited pictures of his genitalia) and former Congressman Chris Lee (who tried to cheat on his wife via Craigslist. Digital is forever – and any politician who gets busted like this should expect nothing else.
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