Sen. Paul Koering says gay porn star dinner date no big deal

Categories: Politics

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​What will be the fallout from the revelation--first reported by Andy Birkey of the Minnesota Independent--that State Senator Paul Koering recently dined with the star of such gay porn hits as"My Brother's Hot Friend?"

It's tough to say. Usually when a Republican politician has a private dinner with a gay porn star, it's the kind of scandal that sinks a career. But that's because the conservatives who usually get caught out are hateful closet-case hypocrites who have made their names saying poisonous things about gays and their creeping immoral agenda.

Politicians on that list include Larry Craig, Mark Foley, and Bob Allen, to say nothing of the spectacular flame-outs of religious-right zealots Ted Haggard and George Rekers.

But the stench of hypocrisy is noticeably absent this time around, because Koering isn't the usual hateful closeted homophobe.

He's been out since 2005, not long after he voted against then-State-Senator Michele Bachmann's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. He's the only openly gay Republican in the Minnesota senate. And though his district is conservative, his orientation hasn't held him back so far: he won reelection handily in 2006 after coming out.

Taylor Stevenson, the Democratic candidate for the seat, is keeping it classy and declining to comment on his opponent's private life. The state GOP is saying Koering displayed "bad judgment" and is reiterating its endorsement of Paul Gazelka, who's challenging Koering in the Republican primary. Gazelka won't go any further than to say it's inappropriate for politicians to go on dates with porn stars.

Koering says it wasn't a date, he was just having dinner with the son of one of his constituents. But his dinner partner, Brandon Wilde, saw it differently, telling The Sword that Koering was flirty and "I think he just wanted to get in my pants."

We'll see what Koering's constituents make of his private life when they vote in the primary August 17.

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