Openly gay Minnesota state Senator Paul
Koering is being criticized for going out with a porn star, the
Minnesota Independent reported.
Koering is a two-term senator who is
facing a difficult August 10 Republican primary. He came out to his
Fort Ripley constituents in 2005 after breaking rank with Republicans
over a bill that called for a constitutional ban on gay marriage.
The bill was sponsored by Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, a former
member of the Minnesota Senate. But last year, Koering voted against
a gay marriage bill.
The date was revealed when porn actor
Wilde tweeted: “Dinner with (Mn) senator was Amazing he is a
great guy :).”
The 45-year-old Koering told gay porn
website The Sword that he did “not 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,” Koering said. “I
think he's a nice guy.” Koering said he met Wilde at a gay pride
Wilde, who divides his time between
West Hollywood and Brainerd, has starred in videos for gay porn
websites such as My Brother's Hot Friend and Cruiser Boys,
and once advertised as an escort
on the site RentBoy.com.
Wilde told The Sword that
Koering told him that if re-elected “he'd make it so gay marriage
was legal in Minnesota.” A claim Koering has denied.
The chair of the Republican Party of
Minnesota said Koering had shown “incredibly poor judgment.”
“Instead o 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,” Tony Sutton said in a statement
to the Brainerd Dispatch.
Paul Gazelka, Koering's GOP primary
challenger, told the paper that it was inappropriate for any
politician to date a porn star.
“If you're a politician, you need to
represent your area,” Gazelka told ABC affiliate KSTP, “and I
felt that what he's doing doesn't come close to representing the
values here in central Minnesota.”
Gazelka, a former state representative,
also said that Koering's alleged comment to Wilde that he'll work to
legalize gay marriage would be an issue in the campaign.
The National Organization for Marriage
(NOM), the nation's most vocal opponent of gay marriage, recently
$200,000 campaign in the state urging voters to call on lawmakers to
take up the issue of defining marriage as a heterosexual union in the
In the ad, NOM called Minnesota “the
next key battleground state” in the gay marriage debate, and
claimed that state lawmakers were preparing to legalize the
Social conservatives worked overtime to
derail Koering's 2006 re-election bid.