Fargo, N.D. – A North Dakota Republican lawmaker was caught sending sexually explicit photos and messages on the dating/hookup app Grindr and is saying it is retaliation for his recent voting record on gay rights.

Rep. Randy Boehning (Fargo-R), who recently voted against Senate Bill 2279, which would have prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, said that he was outed because of political payback by an unnamed Capitol staffer.

Boehning’s activity on Grindr became apparent when Dustin Smith, a 21-year-old Bismarck man, told The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead that he recognized Boehning from Grindr. According to Smith, the legislator was communicating with him under the user name Top Man! and he sent Smith sexually suggestive messages and an unsolicited photo of his genitalia.

“How can you discriminate against the person you’re trying to pick up?” Smith said.

Boehning has since confirmed that he is Top Man! and that “the 1,000-pound gorilla has been lifted” off of his shoulders. He said that there were people who knew that he was gay, but many of his family members and friends did not.

Boehning expressed he has an attraction to women and a sense of relief toward not having to hide his sexual orientation.

From our media partner Watermark