As an openly gay man, Minnesota Republican Senator Paul Koering (pictured) stands on shaky ground. Effectively forced out of the closet after lending his voice to Democrats opposing the proposed gay marriage ban, Koering drew the homophobe spotlight among his constituency, a family-loving, largely Catholic swab of central Minnesota.
Up for reelection, Koering stands to lose the party support in September 12, primary to fellow Republican Kevin Goedker. It’s a nail biter, that’s for sure, but particularly so when you consider the myriad opinions among voters.
According to The New York Blade, Barb Christensen insists, “I would never support someone who was openly gay, just like I would never support someone who was in an adulterous affair, or someone I knew to be dishonest.”
Meanwhile, retiree Milt Halverson pledges his support to Koering: “I think he tried to vote his conscience. I don’t vote for the issues, I vote for the man.”
(Koering, for the record, upholds gun and property rights, loves veterans, and disagrees with abortion.)
According to The Victory Fund, only 325 elected officials out of 511,000 are openly gay, or about .06%. Obviously, we need more openly gay politicians. With Koering’s seat on the line, we ask you what’s more important: openly gay politicians winning seats or stance hot-button issues like abortion?
Gay Republican Tests Party Faithful in Minnesota Primary Fight [The New York Blade]