Paul Koering Won’t Run For Minnesota Governor. BECAUSE HE’S GAY


Well that was short lived. Paul Koering, Minnesota’s gay Republican state senator and the state’s only out legislator, had dreams of living in the Governor’s Mansion as recently as June. But now, he’s given up. And yes, it’s because he’s gay.

After forming an exploratory committee to examine his chances at a campaign, the two-term legislator says it became clear his sexuality would remain the ultimate scarlet letter: “The reading from potential delegates is that they could not get past the fact I’m gay. That’s very sad, but it’s true.”

This, despite excellent marks from organizations valued by Republican voters: the Minnesota Citizens For Life (which gave him a 100 percent score), the National Rifle Association (also 100 percent), and the Minnesota Taxpayer’s League (he’s on the Top 10 list of anti-tax legislators).

But what if he made a run for governor on the Democratic ticket? Sorry, that’s not going to happen. Says Koering: “I align with conservatives on almost everything. If I were straight man with a wife and eight children these same people would want me to run for president.”

And now, it appears that his third term as senator could even be in jeopardy. Koering (pictured, with colleague Dallas Sams in his lap) only public acknowledged his sexuality after voting “no” on then-State Sen. Michele Bachmann’s gay marriage ban, and reporters came asking. And you can guess, predictably, how his political allies and donors feel about it.

Then again, just because Koering is gay doesn’t mean he’s our biggest ally: He opted not to vote for a bill that would’ve made Minnesota’s marriage laws gender neutral. Which means: He doesn’t want to ban same-sex marriage, but he doesn’t want it legalized, either. Huh. Politics strategy nonsense, no doubt.

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  • Sceth

    “I align with conservatives on almost everything. If I were straight man with a wife and eight children these same people would want me to run for president.”

    Bitter pride. Sorta sorry for him.

  • ChristopherM

    Well, that’s what you get for being a money-grubbing gun nut dick bag who wants to control the bodies of others. Too bad so sad that you’ve aligned yourself with a bunch of bigots.

  • Brian

    Paul Koering is a gay CATHOLIC. The catholic part negates the gay part. Move on.

  • Cam

    this is the idiocy of the current political party. They are driving out people who actually agree with the party on most things just because they were born gay. The party can’t survive by trying to become a small exclusive club. That may work if they are trying to win a city council election in Alabama…not if they want to ever return to being the majority party. McCain got spanked by one of the largest margins in ages, should have been a wake-up call.

  • ChangeAgent

    “Minnesota’s gay Republican state senator and the state’s only out legislator”

    That idiot is not MN’s only out legislator. Scott Dibble is a State Senator, Karen Clark is a State Rep. There may be others, but those I know for sure because they represent me.

  • AlwaysGay

    Authoritarian beliefs are a pillar of anti-gay bigotry. Read the study “The Gender belief system, authoritarianism, social dominance orientation, and heterosexuals’ attitudes toward lesbians and gay men”. Authoritarian beliefs are what attracts many to conservatism.

    Paul Koering was discriminated against because of his homosexuality. We all know it. And at the same time Paul Koering should not do heterosexuals bidding by voting against gay people’s rights.

  • Brian

    @AlwaysGay: It’s RELIGION. Religion is the only thing in the world that makes homosexuality wrong.

    I read the book – it mirrors many religious beliefs.

  • Republican

    Being a gay repub myself, I’m disappointed that this guy decided not to run. Even if he didn’t win, he could change minds, and who knows, maybe enough minds would be changed that he would win. His attitude seems awfully defeatist.

  • M Shane

    Republicans are republicans, are republicans; And there is no way that they would get off the selfish beat to be a Democrate. 5 · ChangeAgent was right is saying that th3ere were other legislators., one is mine but she is in the House and I’m not sure if there are other Senators, correct me if I’m wrong.
    This is the state where Michele Bachman the notorious religious freak comes from.
    Minnesota , as I’ve said is so religious that even the gays all spend their time a church. It’s almost imossible to gfind anyone who doesn’t or who thinks in abstractions people truely vote what they believe and not what is really in their best interests or anyone elses, except the Reps.
    Since most residents here are farm stock, many of them still affiliate with the DFL. just because they do.
    Why would anyone want nother gay republican anywhere?

  • M Shane

    . 4 · Cam : read to post by AlwaysGay: that should partially answer your question. Further, take a LITTLE TIME AND READ TONY KUSHNER’ essay Socialism of the skin. It will never be to the advantage of a MInority group who wants a democracy to vote for anything the republicans represent.
    Since WW2 the Republicans Mainly have been busy turning democracy on it’s heaf all over the world for big business interests. Any gay who supports the Neocon program is viciously schizophrenic and abundantly narcisistic in every application of that word.

  • Faces InEquality

    Minnesota’s a wacky state – I can say this cause I live here. The extremes are pretty amazing. From ultra-pprogressive Al Franken as US Senator to this gay State Senator who is anything but progressive.
    I see some of Senator Koering’s voting record as self-hating but I guess he’s representing his constituents. Don’t forget that not too far down the road from him is the Congressional District represented by Michele Bachmann – another feather in the cap for Minnesota extremes…
    In recent news from her district, 2 teachers – Diane Cleveland and Walter Filson – harasses a student because they thought he was gay. An article in today’s paper further details this unfortunate students life as tagteam hell as Cleveland and Filson harassed him in their classes on either side of the kid’s lunchbreak.


    Like I said, it’s a wacky state.

  • Mark C.

    @Republican: How would a gay Republican running for office “change minds?”

  • Bill

    I’ve always known down deep that Homosexuals aren’t born that way. Koering needs to grow up if he ever wants to win his senate seat again. Using the gay trump card will only hurt him in the long run. Either he’s voting right for his side or he’s not. He won’t win his next election from what I see.

  • dfrw

    Gay? Republican? Enough said!

  • Kid A

    @Mark C.: Conservative voters would likely have to choose between a gay person and a Democrat.

    A secular-progressive socialist Democrat, no doubt.

  • schlukitz

    Politicians are what they are. Power-whores.

    Integrity is not one of their finer points, whether gay or straight.

    You’re right, DFR.

    ’nuff said.

  • schlukitz

    Sorry: That should have been DFRW.

  • Merv

    These two men show a lot of courage, sitting in the other one’s lap in such a public place.

  • Geoff M

    @Merv: ROFL! My first thought was “why is that man sitting in that guys lap?”….it does look like it!

  • M Shane

    @No. 15 · Kid A “A secular-progressive socialist Democrat?” no one in Minnesota has that good a memory ;even if they knew what it was.

  • Faces InEquality

    @Faces InEquality: And it gets wackier…local paper finally opins about harassment case – Best line in StarTribune editorial: “Why should they ever be allowed again to teach?” The light-handed punishments dispensed in this case is entirely inappropriate despite the District’s explanation that the abusing teachers must be given a chance to change their behavior. Sometimes harassment behavior is so egregious that this option is not possible. Teaching hate is inexcusable – no matter who the object of hate is – and particularly if it is based purely on perception and rumor.
    The Anoka-Hennepin School Board issued a letter to the community regarding the case basically saying they have done all they will do about this case. Frankly, any school board that believes tag-team teaching hate is not terminable is a school board hiding behind their own veil of hate or are completely ignorant. Let us hope the latter can be corrected. Hate has no place in education.

  • Read this

    How would a gay Republican running for office “change minds?” To answer that question is to get people to be less close minded. Just because he is gay does not mean that it affects his work. he is a hard worker and really does listen to people and cares. We need more people like him. Not only that, but does being gay affect any of us individually? Answer: NO. Let people live their lives how they want to if it makes them happy.

  • Kathi Malone

    Was this photo doctored?
    So the guy is gay. Leave him alone. He should be democrat. We understand this issue.

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