Republican state Rep. Randy Boehning of North Dakota reportedly sent an explicit photo of himself to a man named Dustin Smith via Grindr, a gay dating smartphone app.
Boehning claims he was told by a state capitol employee that another lawmaker was going to out him for voting against state Senate Bill 2279.
Senate Bill 2279 would have prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation in "public accommodations and services, housing, employment, credit transactions and brokerage services," noted The Grand Forks Herald.
Smith, who has no reported political connections, told The Forum earlier this month he recalled seeing Boehning on Grindr.
The Forum reports Boehning sent some sexually suggestive notes to Smith, as well as a photo of his penis on March 12.
Boehning initially refused to comment about the penis picture and messages, but later confirmed to The Forum that he was using Grindr under the name Top Man!, but didn't feel that he acted improperly.
"That's what gay guys do on gay sites, don't they?" Boehning told The Forum. "That's how things happen on Grindr. It's a gay chat site. It's not the first thing you do on that site. That's what we do, exchange pics on the site."
Boehning, who claimed he is also attracted to women, added, "The 1,000-pound gorilla has been lifted. I have to confront it at some point."
The North Dakota Family Alliance praised defeat of Senate Bill 2279, and added that lawmakers who voted against it were "doing the right thing," reports The Grand Forks Herald.
Boehning told The Forum his multiple anti-gay votes were because his constituents in the southern part of Fargo, North Dakota, wouldn't support those laws, and because Senate Bill 2279 included people who were "perceived" to be gay.