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Gay Lawyer With
Porn Links Wins State Primary

Gay Lawyer With
Porn Links Wins State Primary

Mikecolona

Mike Colona, a gay lawyer from St. Louis, won his Democratic primary Tuesday for a Missouri house seat despite controversy over his ties to the gay porn industry, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Mike Colona, a gay lawyer from St. Louis, won his Democratic primary Tuesday for a Missouri house seat despite controversy over his ties to the gay porn industry, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Colona took 42% of the vote in his five-candidate race and should head directly to the statehouse: He has no Republican challenger in the fall. He'll become the second out gay man elected to the Missouri legislature, after Tim Van Zandt, who was elected in 1994.

He received endorsements from local police, firefighters, and teachers unions as well as the Communications Workers of America and the National Abortion and Reproduction Rights Action League.

But it was another outfit that nearly cost him -- X99 Media, a Springfield, Ill., producer of adult websites and DVDs. X99's founder also contributed to Colona's campaign. No one accused Colona of doing anything illegal, but eyebrows were raised when adult sites that had listed Colona as a "custodian of records" abruptly removed his name or replaced it with that of another law firm.

Colona, for his part, defended his role and said it was limited to ensuring that no minors were used in productions.

"A small part of my job is to ensure no minors are exploited by the pornography industry," Colona, 39, told the Post-Dispatch. "Some of my opponents want to mischaracterize the work I've done. Make no mistake, my work is focused on keeping kids safe."

But, said the Post-Dispatch, his porn ties proved "just an embarrassing hindrance" in his district of Tower Grove, a fast-gentrifying neighborhood in south St. Louis of stately Victorian homes lining a namesake park that often hosts Pride events.

Two other candidates each got about 23% of Tuesday's vote, the Missouri secretary of state's office reported.

Missouri in 2004 elected its first lesbian lawmaker, state representative Jeanette Mott Oxford. She was joined in 2006 by out state senator Jolie Justus. Both face only token opposition in November, according to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund. (Barbara Wilcox, The Advocate)

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