T Nation

An Idahoan's Take on Sen. Craig


Just my two cents:

1- Why is it a crime to solicit gay sex in public? If I were to walk up to a girl on the street and say, "Nice tits. Wanna fuck?" I wouldn't be breaking the law. I don't see Sen. Craig's crime. Now if he had this copper bent over in public then you've got a crime. For all we know he was soliciting sex and would have taken him back to a hotel or something.

2- I think that the gay community is really bad to this guy. I know several gays and lesbians and it took them time to accept themselves and come out of the closet. Why doesn't Craig get that luxury? Because he's a senator?

3- Just because you're gay doesn't mean you have to support a gay agenda. I believe in gay marriage. That said, I abhor the gay community's "in your face" flamboyant attitude. Let gays marry, but that doesn't mean that they should get special rights.

4- Gays are people too. They disagree on things. I know of a few gays that don't believe in being allowed to adopt or marry. Why does Craig being gay mean he has to follow the crowd? Just because you're black doesn't mean you have to agree with everything that Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson believe.

5- Idaho is being really bad to this guy. He's been pretty damn loyal to his state. He's also been a credit to the nation. He was integral in the repeal of the Naziesque 1993 Clinton Assault Weapons Ban. Then we find out he's gay. OH NOES! We can't have him!

6- He's bi, not gay.

7- The only thing we as voters should judge him on is whether or not he cheated on his wife. If he cheated on his wife, then we can assume he'll cheat on his constituents. Fuck him then. But just because he may fuck a guy every now and then doesn't mean he cheated. People have their kinks, and the Craig's obviously have some kinks.



Good question. They never explained exactly what he did that made it illegal. Was it illegal because it was gay? Was it because it was in a public bathroom and does that mean men can no longer hit on women in a bar? I wonder if this is just a city statute. I always thought this place was liberal--wow, guess not.

Yes. Exactly. He grew up in a religious home. The guy is ancient and comes from a different era and probably never accepted his homosexuality because he was raised to believe it is a sin and a choice and he made a choice to be straight. It sucks to have to live that kind of life.

What is a gay agenda?


If a girl was blowing you in a bathroom and you were caught it would be illegal. I think it goes beyond simply hitting on someone. It's a lewd act.


They weren't having sex in the bathroom and I would assume that they weren't planning on having sex in a busy airport bathroom. If you were a chick who thought about giving head in the mens room you'd me more popular.


Good point.


The allegation is that Senator Craig was planning on having sex right there in the busy airport bathroom.

The signal (touching the officer's foot with his, then running his hand palm up under the stall wall) that the officer claims Craig used is literally a signal saying "put your dick under the wall and I'll suck it." If the allegations are true they have nothing to do with sexual preference; it's simply disgusting, lewd behavior in a public space.

The audio of the interrogation is available on major news sites and the officer specifically says he doesn't care about his sexual preference and whether he's gay or not when Craig tries to explain that he's not gay.


Sniff sniff. I feel so sorry for Sen Craig. I guess the fact he made a plea deal implies he's innocent?


A legal take on Sen. Craig's situation:


What was Craig's crime?

There is a long list of public figures whose personal motto seems to be: "Hate the sinner, love the sin."

It's hard to work up much sympathy for Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho). He had a perfect legislative score from traditional-values groups, a zero rating from gay civil-rights groups, supported the Federal Marriage Amendment, and refused even to commit to non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in hiring for his own Senate staff. But what exactly was criminal about his conduct in that Minneapolis airport bathroom?

From the arrest report ( http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/docs/craig-arrest-doc/ ), here's what Craig allegedly did: (1) put a duffel bag at the front of his stall; (2) peered through a crack into an adjoining stall; (3) tapped his foot; (4) moved his shoe over until it touched an officer's; and (5) ran his fingers along the underside of the stall divider. That's it.

Given the long history of police fabrication of evidence and entrapment of gay men in these sting operations, there should be no presumption that the officer's version of events is correct. But assuming for the sake of argument that Craig did everything the officer alleged, how was it the basis for a criminal charge that could get him a $1,000 fine and/or ten days in jail?

Disorderly conduct is a notoriously nebulous crime, allowing police wide discretion in making arrests and charges for conduct or speech that is little more than bothersome to police or to others. The "disorderly conduct" statute to which Craig pleaded guilty provides that one who knowingly �??[e]ngages in offensive, obscene, abusive, boisterous, or noisy conduct or in offensive, obscene, or abusive language tending reasonably to arouse alarm, anger, or resentment in others�?? is guilty of the misdemeanor of disorderly conduct. Minn. Stat. § 609.72, subd. 1(3) (2004).

More specific criminal charges were not advanced. A charge of interference with privacy was dismissed. Craig was not charged with any other crime, like public lewdness, indecent exposure, public sexual conduct, solicitation of prostitution, harassment, resisting arrest, or assault.

People should not have to tolerate actual sexual conduct in public places, but that's not what happened here. Craig's conduct was not obscene, abusive, boisterous, or noisy. The officer might have considered Craig's actions "offensive . . . conduct . . . tending reasonably to arouse alarm, anger, or resentment in others." But if that's so, it seems a pretty thin basis for charging him. A reasonable person faced with Craig's alleged behavior would have moved his foot away and/or muttered a simple "no thanks" or "stop that," which likely would have brought an end to it. A continuation of the unwelcome behavior might then have been enough to charge him with something, but again, that didn't happen. In fact, the officer tapped his own foot in response, indicating the interest was mutual.

At most, Craig was implicitly inviting another adult to engage in some kind of sexual behavior in a public place. I'm not a Minnesota criminal lawyer, but I don't think asking a stranger for sex in a public place, while vulgar and rude under many circumstances, would by itself be a crime under state law. At any rate, Craig wasn't charged with that.

What really seems to have happened is that the airport police had received complaints about sexual activity and were acting over-zealously to deter it, regardless of the niceties of state criminal law. Many gay men throughout our history have felt the sting of these public decency campaigns, have been arrested for alleged sex crimes, and have pleaded guilty at unusually high rates in order to avoid the embarrassment and other consequences of being outed. When newspapers print their names, as they often do, the consequences can be devastating. Like them, Craig probably wanted to avoid publicity and pleaded guilty to "disorderly conduct" in a futile effort to save his reputation and his job. Whatever we think of Craig's views on gay rights, or of the cosmic justice in this particular Senator being ensnared in these particular circumstances, it's difficult to see how he's a criminal.

UPDATE: Professor Ted Sampsell-Jones (William Mitchell), who has far more knowledge than I of Minnesota criminal law, writes:

Minn. Stat. 617.23, the indecent exposure statute, covers lewd or lascivious conduct in a public place. Sex and masturbation count as lewd and lascivious acts. There is, however, some Minnesota case law suggesting that public restrooms aren't "public places" once you close the door to your stall. State v. Bryant, 177 N.W.2d 800, 803-04 (Minn. 1970).

Even if the completed act would be a crime, it's doubtful that merely asking for sex in the restroom would be a crime.

Minnesota, unlike some jurisdictions, does not have a general solicitation statute. Mere solicitation of a crime is not a crime. State v. Lowrie, 54 N.W.2d 265, 266 (Minn. 1952); State v. Johnson, 2005 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 352 at *9. Minnesota does of course have an attempt statute, 609.17, but that requires a substantial step toward completion of the crime, plus the specific intent to commit the crime. I think it's possible but doubtful that Craig's acts would count as a substantial step, and it's also possible but doubtful that you could infer such a specific intent. Or rather �?? there's some inference there, but it's not strong enough to support guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


No crime was committed. This is just another example of over jealous behavior of the Minneapolis police dept...which they have a history of.

I live in St. Paul and the police in this city are much more laid back than in MPLS so I can imagine what probably went down--I've had exchanges with both forces multiple times so I do have a little experience with them.

Who knew asking for sex in public from a stranger was wrong? I feel sorry for all the frat-boys now. What are they going to do on Friday night?

Are there any other gestures we should be wary of making in public so as not to offend people or make them think we are looking for sex. I am going to be extremely cautious about public restrooms from now on--no tapping my foot at he urinals anymore.


I ahve a question Lifticius do you feel he should resign or that he is a hypocrite? I just would like an opinion of a person who lives int he state he presides over.


Tapping your foot would be fine. It's the tapping your foot, then sliding your foot underneath a divider in a bathroom stall to touch another person's foot, then reaching underneath the divider, palm up, to make a "come here" motion that you probably want to cut back on.


He doesn't preside in my state--he just got caught here.

He should do what's in his constituents best interest since it's them he serves. If his constituency wants him out then he should step down. If not then the Republican party should leave him alone--they aren't "holier-than-thou".

I think he is a hypocrite, by definition only, but I feel sorry for him. It must suck to be raised to think homosexuality is evil and then end up being a guy who digs cock.

Hypocrisy is the least of my worries--shit, my parents are hypocrites and I don't judge them: "Do as I say, not as I do."


What if I'm out of TP and cannot speak because of all the drinking and screaming I have been doing?


Here's a link to an article with the backstory on Larry Craig, covering allegations in Idaho going back quite a few years:



I can't believe the characterizations that are coming out of this thread.

It's hilarious!

In reality, it sounds like he had no way out of the situation. Go to trial, bad idea. Cop a plea, bad idea. Being publicly gay while being a party line Republican, bad idea.

However, I guess I can understand the Republican reaction, because it's the only way they can keep using the gay issue to motivate the base...


Use a sock.


Either that... or perhaps the phrase "crap ass" will indicate how that turns out.