Craig’s arrest is no surprise
by Kevin Naff, Washington Blade Editor
The news that U.S. Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct charges stemming from an investigation into sexual activity at a men’s restroom in the Minneapolis airport will not come as a surprise to those like me who have heard the gay rumors about him for years.
His office must have been working overtime to suppress the news of the arrest, because it happened in June and only leaked today in a Roll Call report.
Craig paid $500 in fines and fees, had a 10-day jail sentence stayed and received one year of probation in the case, according to Roll Call. The Blade is currently investigating and will have updated reports as we get more information.
Craig is a conservative Republican with an abysmal record on gay issues and a 100 percent favorable rating from the Christian Coalition. Oh, and he’s married.
Last year, I received a visit from a reporter at the Idaho Statesman who was investigating rumors that Craig sought gay sex in D.C.-area restrooms, specifically in Union Station. He went so far as to stake out the bathroom, armed with glossy photos of Craig to show those using the facilities on the chance that someone had seen him there engaged in sexual activities. Not much came of his prolonged investigation, but now it appears he was staking out the wrong toilets.
Craig’s office is once again in full damage control mode, denying the senator did anything wrong. Craig reportedly told police he didn’t intend to tap his foot or invade the space of the neighboring stall. He just has a “wide stance” in the bathroom and reached down to pick up a piece of paper from the floor. The undercover cop in the adjacent stall says there was no piece of paper.
The hypocrisy of a closeted conservative politician voting against the interests of the gay community while engaging in some of the most stereotypically harmful behavior attributed to gays is maddening. We will now have to endure breathless reporting about tawdry toilet sex on CNN, thanks to Craig.
It’s time for Craig to come clean with himself, his family and constituents and stop issuing laughable denials. Then he could begin to redeem himself by signing on as a co-sponsor to ENDA and the hate crimes bill.