Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It's Not a Gay Thing

By now, I'm sure you've all heard about Idaho Senator Larry Craig's bout with lewd conduct in a public restroom. If you haven't heard, the Senator was arrested for tapping his foot in a restroom stall, which apparently is a sign to say that he was looking for sex. I'm personally surprised that Craig didn't choose to fight the charge. Whether they thought he was looking for sex or not certainly can't make it criminal to tap your foot in a bathroom stall. Craig ended up pleading guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct to try to make the incident go away. It didn't, and now the Senator says he should have proclaimed his innocence.

While I think the arrest sounds pretty odd, the bigger issue for me is how much this has been referred to as a "gay sex" issue or a "gay scandal." I even saw a show last night where the segment about the incident was titled "The Issue with Gays and Public Sex."

Here's the problem--Senator Craig is married with a family and adamantly claims he's not gay. Even if he were trolling this bathroom for sex, this isn't a gay thing--this a problem for straight (or possibly bisexual) men that resort to having sex in public because they have no other way to do it.

In an interview with a police officer that handles these types of crimes, CNN uncovered that most of the perpetrators of public sex in situations like this are actually straight men with families. You see, gay people typically work just like straight people--they do these kinds of things in private. It's when a person is having to come to terms with his own sexuality that these types of problems start to come forward.

Now, all CNN and the other networks, and really anyone that is trying to be honest about this type of story, need to acknowledge is that this is a married man problem rather than a gay one.
These guys are living as straight men, not gay ones. If we're going to be honest about the story, we have to ask the question: "Why are straight married men looking for sex in public bathrooms." Maybe if we approached the issue honestly like that we'd get some real answers rather than pawning off another straight man as an example of what's wrong with all of the gays out there.


At 29/8/07 9:56 AM, Anonymous Jarred said...

Actually, this was more than "tapping his foot." It was tapping his foot, moving his foot into the officer's stall, touching the officer's foot with his own foot, and waving his hand under the wall of the stall. Put together like that, his actions are classic behaviors of someone looking for anonymous sex in a public restroom.

Of course, the real scandal (and it is a gay scandal) isn't just that Craig was looking for sex in a public restroom. It's that he's looking for sex with another man in a public restroom while voting to restrict LGBT people's abilities to live openly and have their long-term, committed relationships protected by law.

At 29/8/07 11:23 AM, Blogger Brady said...


Yes, I'll give you that he was doing more than just tapping his foot. But, I'm just leary of arresting someone for "signals." Nothing he actually did was lewd or disorderly from what I saw.

When someone hires a hit man, the cops have to be sure that the person ordering the hit is clear about what they want. When the person says code words, the case call fall apart in a second, so if you ever watch video of stings on someone hiring a hit, they always make them clarify what they mean--for good reason. We can't just go arresting people because we think they might want to do something.

As for the sex itself--it's a gay problem only by what you said--he's fighting against gays. But, the "problem" of public sex isn't a gay problem. In fact, it's more often perpetrated by straight men. Regardless of who they are finding to have sex with, these guys are living life as straight men.

Having the media report this as a gay issue, which has been the implication at best, is irresponsible. The gay community isn't the one to put blame on for this type of thing.

At 29/8/07 12:03 PM, Anonymous Jarred said...

Yeah, I do see both points you're making there.

At 1/9/07 6:52 PM, Blogger Jay said...

Nice post, Brady. I thought the exact same thing, but I didn't feel like posting about it. Glad you did, though, and I hope you're doing well!


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