Senator Larry Craig & Gay Rights

Aquarian Weekly 9/12/07 REALITY CHECK

POT & KETTLE REVELATIONSLarry Craig’s Curious Case Advances The Cause of Gay Rights

Larry CraigWhy does Idaho Senator Larry Craig have to resign? Tell me. You can’t and he doesn’t. It’s ridiculous. Tapping one’s foot in a bathroom stall does not a high crime make. Misdemeanor? Speeding is a misdemeanor. Is Craig morally corrupt for trolling bathroom stalls for sex when he is a married man? Of course. Is that why he’s getting shit? Nope. He’s getting shit because he’s queer. Period. He’s a fag. Yeah, let’s dogpile on the fairy. Disgusting! Lewd! Unnatural! Evil! Think whatever you wish, but none of it is unlawful, at least not as unlawful as denying the civil rights of American citizens, but then Mr. Craig knows something about that.

The morning I write this Craig says he’s going to fight this thing, despite being a staunch Republican who has made a career of whipping his Bible frenzy into a fear mongering anti-gay constituency. He refuses to resign because he just realized flirting with men in an airport bathroom is not grounds for expulsion from the federal government. Hell, the vice president shot a man in the face. I’m not gay, but I might choose a bathroom stall hummer over getting flying hot lead in the kisser.

But I digress considerably.

The fact is Craig’s actions have nothing to do with his being either a competent or lousy lawmaker, just as the sexual orientation of taxpaying, law-abiding adult citizens should not deny them their constitutional right to civil union.

Saint Paul called this an epiphany.

I call it poetic justice. Poetic or not, it’s justice.

Craig still claims he’s not gay, but he is definitely stupid. Last month the senator immediately pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct without consulting an attorney. He should have fought it then. He didn’t. He was instituting the Clinton Plan: Lay low and hope no one, least of all his wife, finds out. It’s a wonder these guys make it out of high school much less places like Oxford while stumbling into high office.

However, stupidity is not a crime either. We have diligently covered that possibility here for several years and apparently no one’s buying.

Is Craig morally corrupt for trolling bathroom stalls for sex when he is a married man? Of course. Is that why he’s getting shit? Nope. He’s getting shit because he’s queer. Period. He’s a fag. Yeah, let’s dogpile on the fairy.

So, let’s review: Larry Craig is gay, stupid, an adulterer, a hypocrite, and busted for lewd behavior in an airport restroom. Any of these may be considered reprehensible behavior, but certainly not high crimes or grounds for forced resignation. He could be censored or reprimanded, but not booted. He is an elected official, therefore the people should decide Craig’s fate, not the legislative branch. Undoing a vote is a dangerous game.

That much settled, how exactly does this mess advance the cause of gay rights?

I present for your disapproval the recent and lurid tale of Louisiana Congressman David Vitter, whose name appeared in the phone records of a DC prosititution ring. Prostitution is illegal in Washington DC. Guess what? Vitter is still a congressman. He committed a crime, albiet tecnically dismissed on a statute of limitations (Vitter was smart enough to actually contact a lawyer). He got shit, made a fancy consiliatory speech with his humiliated spouse by his pathetic side, and waddled off into the sunset. How is that possible you ask? He’s not gay.

Hetero guy who commits a crime stays.

Gay guy who commits a low-grade misdimeanor goes bye-bye.

So I ask you fair citizenry of these United States, home of the brave and free, where we are all created equal and spread our good will across the globe, how is the above contradiction not the greatest argument for a spurious, unfounded, bigoted denial of basic civil rights? Worse still; how is it not the very definition of not being equal in the eyes of the law?

I hope Craig fights this, but my guess is he will cave; convinced his exit is for the good of the team – the Republican team that uses as its platform a blatant abuse of the Bill Of Rights. If that doesn’t work they’ll threaten him silly. If Craig wants to keep his sexual denial afloat he probably shouldn’t fight. That would take courage and conviction. Craig has shown no signs of possessing these attributes thus far.

But know this, if he does fight, there is no other way to do so without claiming he’s been railroaded for a “type” of behavior and not merely the behavior. It is a solid defense, but an argument that must be made by a gay man fighting a system that denies him a fair playing field.

This is a far cry from former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey’s ludicrous claim that he was forced to resign because of his sexual orientation, when in reality his administration was high crimes central.

It is also an interesting dilemma for both Republicans and Democrats.

Republicans obviously wish to see this go away quickly to rebuild faith in defending Craig’s empty seat by the next election cycle and to put as much distance between themselves and flag-waving anti-gay voices who also happen to be closet homosexuals. Interestingly, Pennsylvania Senator Arlene Specter, a senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has reportedly urged Craig to fight on.

Demorats would also love to see Craig exit and grab his seat in the process. However, if there is any friend of gay rights in the Capital it is the Democratic Party. Do Democrats support Craig’s fight on the grounds of fairness or do they go the predictable mud slinging route? Not surprisingly thus far the latter has won out.

Coincidentally, Craig’s current all-star legal team is headed by Billy Martin, who represented Michael Vick in his dogfighting case. Activists used Vick’s celebrity and the ubiquitous media coverage to advance the cause of animal rights. Why can’t gay activists make Craig’s faux pas about gay rights? Because they hate the gay-bashing hypocritical Craig? If this is true than it is shortsighted and leads to a deadend. Politics makes strange bedfellows (pardon the pun) and right now the movement may have no better martyr than Larry Craig, persecuter of homosexuals.

I already mentioned Saint Paul, right?

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