Saturday, September 01, 2007

This Kind of Hypocrisy: Not Just Cause for Resignation

Apparently, there is no worse crime a US Senator can commit than solicit sex in an airport bathroom -- and the reason is because airport bathrooms are not unisex. Soliciting sex in an airport bathroom means that you actually want to have sex with someone who has the same sexual organs (gasp) as yourself. And that is unforgivable.

The resignation of Senator Larry Craig today is not just comeuppance for a man with anti-gay politics -- it is a sad commentary on the anti-gay politics of our country and of Sen. Craig's Republican Party.

It is sad that so many people continue to repress or hide their sexuality, and that someone like Craig would have to do so for political reasons. It is sad that his party threw him to the wolves for no more than tapping feet with an undercover police officer in an airport stall. And it is sad that Sen. Craig will likely go to his grave vehemently denying to the world what is plain for everyone to see - that he is interested in sex with men.

Those who are gleeful at this turn of events may only miss the larger picture --that using homosexual behavior as a cause for torpedoing a political career will inevitably do more harm than good to gay rights in America.

So now, Idaho's conservative Republican Governor will appoint another most likely anti-gay politician to replace Sen. Craig. And if that one is straight rather than closeted, will he be less of a "hypocrite" and less deserving of our scorn? I say no.

The whole point of what we want is for people NOT to be judged for their personal sexual behavior, right? Larry Craig may not have gotten that - he did, after all, once call Bill Clinton a "naughty boy" -- but whether or not he understood it doesn't matter.


Nancy D., Girl Detective said...

I take your point, but this take on it rings a little untrue to me. I can't see Larry Craig as the victim of a repressive society who hides his sexuality for political reasons. This man is so far from understanding his sexuality that I'm sure he's telling God's honest truth when he says he isn't gay. He has positioned himself--religiously, politicially, socially--in such a way that it would be entirely impossible for him to understand himself as gay.

And while I agree you shouldn't be arrested for tapping your feet, the charges he pled guilty to had to do with having sex in a public place...I think it's valid for people to lose faith in a politician who quietly pleads guilty to an embarrassing crime only to renege when it becomes public.

Koko the Clown said...

I did not say that Larry Craig was a victim, and nor will I shed any tears for him as an individual. My point is that his quick demise as the result of this incident -- which is treated differently than heterosexual misdeeds, like those of Bill Clinton and David Vitter, to name a few -- is a sad statement on the sexual politics of our era.

And although I implied in my original post that I knew Senator Craig to be interested in men, the most I can say is that the evidence strongly points in that direction. I certainly do not feel comfortable making inferences about whether he has come out to himself - and, in any case, that's his own business. What is our business, in my view, is the fact that many in politics and public life do not feel comfortable coming out, because we still live in a society that harshly judges homosexual activity and homosexuality.

The whole reason that Sen. Craig pled guilty and is now backtracking, in my view, probably has a lot to do with these very factors.

Anonymous said...

If only Larry Craig had committed "lewd conduct" with a woman in a bathroom in Minnesota, he might still have his job. You can always apologize for a moment of weakness (aka. adultery) when you are doing it with someone of the opposite sex--see Bill C.--but you'd better head for the hills if you try to screw around with someone who shares the same gender as you. This is a political "no-no." For this reason, it would have been nice to see Craig stay in office and admit to his constituents that he was gay. Maybe he should even apologize to his wife, but wouldn't it once be nice to see someone stick it out after being "outed"?

Nancy D., Girl Detective said...

Well, this is all true. It is kind of amazing that it took so long for the news to come out. The bailiff didn't know to call CNN??

Anonymous said...

the only reason to be gleeful about this sad story is that hypocrites should be outed-if i can simplify:it's not a bad thing that he is gay, the bad thing is that he and his party win campaigns on gay baiting, defense of marriage, etc,etc (yeah i know that was a WJC thing). maybe it's a larger issue of sexual hypocrosy anyway

Montserrat Nicolás said...

I don't understand WHY sex is not allowed in public restrooms...I mean, how much fun would it be if everybody just could DO IT whenever and wherever. One just have to overlook serious bacteria...and bad hygiene.

One should not judge...

As long as you keep yourself away from under-age children.