There’s one thing I don’t understand about the whole Sen. Larry Craig issue.
The newspapers say:
They also say…
So he didn’t actually do anything lewd or disorderly. He just tapped his foot and waved his hand. If we set aside the fact that he entered a guilty plea, on what grounds can the officer arrest you for lewd conduct when you aren’t doing anything lewd?
No. He tapped his foot, slid his foot into the next stall to make contact with another person’s foot, and waved his hand under the stall wall (into the next stall), all of which are known to be clear non-verbal solicitations for sex, and none of which (with the possible exception of simple foot-tapping) are normal behavior for guys in a restroom who are not looking for sex.
Not to start a GD, but it seems to me that Senator Craig was just flirting with the guy in an effort to pick him up or engage in sexual conduct. But is flirting illegal? And it’s not like he exposed himself or tried to get in the guy’s stall. To me, it just seems he was… flirting. If he had pleaded innocent I think he could have easily won the case.
He wasn’t charged with lewd conduct. He was charged under a Minn. law of Violation of Privacy which makes it a crime to leer or glare in a area where a person may have their genitals exposed. This is when Larry Craig was allegedly peeking through the crack in the stall door. This charge was dropped.
He pled guilty to disorderly conduct, which is illegal in most states, and the theory is that an average person is going to feel very uncomfortable getting solicited for homosexual sex in a public restroom.
I would still think he could have won the case had it went to trial. I think, though, that when the arrest wasn’t reported in the media, he thought that by pleading guilty it would all disappear, and it almost did. A trial would have certainly brought it out in the limelight…
Tapping ypur foot and waving your hand within your own stall, no problem, Doing it into the next stall is a problem- what reason would have for motioning to a stranger in an adjacent stall, unless you were having a seizure or something?
Tapping your foot and waving your hand within your own stall, no problem, Doing it into the next stall is a problem- what reason would have for motioning to a stranger in an adjacent stall, unless you were having a seizure or something?
Here’s my assessment. Craig is no dummy. He understood, in the current political climate and w/ his history of past allegations, his best chance was to plea to a nonsexual related lesser charge and hope it didn’t attract any publicity. If he had just said “prove it” he would llikely have beaten the charge, but the publicity would have been bad, for him and the party. I think he considered all this, it was probably something he had thought about before, and that’s why he accepted the “disorderly conduct” charge. When it was discovered he tried to bluff, and he lost. It seems he may continue this fight, but I don’t see where he’s got much to gain, except possible revenge against those to dumped on him.
I’d be surprised if this was the only time he’s tried to “hook up” in the recent past, so he had probably thought about how to finesse it if he were confronted.
One legitimate reason to signal the guy in the next stall is to ask if there is any toilet paper over there. Of course the dispenser in his stall would have had to be empty to make that stick.
Speaking of which, Craig said he reached to the floor to “pick up a piece of paper.” Now what kind of sane person picks up anything off of the floor of a public bathroom stall unless it’s a hundred dollar bill? And then I’d use a piece of toilet paper off the roll to pick it up with.
So, what makes this illegal is that it happened in a bathroom? Is this true? Would it have been illegal if it had happened while they were at the sinks? Why not “flirt” there? If the other guy’s into it, the result would be the same, if he’s not, its less likely to cause a complaint, and if he’s a cop, its not illegal. Unless of course it’s illegal anywhere.
Seems pretty dumb to do something thats not illegal, in the one place that makes it illegal
The police apparently went far enough to make a case to convince Craig that he should plead; whether or not you or I can come up with attempts at arguing our way out of the case doesn’t change the fact that Craig pleaded guilty, and with 99% probability, was guilty.
A Democrat in this situation almost certainly wouldn’t cry entrapment; I think a much more likely course of events for a democratic politician (of course, depending on how liberal his constituency is) caught in this circumstance would be to decry laws preventing fraternization in bathrooms.
You would know the answers if you’d read the police report. As for entrapment, Craig initiated the waving under the stall, etc.
As someone who voted half-Democratic, half-Republican in the last election, my response would be to say this is probably a natural outgrowth of the stigma our society places on homosexuality, and that we would have less of this sort of bathroom “cruising” if being gay wasn’t considered shameful/wrong/unnatural/depraved by a good portion of our populace.
Wow, reading the police report puts a little bit different spin on one aspect of the case: A lot of the stories I haveread seemed to suggest that Craig’s handing his business card to the cop was part of his come-on to him, not an attempt to get out of trouble by means of his political office.
Makes the whole deal significantly more disgusting, IMHO.
The see the whole thing is that if homosexuality between consenting adults is legal, then why is it illegal to solicit that consent and how else to do it than this elaborate challenge/response regime? A straight would have no reason to even notice this behavior, let alone respond and so no harm is done. A gay who is interested will respond. I would think that police have better things to do with their time than harass gays looking for consensual sex.
According to a couple newspaper articles and columnists, the reason it got such a big play was the hypocrisy. He was one of the loudest anti-gay activists in congress. I wonder… Of course, there are openly gay congressmen, but that is a different matter.