HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
September 10, 2007, Herald Journal

Gay solicitation is strange story

By ROZ KOHLS

US Sen. Larry Craig, (R-Idaho) should resign, regardless of his guilt or innocence of disorderly conduct. He pleaded guilty, and that’s enough to disqualify him from serving in the Senate.

However, I have many questions about the events leading up to Craig’s conviction.

First, why did whoever allocates law enforcement resources at the airport in Minneapolis think it was important to have an officer sit in a stall in the men’s bathroom June 11, and wait to be propositioned by a gay man?

Not only is there a possibility of terrorism at the airport, officers should be investigating and watching for serious crimes, such as drug smuggling, theft and fraud.

Second, gay sex is not illegal in the United States. The US Supreme Court has said that. Why was the officer waiting for a proposition from a gay man?

Third, Craig did not offer the officer money for sex. Prostitution is illegal, but not consensual gay sex.

Fourth, the officer was an adult, so there is nothing about the incident that smacks of pedophilia.

Also, Craig didn’t expose himself to the officer or anyone else in the bathroom. He had his clothes on throughout the entire incident. No one can accuse him of indecent exposure or lewd conduct.

Finally, Craig tapped his feet, swiped his hand under the stall wall, and pushed the edge of his shoe up against the officer’s shoe.

To the average person, foot tapping might seem like a nervous habit, like drumming your fingers. It’s not illegal to tap your foot. A heterosexual man in the same bathroom with Craig wouldn’t have been bothered by it at all. He wouldn’t know that it was a secret code to signal interest in a sexual encounter.

Swiping your hand under the stall wall, and pushing your shoe against another man’s shoe are odd, but not illegal, either.

It’s almost as if Craig was pressured to plead guilty to a crime to avoid exposure to the news media. Why? Did the officer have a quota to meet, a required number of confessions from gay men caught in a sting in the bathroom each day?

I’m sure Democrats are rejoicing at the downfall of a prominent Republican. They’re not rejoicing too loudly, though.

Most Democrats think there is nothing wrong with homosexual behavior. It bothers them that many voters want to get rid of Craig because of this incident.

What a strange story!