A reader is aghast at my failing to make this point:
I'm bascially a libertarian. I try to keep everyone honest. When Larry Craig was snared, I was neither happy nor sad. But I snickered at first because, hey, toilet seat flirtations are just funny. But as the case became clear, I got a chill--
What if the actions of Larry Craig weren't the actions of a married, repressed, homosexual politician? What if Barney Frank did them? And had no wife to "hypocritically" keep it a secret from? What if Barney Frank went into a public restroom and showed a ring to the man next to him in a stall, as an ambiguous signal? What if Barney Frank spread his legs wide enough to touch the other man's foot? But Barney Frank never verbally said that he wanted homosexual sex? And certainly never said he wanted the sex in public?
Craig's only crime is that he hinted at a desire for sex with another man, which, if given the opportunity, he may even have asked for at a hotel across the street. To prosecute him is to threaten the same for a straight man stopping to ask a prostitute for directions with a smile. A smile, the cretin! He saw how high her skirt was! He KNEW what he was getting into!
When I read the facts of the case, I figured Larry Craig was eventually going to win a HUGE settlement. The government has overreacted by endorsing sting operations that tag gay men as guilty before they even vocalize an intent to commit an actual crime.
Yes, he’s a 'product of his age.' I wonder, though, where many of us over the age of 50 would be if we had not experienced/taken advantage of/benefited and advanced from the Stonewall awakening and the seventies. Obviously, Sen. Craig was not able to find sufficient strength to overcome his inner struggle(s). But to see him simply/merely as a hypocrite is not good enough.
How tortured must he have been extremely panicked, not simply embarrassed by his Minneapolis arrest? His exposure on so many levels. How many of us have been forced to face the same struggle (and its potential consequences) in similar circumstances?
There’s a story behind the senator’s story that needs to be told, understood and appreciated. There but for our fortunate place in history and a good amount of inner strength go so many of us.
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