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The Gay History Series

Lesson #5: Twinkle-Toes (2007)

What we all need to understand is that homosexuality is a form of mental illness, a compulsion that in some people cannot be restrained. One of the best examples of this is Senator Larry “Twinkle-Toes” Craig, a Republican Senator from Idaho who threw away everything he had on the chance of obtaining a brief deviate sexual act in a public toilet—a deviate act which he didn’t even get.

On June 11, 2007, Senator Larry Craig was arrested in a men's restroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on a charge of lewd conduct, specifically soliciting a deviate sexual act from an undercover police officer. Craig later entered a guilty plea to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct on August 8, apparently in the mistaken belief that the incident could be kept completely quiet, which it might have been had he been a Democrat. But since he was a Republican, the media hunted him down without mercy.

At first Craig crumpled, and on September 1, 2007, he announced his intention to resign from the Senate at a news conference, which was to become effective on September 30. At some point after that Craig seems to have to have fully understood that he was done, his power and influence would be gone forever, and unless he could somehow walk all this back, he was marked for life as a faggot. Craig frantically tried to backpedal. He tried and failed to withdraw his original guilty plea, something which, again, he might have been able to pull off had he been a liberal Democrat. On October 4, Craig released a statement rescinding his resignation and more or less shrieking out loud that he was not a fag, claiming the undercover officer had “misconstrued” the whole thing.

According to the police report, on June 11 the police officer sat in a bathroom stall as part of an undercover operation investigating complaints of “sexual activity in the restroom,” i.e. the local homos were using the place as a kind of bathhouse or blowpad. One wonders why, since to do so was no longer necessary. The fact is that despite the fact that homosexuality between consenting adults is now completely legal, many of them still get wallowing-in-filth kind of thrill out of performing deviations in a toilet and in public. Again, folks, you have to realize, this is a form of mental illness.

After about 13 minutes of sitting in the stall, the police officer observed Craig lingering outside and frequently peeking through the crack of the door on the stall. Craig then entered the stall to the left of the officer's stall. The police officer made the following observations, which he recorded in his report of the incident, as to what happened next: “At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot. ... The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area. Craig then proceeded to swipe his left hand under the stall divider several times, with the palm of his hand facing upward.” (This is the conduct that the cop allegedly “misconstrued.”)

According to the incident report and criminal complaint filed in court, the officer showed Craig his police identification beneath the partition separating their stalls, and the officer then pointed his finger towards the restroom exit. Craig initially said no, but he ultimately complied with the officer's request to leave the restroom. After Craig and the officer left the restroom, Craig was reluctant to go with the officer (as well he might have been) and demanded the officer show his police identification a second time. Once the officer complied with the request, Craig, the arresting officer, and a police detective, who was stationed outside of the restroom, went to the airport police station.

(That rumbling sound was Larry Craig’s whole world crashing down around his ears. Did he even stop to think whether it made any sense for him to throw it all away for nothing?)

Craig pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct by signing and mailing a plea petition, dated August 1, 2007, to the Hennepin County District Court in Minnesota. He paid $575, including fines and fees. Senator Craig signed the petition to enter his guilty plea, which contained the provisions, "I understand that the court will not accept a plea of guilty from anyone who claims to be innocent... I now make no claim that I am innocent of the charge to which I am entering a plea of guilty." Craig mailed his signed petition to the court, and his petition to plead guilty to the misdemeanor charge was accepted and filed by the court on August 8, 2007.

On August 27, 2007, Roll Call broke the story to reveal details about Craig's arrest at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport and his subsequent guilty plea in that case. After the conviction came to light, the Idaho Statesman published a story on August 28, 2007, about three allegations involving Craig's sexual conduct. A college student, who was considering pledging at Craig's fraternity at the University of Idaho in 1967, told a reporter for the Idaho Statesman that Craig led the student to his bedroom and, "made what the man said he took to be an invitation to sex." In the second reported incident, a man, who identified himself as gay, told a reporter that Craig cruised him at the REI store in Boise in November 1994, following him around the store for half an hour. The last reported incident to the Idaho Statesman about Craig's conduct came from a 40-year-old man with close ties to Republican officials. According to the man's story about the encounter with Craig, the man "reported having oral sex with Craig at Washington 's Union Station, probably in 2004.

Craig’s reaction to all this was to deny he was a homo and claim that the cop had entrapped him, then attempt to withdraw his guilty plea. As part of Craig’s appeal of this ruling, the ACLU filed a brief that cited a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling from 38 years earlier finding that those engaging in sexual encounters in closed stalls in otherwise public restrooms have a reasonable expectation of privacy, a finding that the ACLU argued would contradict the state's claim that Craig was inviting the undercover officer to have sex in public. With friends like these, Craig hardly needed enemies.

After Judge Porter's ruling, Craig announced that despite his pledge to the contrary, he would serve out his Senate term. He stated that he intended to "continue my effort to clear my name in the Senate Ethics Committee — something that is not possible if I am not serving in the Senate." Craig did not seek reelection in 2008 and left office on January 3, 2009. He has since disappeared from public view, and rather than “clearing his name,” he is now generally accepted to be a faggot who got caught looking to suck dick in a public rest room.

One has to wonder at the self-destructive nature of what Craig did. Surely, in Washington D.C. there were plenty of discreet and luxurious hotel rooms and plenty of male prostitutes or other faggots willing to satisfy his perverted lust? So why a public rest room in a busy airport? Was it the very risk of exposure that gave Craig a sick thrill, like some kind of gambling fever? Or did he secretly want to get caught, as homos so often do, so they can throw their perversion into the whole world’s face, which seems to be another part of the pathology?

The stall at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport bathroom in which the incident occurred has gained notoriety and has now become something of a tourist attraction, being pointed out to people in transit through the airport.