FAFO Archives: Taking a wide stance for gay rights

For a little fun, let’s dig into the FAFO Archives to review one of my all-time favorite FAFO moments, the exposure (ahem) of Larry Craig. Craig was a United States senator from Idaho, a conservative Republican and board member of the NRA, who made a name for himself by being a persistent and vocal opponent of LGBT rights.

Craig was caught with his pants down, literally, at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. On June 11, 2007, Craig unwittingly solicited the attention of an undercover police officer in the next stall who was investigating complaints of sexual activity in the restroom.

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.

The officer then held his identification below the partition and pointed toward the restroom door. Craig whimpered “No”, but eventually complied and accompanied the officer to the airport police station. While being interviewed, Craig gave his ID identifying himself as a senator and asked the officer, “What do you think about that?”

Asked to explain his playing footsie with the cop, Craig indicated that he had a “wide stance” because he’s a “fairly wide guy”. Asked why he held his hand under the partition, palm up (evidently a standard thing for a sex solicitor to do), Craig explained that he reached down to pick up a piece of paper. The officer stated in his report that there was no paper and nothing was picked up.

Since Craig was nailed (by the evidence, not by the cop), he pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge, paid a $575 fine, and signed a statement as follows: “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.

This might have been the end of it, but Craig had other prior allegations of soliciting gay sex in a number of locations including an REI store and Washington’s Union Station. His local paper, the Idaho Statesman, was hot on the trail. About these prior allegations, Craig told the Statesman, “I’m not gay, and I don’t cruise, and I don’t hit on men. … I don’t go around anywhere hitting on men, and by God, if I did, I wouldn’t do it in Boise, Idaho! Jiminy!”

While investigating, the Statesman was able to uncover the airport incident, which resulted in Craig deciding to try to withdraw his guilty plea and this cringey statement to the press:

Three days later, Craig announced his intent to resign from the Senate. Three days after that, he changed his mind. He said he would stay in office until the judge ruled on his appeal to withdraw his guilty plea. A few weeks later, the judge ruled that Craig knowingly and intelligently pled guilty and could not withraw it. Despite losing his appeal, Craig decided to not honor his pledge to resign, and announced he would stay in office for the remainder of his term.

Full disclosure: I had used that same restroom at the Minneapolis airport prior to the Craig incident, but only for prosaic reasons, as I am not gay, never have been gay, and have quite a narrow stance. That restroom has since been demolished because it became something of a tourist attraction.

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Great Immunity
Active Member
Great Immunity(@great-immunity)
4 months ago

lol…thanks for the memories JGorn! I remembered the incident well and had a good chuckle about the toe-tapping senator from Idaho. Nothing says creepiness and projection like when a person works against someone else’s liberation such as this guy. Not just the closet cases…but I find that generally any wealthy gay republican seems to have a few loose mental connections. Always trying to justify why they’re better than other gays and running from their own inner insecurities.

Like Dark Angel, I started my profession working for a somewhat conservative company but couldn’t bother hiding my true self. You have to live your own honest life and can’t let other lead you in circles.

LordOfTheFlies
Trusted Member
LordOfTheFlies(@lordoftheflies)
4 months ago

Lol, yes, cringeworthy! And hilarious 😂

“It’s a witch hunt!” doncha know 🙄

And whoever yelled this at him as he walked away is my hero:
“What if you were gay? Come on Larry, be gay!”

cath
Noble Member
cath(@cath)
4 months ago

Thanks JG, that bit of US history informs me on a couple of jokey references I’ve not understood before. Perhaps I should always investigate, and not just pass, lol!

That last sentence, well I think “guffaw loudly” describes it, struck me as very funny.

I suppose it’s mostly religion that makes sex a minefield, though I can see the sense in god telling man not to bonk his donkeys. If I remember correctly.

Dark Angel
Famed Member
Dark Angel(@dark-angel)
4 months ago

A sure fire recipe for nutty behaviour is being LGBTQ2S and staying in the closet. I came out early and in a profession that was a bit snooty, shall we say. I was just like, I’m here to lead my life, not have others lead mine. You can’t really lead your true life until you are authentic and honest with yourself. I visited a school mate once at his Christian Evangelical Seminary. I was a very attractive young chap at the time. My dog was that place ever crawling with closet cases… “Be real or go home”, that’s my motto. Thanks Gorn!

Last edited 4 months ago by Dark Angel
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