I don't care if Larry Craig did it.

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    Sep 26, 2007 10:54 PM GMT
    But is playing footsies in a public place really criminal misdemeanor. What if i were to say hi and bumb into a guy i liked on purpose. Am i to be arrested for misdemeanor? Or say I bent over to tie my shoe and a guy happened to be behind me. Am I going to be arrested for tiing my shoe in a sexually suggestive way? I didn't know who this guy was before the footsies in the bathroom thing and i simply don't agree with many of his views but even if he was hoping for some action by playing footsies in a bathroom stall he is rich enough to get himself a hotel room. How is something so ambiguous a crime?
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    Sep 26, 2007 11:46 PM GMT
    It isn't whether or not SEN Craig played footsie or tried to play footsie with a undercover cop. By the way he did plead guilty! The fact is that SEN Larry Craig has made a career of thundering against deviant behaviour as he calls it his entire political career. Trumpeting against those who would rend the fabric of the American family blah, blah, blah. It's the sanctimonious hypocritical slant to this whole thing that has the nation pissed off. The Republicans have been shoving this stuff down our throats for the last 13 years and now it's coming up to bite them in the ass. They are the party of God, they keep the devil at bay, vote for a Democrat and you'll go straight to hell!!! All the while they are just as evil and just as venal as they potray the other party, only they are more so because they took on the cloak of religion and thought that that cloak would cover there sins. They sowed the wind they are now reaping the whirlwind!!!
    An it fair beautiful ta seeicon_biggrin.gificon_lol.gif
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    Sep 26, 2007 11:53 PM GMT
    Oh i do believe he deserves every hit he gets but that was not what i am trying to say. HOw is it a crime in the first place to play footsies or to flirt in general. He pleaded misdemeanor. And I am sure he may have indeed played footsies and wanted some man on man action but how is what he did a crime in the first place? I don't get it. I've looked at a guys cock unintentionally while using the urinal at the bus terminal. It was big. Anyway i think that would be more of a crime because it was an invasion of someone elses privacy. Luckily he was gay so it wasn't a big deal but is besides the point.
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    Sep 27, 2007 12:28 AM GMT
    It shouldn't be a crime. The function of the signal in part is to weed out the disinterested without making an explicit sexual overture. It the cop had not responded, Craig almost certainly would have dropped things.

    But, as NYnative says, the schadenfreude is delicious.

    I just heard on the radio that Craig plans to maintain his Senate seat, at least until there is a ruling in his effort to change his guilty plea.
  • Starboard

    Posts: 242

    Sep 27, 2007 1:50 AM GMT
    At this point it doesn't matter if he's innocent -- he entered a guilty plea.

    I do care if he's guilty...and may care even more if he's not....

    Even if he is innocent (i.e., the eye contact was inadvertent, the wide stance was an accident, the hand gestures were misconstrued....) it sets a horrible example when a legislator is so untrusting of our judicial system that he would rather lie to the court and enter a guilty plea without seeking an attorney and even defending himself against an unjust charge. If a senator has no faith in our judicial system, why should we?


    You don't have to be caught in the act to be guilty -- haven't you ever watched those @ssholes on To Catch A Predator?
  • Hunter9

    Posts: 1039

    Sep 27, 2007 1:55 AM GMT
    I don't think anybody truly cares about the criminal aspect, but our representatives in gov't are elected when their ideals match the ideals of 50 or more percent of the population. However, when this representative acts against his own stated ideals, his true hypocrisy is exposed... and nobody likes a hypocrite.
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    Sep 27, 2007 2:47 AM GMT
    A89 wroye: "...HOw is it a crime in the first place to play footsies or to flirt in general. He pleaded misdemeanor. And I am sure he may have indeed played footsies and wanted some man on man action but how is what he did a crime in the first place? I don't get it...."

    The point is that it is only a crime because bigoted, sanctimonious, hypocrits like him make it a crime. Now one of them has been hoisted on his own petard.

    Pardon my french, but...

    "Tant Pis"
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    Sep 27, 2007 3:17 AM GMT
    On another thread on the same topic a month or so ago I said basically the same thing as NYnative, but not so well. After a month, I feel more like Alexander89. Craig pleaded guilty because he knew exactly why he was there and thought a quick plea would keep him out of the papers.
    But the facts remain that what he did was in itself non-incriminating. He did not have sex, or expose himself, in a public place or do anything else that MIGHT truly be criminal.
    He's a hypocrite and a fraud and malicius toward gay people, so I have no sympathy for him. I do have sympathy for anyone else who is entrapped, especially if there was no intent to do anything.


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    Sep 27, 2007 3:31 AM GMT
    The senator knew what he wanted and how to do it. The cop knew what to look for (since they were investigating complaints of bathroom sex in the airport) and responded to the senators attempts. Thus, the senator was busted. But no, tapping your shoe against someone else's is not illegal. Soliciting sex (which the senator was doing) is.
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    Sep 27, 2007 3:35 AM GMT
    There's no denying that watching the chickens come home to roost on Craig is a great bit of turnabout, and I certainly don't want him in the Senate, but it wouldn't bode well for any of us if they actually use these particular charges to prosecute him in any way. There isn't much of a leap of thought between what happened there and simply making eyes or even having an honest moment of flirtation that is leading only to a date later. If straight law enforcers are given this much breadth then we are all in troulbe.

    Craig's political career is over and that is gift enough. Now let's hope the good judges in Minnesota do their part not to prosecute on this specious behavior.
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    Sep 27, 2007 4:34 AM GMT
    Alexander,

    When I originally made the topic on this subject, I was delighted to see the man go down. I'm still delighted that his political career is in the toilet--or perhaps the stall. As OW said, the schadenfreude is delicious.

    But the more I've read about it, and the more I think about the subject generally, the more I agree with you. I have no doubt that he was attempting to solicit sex, but I simply can't understand why that should be a crime--especially considering that he, like most cruisers, was doing it in a way that was not intrusive. If the cop had not signaled back in some way, Craig would not have continued his advances.

    The whole notion of arresting someone for this type of activity just stinks. If he had been fucking someone in a bathroom stall, then I can be okay with that being illegal. But not cruising.
  • Starboard

    Posts: 242

    Sep 27, 2007 5:14 AM GMT
    I am no expert in Minneapolis-airport-men's room-law, but from my "tv-documentary-based observations" of sting operations, the arrest usually occurs before the crime actually takes place. In many cases it seems that all the police gotta do is prove intent to commmit a crime.

    Now, bathroom cruising may not be a crime to some people.
    But the senator plead guilty to a misdemeanor of disturbing the peace -- if I was taking a crap in a public restroom and some guy "innocently" rubbed his shoe against mine because of his "wide stance", that would certainly disturb my peace. And come on, "wide stance"?...Craig must have been practicing advanced yoga stances if he was able to get his shoe underneath the stall wall that far.

    And in response to some of the other postings that seemed to imply that these charges could lead to some kind of slippery slope towards outlawing "innocent bathroom flirting", come on! If you are cruising a bathroom, you are not looking for a romantic date...an innocently movtivated first introduction with a guy is not usally done from an adjoining public restroom stall.
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    Sep 27, 2007 5:20 AM GMT
    I tend to agree with Alexander89, Damarco4u, and Chewey_Delt.

    Craig has become the victim of his own hypocrisy, but the whole ordeal has exposed just how ambiguous sexual solicitation can be. Really... when we get to the point that hand signals are enough to proceed with a conviction, then I start to worry!!

    I think Alex had a good point in his first post when he asked what are people going to be arrested for next? The limits are being pushed further and further.
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    Sep 27, 2007 5:24 AM GMT
    Starboard:

    I don't think the question is whether or not he plead guilty. Clearly, he did, and pointing that out is little more than avoiding the crux of the problem. The question is whether or not this should be a crime in the first place.

    Cruisers don't continue with their advances unless the person reciprocates. Having your foot bumped by another person, regardless of their intent, should not be a crime as it is certainly not disturbing the peace. If you are not cruising and someone bumps your foot it's likely that you're going to move your foot away. A cruiser is likely going to end his advances after that, since he knows the person is not reciprocating the signals.

    If a person wants to cruise in a bathroom, and they're not just hanging out waving their cock around, should that really be considered criminal behavior? Does it matter that he wasn't looking for a romantic date and just wanted a fuck? I certainly don't think it does. While the slippery slope is a logical fallacy, in this case there's plenty of reason to think that it could bear out. I'm sure it wouldn't be the first time.
  • Starboard

    Posts: 242

    Sep 27, 2007 5:46 AM GMT
    Well, I guess I am in the minority here. Guilty plea aside, I cannot defend someone who was clearly making inappropriate contact in a public restroom:

    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 moved 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

    Craig was not charged with having public sex or committing a lewd act. He was charged with disturbing the peace which I agree is a lame description for what actually occurred. But I do think that there needs to be some legal deterrent for people who engage in inappropriate public sex -- or try to (how far would the cop have had to go in order to add more credibility to the charge?).

    After reading the investigator's report above, do you really think that Craig was not out for some bathroom action? Should there not be laws to deter people from using a public restroom for sexual activity?
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    Sep 27, 2007 5:55 AM GMT
    Starboard:

    Again, I have absolutely no doubt that Craig was out looking for sex. But, quite frankly, unless Craig was actually fucking someone in the bathroom should he have been arrested?

    I will repeat: a cruiser does not continue cruising unless there is some form of reciprocation. The cop knew what was going on and he had to have reciprocated in some way, or else Craig would not have continued.

    If a person is actually having sex in public, I can agree that they should be arrested if caught. But just looking to get laid should not be a crime. There's no evidence that Craig would have actually had sex in that bathroom. It's just as possible that he would have gone to a nearby motel. Barring actual public sex, waving your dick around to anyone coming in, or groping someone, I don't see why this kind of action should be a crime. This case is little more than evidence of continued entrapment techniques.
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    Sep 27, 2007 6:23 AM GMT
    I agree with Starboard... we all know he was trying to get his swerve on because he probably figured he could in fact get some action, if not at least get the thrill of attempting to get some action.

    I'd ask the other folks to take it into the Minneapolis cops perspective... if you get notice that people are cruising in your restrooms, are you just supposed to put cameras in and look for people actually having sex? Do you put up a sign that says "please don't have sex in this stall?" OR do you attempt to curb the behavior by prosecuting those who actually are in fact trying to take an active role in engaging in these acts?

    Personally, I travel quite a bit and was in the Minneapolis airport a lot a few years back. I've been to that bathroom (which is right in the middle of the main airport lobby - a huge kinda shopping mall-esque place) and was at one point "cruised" by some dude who tried looking in my stall. I got the hell out of there as soon as I was finished, but it made me uncomfortable with ever going into that restroom again (Thank the Lord for private worldclubs)...
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    Sep 27, 2007 6:26 AM GMT
    How about option 3: place a cop in there, like you were clearly doing anyway, and arrest someone when they're actually having sex, doing something that should actually be a crime.

    No offense, but your discomfort should not be reason enough to arrest someone.
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    Sep 27, 2007 6:48 AM GMT
    Personally I think there are better ways of spending police money and time than having officers cruise the restrooms. Video cameras wouldn't be a bad idea, nad then you really could bust them in the act, and not just contemplating it. Plust you could post signs that the restrooms were monitored by video and that alone would probably be a deterant.
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    Sep 27, 2007 8:44 AM GMT
    For some that would also be a deterrant to peeing and pooping. Still for others, it'd be inspiration.
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    Sep 27, 2007 1:51 PM GMT
    Just some thoughts to add to what Chewey_Delt has articulated quite well.

    First, let's look at something more severe but in the same area of sexual deviance, prostitution. The rules and laws for prostitution and the solicitation of prostitutes have some clear guidelines. An officer cannot dress provocatively to frame someone. A prostitute or a john must mention the act of sex and the exchange of money for it before they can be arrested.

    So if prostituion charges rely on a clear dialogue then why would public lewdness not even committed be decided on body language or signals? Granted, the police got their body language right here, but what's to say they will in the future?

    Moreover, if--as CD points out--there is no public nudity or sexual act then there is no crime. This whole arrest and the concept behind it is like the Tom Cruise movie Minority Report wherein people are arrested for planning a crime in their head. The whole film is about the argument of creating a safer world through crime prevention, but until a crime is committed then how can one be arrested for his thoughts or intentions? You can't arrest someone for standing in front of a jewelry store with a brick in his hand. And even acts of terrorism require more concrete evidence (if you don't get into the muddy waters of the Patriot Act or this administration's actions).

    Sadly, for the people who want to prevent this sort of thing, their only legal recourse is to have an officer or guard trained to read these signs and then have them to simply tell such deviants to move along. Even if a guy literally asks for sex in the bathroom, no act was committed.

  • Starboard

    Posts: 242

    Sep 27, 2007 2:05 PM GMT
    I think that placing video cameras in public restroom stalls (the cameras would have to actually be in the stalls in order to confirm the act), and waiting for people to actually have sex in the bathroom before you can arrest them allows the situation to escalate beyond what most people (who don't use the bathroom for cruising purposes) would tolerate.

    Cameras in public venues are all ready condemned for invading privacy rights -- can you imagine the public outcry if they were placed in bathroom stalls that are often used by children -- I don't think that cameras are a viable option.

    And it's not about my personal discomfort...I think that society has a legitimate interest in preventing certain activities from occurring or even being anonymously solicited from between bathroom stalls that are used by adults and children alike.


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    Sep 27, 2007 3:19 PM GMT
    Perhaps I'm crazy, but doesn't "cruising" involve consensual adults? So long as people aren't fucking out in the open, why is it anyone else's concern? You have to wonder about who raises these "issues" and decides that this is the best way to spend tax payer dollars.

    Craig messed up by admitting to a crime with a fallacious premise. If a man can be arrested for tapping his foot, can a man be arrested for "potential rape" if he accidentally bumps into another one? Sorry, but if it can't be clearly defined then it shouldn't be law nor should officers waste their time trying to enforce it.

    Seems like this country is taking a swift trip back to the past with all this puritanical sex panic. Sorry, but the really outrageous thing is that we aren't discussing the more important issues of the day (of which, the war in Iraq would be one).
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    Sep 27, 2007 3:34 PM GMT
    If you have to put a camera inside the stall to catch someone, don't you have to ask how public the act really is, anyway?

    Personally, I couldn't care less if men wanna play in a restroom stall. I think I mentioned earlier that I did a paper on sex in public spaces a few years back for the UNC gay and lesbian studies conference.

    I found a training film from the '50s teaching police departments how to install cameras in bathrooms to catch men having sex. In every single case, the men stopped what they were doing when someone came in the bathroom and the great majority went in a stall anyway. The only thing that made the sex public was the presence of the camera. In this particular sting, they caught over 50 men - all of them married.

    I think the behavior can rightly be called rude -- like sex in a sauna or steam room -- but making it a crime just seems silly to me.

    I know the usual cry: what about the children? Well, there's not a single case on record at any major city police department in America of a complaint about restroom sex because of a child's interruption of it. At least there wasn't at the time I wrote that paper.
  • shyguysport

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    Oct 15, 2007 11:36 PM GMT
    I think a lot of you guys are missing the point. He was lurking in a public restroom at a very public place - an airport. If you have a teenage or pre-teenage boy, would you feel comfortable sending him to pee when two guys are going at it in a stall? I think not. The only reason the cops were conducting a sting there is that the place was well-known and people had complained. I agree with many of the statements about entrapement. But, I feel that when a place is infamous for this type of thing, the "players" take on an added risk - they know they might be extra eyes on them. At least they should know that. That is sort of the point - stupidity trumps all.

    Also, if the good senator wasn't burried so far in the closet, he could cruise a bath house or gay bar and not have to worry about such things. Sort of a double-edged sword.