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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Craig’s not just gay, he’s a criminal

By Aaron Zundel

You know your political career is over when the national media plasters your mug shot all over the television.

U.S. Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) seems to know it too, because he announced his resignation Sept. 1.

Embattled by allegations of sexual misconduct — Craig was picked up by police in a Minneapolis Airport bathroom Jun. 11 for soliciting sex — Craig subsequently pled guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct, paid a fine and then conveniently forgot to mention to anyone he’d ever been arrested. Then, on Aug. 8, nearly two months later, national media caught wind of Craig’s guilty plea and broke the story.

He is a conservative republican senator known for his support of “family values” and tough stances on moral issues (including homosexuality). The allegations against the senator put the entire country in a lather — but for all the wrong reasons.

“IS HE GAY?” screamed the headlines. Overnight, a torrent of Craig’s suspicious sexual history flooded forth from multiple news sources. Democrats across the country rubbed their hands together in anticipation of outing another sleazy, hypocritical Republican, while Republicans quickly disowned Craig for his questionable sexuality.

The senator himself can’t seem to get off the subject. “I’m not gay, I don’t do these sorts of things,” he told airport police. “I have never been gay,” he told the media during his resignation.

Why does anyone give a damn?

More and more it seems, the issues surrounding Sen. Craig’s arrest are revolving around questions about his sexual orientation and less around the fact that the man was arrested soliciting sex in a public bathroom, and that’s just idiotic. Who cares whom or what Sen. Craig was actually soliciting sex from — be it a man, a woman, a ferret, or a transsexual circus clown? The fact that the senator was arrested for, and then pled guilty to, suspicious and certainly illegal activity is the issue we should all be discussing.

Is Sen. Craig gay? Probably. (Just admit it, Senator. Like the guys in high school who wore ultra-tight hip-huggers under the guise of “comfort,” you’re not fooling anyone.) But let the man hide in his closet if that’s where he’s comfortable. Being gay is not a crime in this country. Nor is crusading for “family values” even if one is gay themselves (a little hypocritical maybe, but not illegal).

The act of soliciting anonymous sex in a public bathroom, however, regardless of any sexual orientation involved is a base, socially irresponsible, hedonistic activity unbecoming of anyone — least of all a U.S. senator. Such activity belies a man who cannot even control his baser instincts long enough to make connecting flights, let alone put the best interests of his state and office first.

So was it right for Craig to resign? Of course it was. We shouldn’t tolerate leaders who have the self control of the Cookie Monster. But, I have to wonder if the pressure the media put on Craig to resign would have been as intense if his sexuality hadn’t been called into question.

Alas, I fear that as long as politicians stick to having anonymous bathroom trysts with the opposite sex, their office may be safe.

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