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03 September 2007

The Lesson of the Larry Craig Incident - Updated

Update: Andrew Sullivan has his say (see below).

The lesson of the Larry Craig incident is most certainly not that unless we pass gay rights laws and legalize gay marriage homosexual men will be forced to engage in these kinds of anonymous, clandestine sexual encounters. Remember the David Vitter case? Try this on for size: as long as heterosexuals do not have equal rights, and heterosexual marriage remains illegal, straight men like David Vitter will be forced to hire prostitutes or engage in one night stands to satisfy their urges.

Many men seem to prefer multiple, anonymous sexual encounters. Or perhaps most men prefer this - but due to their sense of morality, or responsibility, or innate shyness, or fear of disease, or fear of wrecking an existing monagamous relationship, they do not act on it. My guess is that this applies to both homosexuals and heterosexuals. Homosexuals have the additional temptation that this anonymous sex can often (usually?) be had with no monetary charge - for example, in a public bathroom stall.

Larry Craig seems to have enjoyed his family life, or at least the image of his family life - faithful, supportive wife, beaming chidren of his seed. He could not have occupied such a world in a homosexual relationship - even in a legal marriage. Andrew Sullivan, for example, may well be perfectly satisfied in his monagamous relationship. But if he weren't, he'd have to cruise around for sex in shadowy encounters, lest his partner find out about it, or such activity sully his reputation (and that of the gay-rights cause).

So draw your own lessons from this sordid affair, but to think that legalizing gay relationships will eliminate such behavior is just silly.

Update:
Andrew Sullivan is back from vacation and naturally has some interesting commments. But he makes the very mistake I would have predicted:
That's why women and social norms are the main historic constraints on male sexuality. And why, with gay men or straight men who don't care who's blowing them, the social norms, like civil marriage, are even more important. But the Christianist right wants no social acceptance of gay relationships and no random sex either.
As pointed out here in the comments, Sully himself has exhibited some untoward behavior despite being already openly gay. How will being legally "married" make any difference? Who's going to care if a homosexual is faithful to his partner or not? Oh yeah, just imagine it: "John was a pillar of the community, beloved for his lifelong devotion to the community and to his partner of 25 years, Bill. But then John was accused of soliciting sex in a rest stop on Route 80 and it all came crashing down..." Sorry, I don't buy the "social norms as constraint" argument here.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

An openly gay candidate would never have been elected in Idaho, and if Craig had ran as one, he'd have been toast.

Im glad he's out of the Senate, as its fairly obvious by "The Statesman" investigation of the guy that he has been up to this for years, going back to the early eighties. A man like that can be blackmailed, and I dont want anyone with national security information to be liable to that.

September 04, 2007 3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn't Andrew Sullivan outed for soliciting for anonymous sex in internet chatrooms while at the same time championing gay monogamy in his columns?

Please correct me if I'm thinking of someone else.

September 05, 2007 1:14 AM  
Anonymous Joe Populist said...

Yes, Andrew Sullivan got in trouble for his promiscuity...namely haunting chat rooms for "bareback sex"...so his so-called "relationship" seemed to have been an "open marriage". For this he got caught by his nemisis,
Michelangelo Signorile, whose had a reputation for 'Outing' hypocritical celebrities. This goes back a few years, and I suppose Andrew Sullivan is a little more "discreet" about his extra-marital affairs. But's it's a blot on the gay marriage movement that practically every celebrity or politican that champions gay marriage---from SF mayor Gavin Newsome to Andrew Sullivan--has been "Outed" for their lack of fidelity to marriage. It seems the people who most support GAY marriage tend to be people who don't support marriage in the first place. Another example of liberal hypocrisy I guess.

September 05, 2007 9:47 AM  
Blogger Steve Sailer said...

And look at how Andrew's career has suffered since his AOL bareback personal ads were outed in 2000 -- since then he's had to go write for marginal outlets like Time Magazine and the Atlantic Monthly.

September 05, 2007 11:50 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

Craig could probably make a small post-retirement fortune for himself parlaying this incident into a mea-culpa tour apologizing for his hypocrisy and castigating the 'politics of intolerance' that 'divides us' and calls for policies to 'unite us' blah blah blah. God I hope not - that would be too painful. Hopefully he is a man of principle, however personally flawed.

September 06, 2007 8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sullivan is a fucking loon. He can't make up his mind about naything, just read his columns.

September 06, 2007 9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you actually "bump" another guy's foot in a bathroom stall anyway?

If your pants are up (while sitting down), your legs and feet movement are not restricted. Kind of like sitting on a chair at a desk.

If your pants are down (while sitting on the toilet), your legs and feet movement are restricted by your pants and underwear. Simply put.. "you'd have to go out of your way to 'bump'".

There's an SNL skit in here somewhere.

September 06, 2007 3:42 PM  
Blogger Glaivester said...

Quick thing - I don't think Senator Craig has any biological children. I thought they were all stepchildren.

September 10, 2007 8:14 AM  
Anonymous Harlem said...

Not to get too technical, but to address an "anonymous" comment about how it could occur, maybe one or both participants had "big feet" and we know that would be inviting to a homosexual seeking an encounter, given the myths.
Harlem

September 14, 2007 6:32 PM  
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