28 August 2007

Sometimes it’s too easy…

I could go on about this, but let’s try to do it in an efficient manner.

Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) pleaded guilty earlier this month to charges arising out of his arrest at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. The official charges were “misdemeanor disorderly conduct” The circumstances, according to the Washington Post, are as follows:

Craig was arrested June 11 in an undercover sting operation organized by Minneapolis-St. Paul airport police who had received complaints of sexual encounters by men in a particular restroom at the airport. The undercover officer was in a restroom stall around noon that day, and a few minutes later Craig entered and sat in the stall next to him. Craig began tapping his right foot, touched his right foot to the left foot of the officer and brushed his hand beneath the partition between them. He was then arrested.

This isn’t the first time Senator Craig has been associated with questionable sexual practices. According to CNN, “In 1982, Craig denied rumors that he was under investigation as part of a federal probe into allegations that lawmakers on Capitol Hill had sexual relationships with congressional pages, saying the ‘false allegations’ made him ‘mad as hell.’” Further rumors of homosexual activity have followed Senator Craig, including reports in the Idaho Statesman alleging, “Craig had engaged in similar restroom sexual encounters with other men. The paper said its most serious finding was the report by an unidentified "professional man with close ties to Republican officials," who claimed to have had oral sex with Craig at Washington's Union Station, probably in 2004.”

The interesting point here isn’t the apparently conflicted sexual orientation of Senator Craig; rather, it’s the hypocrisy inherent in this situation. Again citing CNN,

In recent years, Craig's voting record has earned him top ratings from social conservative groups such as the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council.

He has supported a federal constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, telling his colleagues that it was "important for us to stand up now and protect traditional marriage, which is under attack by a few unelected judges and litigious activists."

In 1996, Craig also voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies federal recognition to same-sex marriages and prevents states from being forced to recognize the marriages of gay and lesbian couples legally performed in other states.

Craig has also opposed expanding the federal hate crimes law to cover offenses motivated by anti-gay bias and, in 1996, voted against a bill that would have outlawed employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, which failed by a single vote in the Senate.

Why is this so common? Why do so many of the most stridently anti-gay public figures wind up in compromising situations? Perhaps that’s the wrong way to ask the question – perhaps it’s better to ask, why do so many internally conflicted, repressed homosexuals get married and have kids and then campaign for “traditional family values”? Wouldn’t they be better off if they were able to accept their sexual orientation from the beginning, rather than consider it “sinful” or “evil”? Then they wouldn’t have to hook up with random guys in public restrooms, or campaign loudly for anti-gay legislation in order to prove their homosexual bona fides.

See my previous post about “marriage for the religious, civil unions for all” (as my friend Keith has put it in his blog). Isn’t it finally time to let folks out of the closet and into the light, where everyone can flourish according to his or her own sexuality?

As for Senator Craig and others, they should try reading a little Jung, so they might realize that the more one represses one’s shadow, the more it finds its way out in insidious ways.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

An little empirical support for Jung's theories...

Accession Number Peer Reviewed Journal: 1996-00463-014.

Title Is homophobia associated with homosexual arousal? [References].

Year of Publication 1996

Author Adams, Henry E; Wright, Lester W; Lohr, Bethany A.

Source Journal of Abnormal Psychology. Vol 105(3) Aug 1996, 440-445.

Abstract The authors investigated the role of homosexual arousal in exclusively heterosexual men who admitted negative affect toward homosexual individuals. Participants consisted of a group of homophobic men (n=35 ) and a group of nonhomophobic men (n=29); they were assigned to groups on the basis of their scores on the Index of Homophobia (W. W. Hudson & W. A. Ricketts, 1980). The men were exposed to sexually explicit erotic stimuli consisting of heterosexual, male homosexual, and lesbian videotapes, and changes in penile circumference were monitored. They also completed an Aggression Questionnaire (A. H. Buss & M. Perry, 1992). Both groups exhibited increases in penile circumference to the heterosexual and female homosexual videos. Only the homophobic men showed an increase in penile erection to male homosexual stimuli. The groups did not differ in aggression. Homophobia is apparently associated with homosexual arousal that the homophobic individual is either unaware of or denies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)