More Larry Craig

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The irony award in all of this goes to the Idaho Values Alliance, for this page, which contains an item praising Larry Craig for his vote on a abortion bill then, just below, includes a "Bonus Byte" warning about homosexual men looking for trysts in airport bathrooms. The site warns that the gays even advertise their cravings on, wait for it, Craigslist.

The group is now calling for Craig's resignation. So is Hugh Hewitt, though he himself admits he made no such call for Sen. David Vitter. Guess there's some sort moral distinction between cheating on your wife via anonymous gay sex and cheating on your wife by paying for hetero sex with a prostitute.

Finally, any sympathy I might have felt for Craig evaporated when I read in the police report that he played the ol' "do you know who I am" game, by giving the cop his U.S. senator business card and asking, "What do you think of that?"

NEXT: Mutant Whiskey Anyone? Or Yet Another Reason Why You Shouldn't Worry About Biotech Crops.

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  1. Didn’t we just talk about sitting Congresspeople having immunity from being detained while performing the duties of a Congressperson?

    Puts new/old meaning to the term “congress”, doesn’t it?

    CB

  2. I really don’t think police fear washington politicians. The guy is obviously a moron.

  3. Big time busted….. I love it !!!

  4. I can still feel sorry for him. It must be hell to live in a closet like that. Think of how terrified he must have been when he knew he was going to be arrested.

    The Closet is evil. It – not being gay, being in the closet – destroys lives, destroys families, destroys good people. The Closet, as an institution, needs to be torn down, and gay people accepted as full members of society.

  5. …includes a “Bonus Byte” warning about homosexual men looking for trysts in airport bathrooms.

    Bonus Byte. LOL!

  6. Do I know who you are? Sure, you’re my ticket to Letterman–woo hoo!

  7. The Closet, as an institution, needs to be torn down, and gay people accepted as full members of society.

    How do you propose this “closet” is destroyed?

    I agree, his attempt to use his position in an effort to get out of being outted was likely a reaction of desperation.

    He should go to that same rehab place that Ted Haggard went to, where he was cured after all of what, 3 days?

  8. joe,

    We all have our personal struggles. Some of us choose not to make it everyone else’s hell like these homo bashing homos do. No sympathy, no remorse for the guy. May he die forgotten and ignobly.

  9. The Closet, as an institution, needs to be torn down, and gay people accepted as full members of society.

    I agree…and what’s even worse is someone like Craig who has the power to advocate against the closet standing in front of people and, instead, legislating for it…or maybe he doesn’t really think he’s gay…or in a closet.

  10. Senator Craig is holding out hope that this matter can be resolved with a series of blowjobs.

    Here’s a topic: If embryonic stem cell research discovered a “cure” for homosexuality, what then would the Idaho Values Alliance support? Discuss.

  11. Poor guy… and to think that mayor from Spokane was nearby all that time and they could have hooked up.

  12. I can still feel sorry for him. It must be hell to live in a closet like that. Think of how terrified he must have been when he knew he was going to be arrested.

    So he shouldn’t have used his legal authority as a member of Congress to pass legislation encouraging folks to stay in said closet. I agree with the previous posters who have noo sympathy at all for the bastard. It’s like feeing sorry for an arch-segregationist who kept hidden the fact that he had a black grandparent.

  13. Craigslist! Sometimes the jokes really do write themselves.

    Good find, Radley.

  14. Reinmoose,

    How do you propose this “closet” is destroyed?

    Through the public acceptance of gay people, treating them and their families and lives as equal to those of straight people, and denouncing homophobia, homophobes, and the political stunts they pull.

  15. If you go to Hugh Hewitt’s site, you find out that Hugh thinks Larry has to go because we can’t afford having a senator who solicits sex in a men’s room “in a time of war.” I guess once the shooting stops, we can party.

  16. joe,

    The Closet, as an institution, needs to be torn down, and gay people accepted as full members of society.

    I think that this is a generational matter, not a closet matter. For older folks like Sen. Craig living openly as himself was not really an option when he came of age. That’s not the case anymore.

    Most people below the age of forty don’t give a rat’s ass who you want to sleep with (as long he/she is an adult and consents). That figure prolly goes up to 70% or more for people below the age of thirty. The need for the closet is dying.

  17. Jennifer, gaijin, L.I.T.,

    Have a little sympathy. He’s a wounded, damaged person – you’d have to be to live like that. Of course he did hypocritical and reprehensible things. To him, it was a matter of survival.

    Poor, deluded bastard, he probably thought his political activity was a way of protecting people from falling into the same trap.

    I’m not defending what he’s done, but try to put yourself in the other guy’s shoes for once.

  18. How do you propose this “closet” is destroyed?

    Through the public acceptance of gay people, treating them and their families and lives as equal to those of straight people, and denouncing homophobia, homophobes, and the political stunts they pull.

    Ok. Sounds good.
    I didn’t think anyone here thought there was a silver bullet solution for this, but I just wanted to check.

  19. I think that there should be a NATION-WIDE intervension into this…having sex in the bathroom thing.

    We should have undercovers in every public bathroom. Just to show the world how many Bathroom homos there are out there.

    We should put it on TV….Like that Catch a Preditor show they have. Yea…we can setup a fake public bathroom with cameras in it.

    I’d luv 2 c who we’d catch.

  20. Yes, de stijle, we’re winning.

    But that staffer who got outed just before the elections last year – what was he, 32?

    Like polygamy, the closet is alive and well in certain communities.

  21. Reinmoose,

    BTW, that’s why the “purely symbolic” matter of calling gay people’s marriages by the correct name matters.

  22. Gimme Back My Dog,

    Maybe he isn’t gay. Like this guy

    Or this guy.

  23. Poor, deluded bastard, he probably thought his political activity was a way of protecting people from falling into the same trap.

    Or it was a case of “if I vote for this, nobody will accuse me of being gay.”

  24. Say what’s with H&R’s obsession over the Craig scandal? Are any of the Reason staff out homos? I’d speculate, but got bitch slapped for that before.

  25. I’m not defending what he’s done, but try to put yourself in the other guy’s shoes for once.

    I can’t, because for all my faults I can honestly say I’ve never been a hypocrite who publicly denounces people who do the very same things I myself do–or at least fantasize about doing–in private. And while I’ve never had actual political power over people (and have no desire to seek any), if I did, I wouldn’t use that power to encode such hypocrisy into law.

    Have a little sympathy. He’s a wounded, damaged person – you’d have to be to live like that. Of course he did hypocritical and reprehensible things. To him, it was a matter of survival.

    You can say the same about a segregationist politician hiding his mulatto heritage while continuing to push legislation forcing second-class status on anyone who isn’t lily-white. The excuse “I only did what I needed to survive” DOES NOT garner sympathy for actions that harm innocents.

  26. Somebody likes Chocoloate Hole

  27. I think it’s awfully strange of you, joe, to assume the guy was gay.

    It is cute, though, how everyone is talking about “gay” and “straight”, as if these terms have some sort of meaning that isn’t an arbitrary line drawn on a spectrum.

    I also don’t understand the whole crowing about the guy being a hypocrite; having sex with men and being gay is not the same thing.

    Oh, yah, and who was that ultraconservative bastard who signed DoMA again? Oh yah, Clinton, that Pres. that reason gets all nostalgic about who, really, wasn’t that great of a guy either.

  28. joe and Jennifer-

    Understanding and condemnation are not our only options here. Laughing out asses off while the circus unfolds is also an option.

    Besides, isn’t it sad when a Senator, supposedly a person with money and charisma, can’t come up with a better seduction move? Come on, man, get a room!

  29. Through the public acceptance of gay people, treating them and their families and lives as equal to those of straight people, and denouncing homophobia, homophobes, and the political stunts they pull.

    joe–Shouldn’t you be telling Larry Craig this, and not us?

    Well sure, you can tell us, but you’re most likely preaching to a very small choir.

  30. If I was this guy…I’d move to San Fransico, wear my pants a little tighter, and quit congress.

  31. joe,

    Ahhh, I see. Instead of being disgusted and repulsed by such a hypocritical hate mongering man, I should be condescendingly sympathic and patronizing for such a confused lost soul. I guess that’s the difference between agressively hateful and passive agressively hateful. Sorry for the confusion.

  32. Is it right to accept gay people…and denounce “Beef-jerkie” in public restrooms ?

  33. It is cute, though, how everyone is talking about “gay” and “straight”, as if these terms have some sort of meaning that isn’t an arbitrary line drawn on a spectrum.

    The distribution of the population is skewed very heavily, with a huge portion tight to one end and a small bump near the other. The number of people spread out in the middle is only a tiny percentage of the population. Gay and straight are useful categories.

  34. joe, I hope my post didn’t seem biting to you; I actually agree with you on this.

    LIT – I ask again, where is hypocrisy? He never made a move to outlaw gay sex (which is what he wanted); he made a move to outlaw homosexual marriage (and gave no indication he wanted one)…you’re getting wrapped up in identity politics (you too, Jennifer) where you assume that if a man likes the cock once in while, that means he has to jump on board a whole hose of issues with you.

    Not so.

  35. * – Should read: “a whole host

  36. Is it right to accept gay people…and denounce “Beef-jerkie” in public restrooms ?

    Yes. Because accepting gay people and accepting creepy creepy people are not the same thing.

    Disclaimer: It has been my (very unfortunate) experience that men who attempt to solicit sex in public restrooms are, in fact, creepy as hell! However, my sample size is 1. Can anyone provide any examples where it is not creepy?

  37. Or it was a case of “if I vote for this, nobody will accuse me of being gay.”

    Yeah, I can see that.

    My State Rep was the only one in my city’s legislative delegation to vote against the anti-gay-marriage amendment when it first came out. The St. Patrick’s Day roast was a couple weeks later, and not only was it full of jokes about him being gay, but about his entire district being gay.

    Forty years ago, if you fought for civil rights, they couldn’t actually call you a n*gger, so they’d call you a n*gger-lover. Those same people sure as heck can call a civil-rights supporter gay, though.

    Jennifer,

    Do you do anything that would cause your family, friends, and entire professional network to shun you if you were open about it? This guy was a 60-year-old conservative Republican from Idaho. Don’t assume you know what he was faced with.

    You can say the same about a segregationist politician hiding his mulatto heritage while continuing to push legislation forcing second-class status on anyone who isn’t lily-white.

    I think it would take a great deal of courage for a person in that situation to come out, and it’s not as if Larry Craig stirred up the homoophobic politics of the modern Republican Party on his own. He was getting by.

  38. I’m with thoreau on this one. What good is having all of that prestige and power if it doesn’t give you the ability to score high-quality manpoon in the privacy of some no-tell motel?

  39. To him, it was a matter of survival.

    Or, he could stand up for what is right and decent, rather than for what is politically expedient or popular.

    Nah.

  40. Ayn,

    I’m sure he could have justified to himself that he wasn’t against gays and that he found the institution of marraige to be between merely a man and a woman, but the fact was, he was acting against gay’s freedom to associate and enter contracts (because that’s how the government currently views marraige, divest the two and you’ve got an argument) and yet he still wanted to covertly engage in homosexual activity with the same group he was oppressing. If that’s not hypocrisy, its merely reprehensible if you like.

  41. I think it’s awfully strange of you, joe, to assume the guy was gay. You do? That’s odd. He tried to have sex with another man.

    It is cute, though, how everyone is talking about “gay” and “straight”, as if these terms have some sort of meaning that isn’t an arbitrary line drawn on a spectrum. Um…

    I also don’t understand the whole crowing about the guy being a hypocrite; having sex with men and being gay is not the same thing.

    Whoa. OK, Ayn Randian. Whatever you say.

  42. Just pickin’ at ya’ joe…

    “This guy was a 60-year-old conservative Republican from Idaho. Don’t assume you know what he was faced with.”

    Since I don’t think you are a 60 year old conservative from Idaho, isn’t that exactly what you are doing? Assuming that YOU know what he’s faced with, that is. (” It must be hell to live in a closet like that. Think of how terrified he must have been”)

    Just givin’ ya’ a hard time. Well, not THAT kind of hard… you know. The okay kind.

    CB

  43. why does joe desperately want people to feel sympathetic to this guy?

    Craig a relative of his?

    To be fair, I feel that as soon as someone is elected to position in Washington, they’ve lost their right to be given leeway of mitigating factors. I hold every politician accountable to what they say and do and reserve the right to spit diatribe at any of them for any reason at any time.

  44. joe-

    I think that AR was trying to say that the guy might be bi. In that case, his marriage and relationship with his wife are not a “disguise” or whatever, but honestly part of who he is, and the problem is that he has been trying to keep the other part of his identity hidden.

  45. Is it right to accept gay people…and denounce “Beef-jerkie” in public restrooms ?

    sounds like experience talking

  46. Do you do anything that would cause your family, friends, and entire professional network to shun you if you were open about it?

    Most likely, but I’m not pushing for legislation to punish those people who did the exact same thing as me. That’s why I’m criticizing Craig; not because he felt he needed to hide his proclivities, but because he used his power to hurt others who shared them.

    So do you think the sympathy you’re giving to Craig should have been equally applied to an old South segregationist hiding the fact that he had black ancestry?

  47. “The Closet, as an institution, needs to be torn down, and gay people accepted as full members of society.”

    Wow, talk about a loathesome, self-hating man. At least he didn’t blame blacks, Cubans or lighting bolts for his homosexuality.

  48. LIT,

    I guess if empathy wasn’t so alien to you, you’d adhere to a different philosophy.

    JW,

    Describing the fears of old-school conservatives at being discovered to be homosexual as “political expedience” is extremely glib. You really think the thing he was most worried about was losing an election? Try, having his house vandalized, the police refusing to look into it, and his friends never speaking to him again. Not everyone is as fortunate to be raised with tolerant values, and live in a community with like-minded people.

  49. Joe…

    The entire Premise behind the CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT is to keep things in the closet.

    No conservative would admint to
    – racism
    – homo acts in bathrooms
    – smoking pot
    – infidelity
    – extortion
    – tax evasion
    – money landering

    It’s only those damn liberals that want everyone 2 b honest….

  50. Reinmoose,

    I actually had a guy try to pick me up in an adult bookstore once. Creepiest fucking thing ever.

    Now, if I was at a gay bar, I’d probably be flattered, not creeped out, but it’s all about the situation.

  51. Alice,

    What liberal has ever come out in favor of:
    – racism
    – homo acts in bathrooms
    – smoking pot
    – infidelity
    – extortion
    – tax evasion
    – money landering

  52. I also don’t understand the whole crowing about the guy being a hypocrite; having sex with men and being gay is not the same thing.

    Whoa. OK, Ayn Randian. Whatever you say.

    Craig’s situation is stupid, hypocritical, and boring.

    Now, the above exchange between Ayn_Randian and joe is much more interesting. More please.

  53. So is Hugh Hewitt, though he himself admits he made no such call for Sen. David Vitter. Guess there’s some sort moral distinction between cheating on your wife via anonymous gay sex and cheating on your wife by paying for hetero sex with a prostitute.

    There is. It’s the distinction between Craig’s immorality screwing up Romney’s chances (Hewitt is a Romney backer), and Vitter’s immorality screwing up Giuliani’s chances. Man-boobs Hewitt is nothing if not principled.

    So I guess that means he’s nothing.

  54. joe,

    I’d probably be liberal then, I guess.

  55. A few liberals probably have advocated smoking pot, Warren.

  56. de stijl,

    If I’m not mistaken, a few conservatives have at least advocated decriminalizing it, if not using it (Buckley, etc.).

  57. Johnny D.
    We’ll put it this way…
    I was thankful to walk out of there unscathed.

  58. Cracker’s Boy,

    Maybe. Maybe I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt, because I’ve seen homophobia and what it can do to people. Maybe he’s living in a very gay-tolerant, open-minded area of Idaho, and his political supporters and allies host Oscar parties every year. But I’d be willing to bet not.

    Jennifer,

    Craig’s political behavior is inexcusable, but it’s understandable to me. Anti-gay politics is not something a politician can avoid dealing in today’s Republican Party. He either had to be a hero, or go along. He’s not a hero – he’s a damaged person trying to keep his life together.

    As for the mixed-race segregationist, having a black grandparent is not the same thing as having to actively work to hide and deny your sexual orientation like that. Having a black grandparent is something that happens to you, that you need not ever think about again. Being a closeted gay man is something you need to work at every single day, and it will screw you up.

    Lamar,

    I think we talking about a pathetic, self-hating man. To be honest, this makes him a little less loathesome to me, and a little more sad.

  59. Why does joe keep forgetting that he’s dealing with perfect people here at H&R?

    Not only that, but when will he realize that the only people who deserve sympathy are those who are screwed over by the government? Good folks like Jack McClellan, for example.

  60. I think it’s awfully strange of you, joe, to assume the guy was gay.
    You do? That’s odd. He tried to have sex with another man.

    I’ve had sex with women before, and I’m not straight or even bi-sexual by any definition that would be remotely useful. And I have sex with straight men all the time. There are plenty of straight men who don’t care, particularly, who sucks their dick, so long as the cocksucker knows what he’s doing. Guess what–you can frequently meet them in public restrooms!

  61. parse,

    If you are actually straight, you care quite a bit about who gives you a blowjob.

  62. i’m with joe on this one. i mean, really, who among us, stone in hand ready to cast, hasn’t ever sucked the cock of some stranger in a men’s room? next thing you know, there will be a big hoo-hah because some senator was clocked doing 56mph on the 495.

  63. If you are actually straight, you care quite a bit about who gives you a blowjob.

    that would be true of someone actually gay, too, n’est ce pas?

  64. If you are actually straight, you care quite a bit about who gives you a blowjob.

    Gotta go with joe on this one.

    Parse, just because somebody says they are straight doesn’t mean they are.

    For instance, Larry Craig.

  65. joe-

    Again, the point that parse is joining Ayn Randian in making is that the guy is not necessarily “gay”, if “gay” is used only to refer to one extreme of behavior (exclusive interest in the same sex). You seem to be implying that “straight” refers to the other extreme (exclusive interest in the opposite sex) while applying the word “gay” to a guy who may not fit the other extreme either. He could, for all we know, be somewhere in between. In which case his heterosexual marriage is an authentic part of his identity, it just isn’t the entirety of his identity.

    Honestly, though, trying to figure out where along the continuum this guy fits is not terribly interesting to me. More interesting is the many, many jokes that can be told about this.

  66. where you assume that if a man likes the cock once in while, that means he has to jump on board a whole hose of issues with you.

    best. typo. ever.

    man i’d like to jump on board and hose his issues!

  67. It’s almost like joe thinks this guy is a local carpenter struggling with his sexuality in an intolerant society. He is not. He is a politician that went out of his way to agree with his constituents and promise them to promote Christian values that he would have professed to follow himself. That he does not does not surprise me, but does not garner any sympathy for what will be done with him. I’m not saying that he should be jailed or even removed from congress joe, but I don’t have sympathy that would make me feel like he is being wronged in any way by anyone currently and while I hope his constiuents are civilized enough not to burn down his house and kill his family, that they would want him removed from congress is not something I disagree with.

    So I guess I would say I don’t feel sympathy for his current situation, but if he were to suffer violence from this, I definitely wouldn’t be cheering on the perpetrators.

  68. well-played parse. that’s one of the things I was driving at.

    I think the Kinsey Scale is a far more useful tool for understanding how sexuality works. Again, this man and his somewhat reprehensible oppression of freedom would not have even been on anyone’s radar screen if he had been caught with a woman.

    People are complicated: the chairman of the Franklin County (Ohio) Republicans, Doug Preisse, is (was?) gay. He didn’t let one face of his being (that he was gay) drive his entire political philosophy. But now, we seem to think because the guy wanted some man-sex on the side, well, “what a hypocrite! he likes gay sex and he won’t let the gays get married!”

    Folks, identity politics is identity politics. Just because someone likes sexual encounters with men doesn’t mean they fit neatly into some little category we’ve contrived (i.e, gay, straight or bi). Also, just because this Senator likes sex with men doesn’t mean he has to, again, jump on board with the homosexual rights movement.

  69. joe-

    Don’t tell me that the token liberal needs to have a bunch of libertarians explain that sexual identity ranges along a continuum, and that not everybody fits into the extreme categories that traditional cultural norms have defined.

    You should be the one explaining this to us, not vice versa. Having to explain it to you makes me feel weird. I need an organic soy brownie, I think.

  70. as to the above: I meant that I am not sure if Doug Preisse is still the chair of the Repubs in Columbus…

  71. I remember Larry Craig from when he first ran, presenting himself as a libertarian style Republican.

    Turns out, he’s more libertine than libertarian.

  72. To be clear to everyone here, words are not stones. Just because some of us think the guy was stupid for what he did and snarking about his actions versus his words (whether or not they’re hypocritical, I don’t care), doesn’t mean we’re bloodthirsty people out for his head. I really don’t care about this guy’s political future one way or another.

    I think joe takes internet comments way too seriously.

  73. Describing the fears of old-school conservatives at being discovered to be homosexual as “political expedience” is extremely glib.

    Promoting potentially self-hating and just plain wrong legislation with the power of the state and police behind it is somewhat less glib, somewhere around zero.

    You really think the thing he was most worried about was losing an election?

    On some level, yes. He’s a politician. Of course, he’s worried about his job. I have zero doubt that he’s worried about his family too. Then again, I’d suggest that he get a real job and then these worries aren’t as large. At least he wouldn’t be savaged in the media were he caught like this.

    Try, having his house vandalized, the police refusing to look into it, and his friends never speaking to him again.

    Nothing I can do about that except not participate in the hatred.

    He’s a flaming (no pun, really) hypocryte who used his position to support oppressive legislation aimed at a group he is member of in some way.

    He’s solidly in the “just desserts” category now. He’s about to reap what he sowed in no small way.

  74. If you are actually straight, you care quite a bit about who gives you a blowjob.

    Unless you are in prison.

  75. As for the mixed-race segregationist, having a black grandparent is not the same thing as having to actively work to hide and deny your sexual orientation like that. Having a black grandparent is something that happens to you, that you need not ever think about again. Being a closeted gay man is something you need to work at every single day, and it will screw you up.

    Actually, if the law says that having a black grandparent is all it takes for you to lose many civil rights, and move out of your white neighborhood into a black one, and send your kid to a different school, then you DO have to actively work every single day to hide this.

  76. Finally, any sympathy I might have felt for Craig evaporated when I read in the police report that he played the ol’ “do you know who I am” game, by giving the cop his U.S. senator business card and asking, “What do you think of that?”

    Radley of all people, you shouldn’t take police reports entirely at face value.

    Actually, if it indeed happened at all, it is also possible he might have not been saying it as a way to pull rank, but simply in anticipation of a surprise reaction, or an attempt to convince him that a Senator wouldn’t do such a thing.

  77. an attempt to convince him that a Senator wouldn’t do such a thing.

    That boat sailed a long time ago.

  78. Radley of all people, you shouldn’t take police reports entirely at face value.

    OK, that’s a good point.

  79. That boat sailed a long time ago.

    I believe it was the the good ship USS Manhandler.

  80. Good catch, matthew hogan.

    What libertarians should really be up in arms about are:

    A) Why do we have public restrooms in the first place? If they were private, then it’s up to the owners to decide if gay sex goes on in there and

    B) What kind of bullshit charge is “felony disturbing the peace” anyway? What did Larry Craig do to disturb the peace? Tapped a guy’s foot with his? In no commonsense idea of the “the peace” would I consider what Larry Craig did disturbing said peace.

  81. EWWWWWW! JW got 69 in this thread about sex in an airport restroom.

  82. But now, we seem to think because the guy wanted some man-sex on the side, well, “what a hypocrite! he likes gay sex and he won’t let the gays get married!”

    right, it just makes him a cunting fuckhead.

  83. Not all liberals are sufficiently conscious of gender and sexual identity issues. joe might need some awareness-raising on that score.

  84. Ayn,

    In case you might have noticed, alot of us are not good, pure libertarians, but let’s not turn this into an argument about the extistence or not of public restrooms and what should or should not have societal acceptance.

  85. Ayn_Randian,

    Interesting about Preisse, because there are strong indications that the current Republican chief in Summit County, Alex Arshinkoff, has issues in that way as well.

  86. “Why do we have public restrooms in the first place?”

    I’m assuming that it’s a private restroom, open to the public. But that’s splitting hairs. I know what you meant. And I completely agree with B). Activity between consenting adults, etc etc.

    CB

  87. No, wait. It was Ayn Randian.

  88. any sympathy I might have felt for Craig evaporated when I read in the police report that he played the ol’ “do you know who I am” game,

    The cop did the exact same thing. Any non-LEO would have said “Stop it, I’m not interested,” but cops play the “do you know who I am” game by arresting people for “sending signals”.

  89. dhex – no argument.

    But everyone thinks this is a “gotcha!” moment when it really isn’t, if you stop viewing people in one-dimension. Any magazine called reason (Drink one for me!; no alcohol here) should shy away from identity politics.

  90. Russ,

    Now if there was a libertarian point to be made, that would be it.

  91. or better yet…

    “Why do we have public restrooms in the first place?”

    Where else can you take your child when they need to do Number 2!

    THEY’RE FOR THE CHILDREN!!! THE CHILDREN!

    CB

  92. edna,

    I haven’t the foggiest idea what you’re talking about. You aren’t with me on anything.

    thoreau,

    I don’t think we need to agonize over precision here. If you hit on other men in the hopes that you will get to have sex with them, that’s close enough to “gay” for our purposes here. If we round this decimal to a whole number, is it going to change the answer?

    LIT,

    Ah, but Craig didn’t start his political career six years ago. When he set out on his course in life, homophobia was pretty much universal, and allowing gay men to avoid the boot of the state only if they stayed in the closet was the progressive position! I’m not excusing Craign of all wrongdoing here, but I can sympathize, to the extent that he found himself in this position.

    BTW, it’s not snarky libertarians who engage in anti-gay violence and shunning. It’s very, very earnest right-wingers, and there are more than a few of them in Idaho.

    A.R.,

    Again, this man and his somewhat reprehensible oppression of freedom would not have even been on anyone’s radar screen if he had been caught with a woman. It would if he, and his party, had been howling about the evil adulterers the way they’ve howling about the evil, dangerous homosexuals.

    Jennifer,

    Actually, if the law says that having a black grandparent is all it takes for you to lose many civil rights, and move out of your white neighborhood into a black one, and send your kid to a different school, then you DO have to actively work every single day to hide this.

    No, you don’t, because nothing that will happen on an everyday basis is going to give you away, or even bring up the issue at all. I’m not drawing a distinction based on the seriousness of being found out, but on the effort required not to be found out.

  93. Yeah, Russ 2000 makes a good point. Just say “Leave me alone.”

    Sandy-

    Maybe joe should attend some seminars on sexual and gender identity.

    As to public restrooms, yeah, privatize them and let the market decide whether there will be a special “Senator gets to fondle your foot” restroom. If there isn’t, then the market has spoke. DEMAND KURVE!

    🙂

  94. Is it behavior that defines sexual identity? If I can tie knots and go camping, does that makes me a Boy Scout? Society has a labeling fetish, because without labeling we don’t know which tribe to align with.

  95. …or maybe, just maybe, the self-serving caricatures of liberal beliefs that libertarians convince themselves liberals actually believe aren’t terribly accurate stand-ins for the real thing?

  96. because nothing that will happen on an everyday basis is going to give you away, or even bring up the issue at all. I’m not drawing a distinction based on the seriousness of being found out, but on the effort required not to be found out.

    How much effort does it take to NOT go trolling for gay one-nighters? Or, more importantly, how much effort does it take to NOT push for legislation marginalizing those who share your (not you personally, Joe) fondness for hot, sweaty, passionate man-on-man sex?

  97. joe-

    If you want to restrict your attention to the incident in question then, yeah, we can call it a “gay incident” or “gay act” or whatever you like. The precision isn’t terribly important. But if you want to start making inferences about his entire life, and the extent to which he’s keeping his true identity and preferences secret, well, that depends on the extent to which this is representative of his full of identity. Yes, it’s a part of his identity, and it’s wrong that he no doubt has had reason to fear it being exposed, but beyond that there isn’t much we can say. We don’t know whether this is an occasional interest of his or his main interest or whatever else.

    And, to be honest, I don’t want to know.

    Anyway, you tried to imply that he is definitely at one end of the spectrum, when in reality we don’t know. And I don’t want to know.

  98. SPD,

    No, it is not behavior, it is desires, feelings, reflexes, and proclivities. It is entirely possible to be gay and celebate, or straight and celebate.

    That does not eliminate the existence of the categories.

  99. …or maybe, just maybe, the self-serving caricatures of liberal beliefs that libertarians convince themselves liberals actually believe aren’t terribly accurate stand-ins for the real thing?

    I’m sure it isn’t. But you can’t claim to be the guy who’s sensitive on these issues and then get clumsy about whether there’s a spectrum of identities.

    Or is it your argument that you guys aren’t as sensitive as we thought when it comes to these nuances?

  100. Jennifer,

    For a man not to have any expression of his sexual identity is extremely, extremely hard.

    And for a Republican to dissent from the Party on gay-bashing is also extremely hard. For a closeted gay man living in terror being found out, to dissent from the Party on its gay-bashing bills must be incredibly hard.

  101. argh! joe! are you not hearing me?

    Craig isn’t necessarily gay!

    If you hit on other men in the hopes that you will get to have sex with them, that’s close enough to “gay” for our purposes here.

    So, I suppose I can safely label all those young girls who make out with each other for attention (at the bars) as “lesbians”? Or do you think there might be another dynamic at work there?

    what thoreau and I are trying to get across to you is that the guy might not have been in the proverbial “Closet” at all. He just might have liked to see what the other side was like once in a while. The same game is afoot here that declares people who smoke cigarettes socially or on occasion as “smokers”. That either/or thinking, with absolutely no room for context, has got to fucking go.

  102. Joe,

    What about the “curious” sub-category?

  103. thoreau,

    It is my argument that the point about a spectrum of identities is irrelevant to this conversation. Craig was no less “in the closet” about his sexuality if this was an occasional sideline than if his marriage was a sham.

    So spare me the lecture about sensitivity.

  104. Ayn Randian,

    Just stop. Smoking a cigarette? Are you kidding?

    We’re talking about someone who knows the code to ask a guy in the next stall in a men’s room to have sex with him. Deciding to “try” such a thing, repeatedly, is not comparable to smoking a cigarette once in a while.

    Straight guys do not want to have sex with other men. Not once in a while. Not enough to go out seeking it in known picko-up joints. Straight men find the idea of having sexual contact with another man repugnant.

    If you want to quibble about how broadly the term “gay” can be applied to bisexuals, have at it. I don’t think it’s terribly relevant.

  105. Whoa whoa whoa. I feel icky agreeing with joe. If a many repeatedly seeks out other men for oral sex, then he’s gay. It may be useful to examine the nuance or subspecies of gay he is. But to say that he isn’t gay is just a semantic game.

  106. Fair enough, joe.

    Now, let’s get back to what really matters: The jokes!

    If you ask me, stroking a guy’s foot in a bathroom stall is a crappy way to flirt. You’re just going to piss him off.

    Thank you, I’m here all week. Don’t forget to tip the waitress! But don’t tip the guy who offers to help you in the bathroom. He isn’t the bathroom attendant, and giving him money is a regulated campaign contribution under McCain-Feingold!

  107. SPD,

    What about the “curious” sub-category?

    It pretty excludes people who have sex in public bathrooms enough to know the signaling code.

  108. If a many repeatedly seeks out other men for oral sex, then he’s gay.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I hope the people in Idaho can come to realize that Larry Craig is exactly the same civic-minded, God-fearing, tight-assed family man they always knew and voted for.

    thoreau,

    I’m not just a liberal, but a super-liberal. Anyone can hold two contradictory ideas in their head, but I, I can hold three. I can despise Craig, feel sympathy for him, AND find the situation hilarious.

    If Clemenza had hidden the gun right, Craig would have just killed cop AND the Turk, and be well on his way to Sicily by now.

  109. Joe, at heart your argument defending Craig seems no more than a variant of “he was only doing his job.” That defense went out at Nuremberg. (Fuck Godwin.)

  110. Well, I admit to being a bigot. I hold U.S. Senators in contempt as a group, and it takes quite a bit of evidence for me to concede that any member of that group should be afforded any sympathy. Also, I can’t empathize with a U.S. Senator, because I’ve never had any desire to get in front of a t.v. camera and pretend to know something regarding topics about which I am utterly ignorant, while smugly preening about the moral superiority I imagine I possess, while forcing my fellow citizens to submit to my will on all manner of areas that are not legitimately within my sphere of official influence.

    I suppose I may feel bad for Craig’s family, the way I do when any spouse or children are made to feel bad by infidelity, but the Honorable Senator Craig is just another dirtbag member of a thoroughly corrupt institution. To hell with him.

  111. Ayn,

    Whether or not we label this man “gay” or “straight” doesn’t really matter with respect to the hypocrisy charge. Support for the FMA (which Craig voted for) was largely based on moral condemnation of homosexual behavior — not identity. Biblical verse allegedly supporting the Christian right’s stance against homosexuality, including gay marriage, targets behavior (lying with a man) not homosexual preference. This is how the anti-gay Christian justify their stance on this issue: God doesn’t judge you for your innate preference but for you actions. This incident unquestionable involves homosexual behavior, whether or not you subscribe to gay identity politics.

    While supporting the Christian right’s condemnation of homosexual behavior, Craig has engaged in homosexual behavior. Why isn’t this hypocrisy? Alternatively, why isn’t proposing sex with another man homosexual behavior according to the Christian right’s definition?

  112. Jennifer,
    You picked one of my pet peeves. The “just following orders” defense was not rejected wholesale by the Nuremberg tribunal. Indeed some defendants were found not guilty. It was when the people issuing the orders tried to invoke it that it was dismissed.

  113. Straight guys do not want to have sex with other men. Not once in a while. Not enough to go out seeking it in known picko-up joints. Straight men find the idea of having sexual contact with another man repugnant.

    Straight guys say this all the time. (Lots of gay guys say it as well.) My experience suggests that it just isn’t true. There are plenty of guys who have no desire whatever to be involved in an emotionally intimate relationship with other men–they are attracted to emotional intimacy with women–but routinely enjoy physical intimacy with men. If you want to claim that it’s somehow useful to label those men “gay,” have at it. I suppose you could call them bisexual,, but I find that more useful to describe people who might be emotionally satisfied by a partner of either gender. “Horndog” is the only scientific term I can think of that gives much useful inight into the men I’m describing.

    joe, what makes you so sure you know what other “straight” men like to do sexually? I assume you own experience is this area is fairly limited.

  114. There are plenty of guys who have no desire whatever to be involved in an emotionally intimate relationship with other men–they are attracted to emotional intimacy with women–but routinely enjoy physical intimacy with men.

    In a world of six billion people there may indeed be “plenty”, but such men are rare as coelocanths. How do I know? I once took a course in Human Sexuality. The text was written by Masters and Johnson.

  115. hehe… “Johnson”

  116. parse,

    Would you give credence to anyone who said, “I’ve never met a gay parson, so they must not exist.” Back off the solipsism a bit and maybe an argument will emerge.

    Straight guys exist, you just don’t have sex with them.

  117. It seems only Republicans get in trouble for gayness. If it were Barney Frank in the stall we would yawn and move on. Or is it simply the hypocrisy that ruffles anti-Rebublican feathers? Enough to destroy a man? Really?

  118. Can we please either agree on a universal definition of straight, gay, bisexual, and all other like-terms, or stop squabbling about it?

  119. Jennifer,

    Joe, at heart your argument defending Craig seems no more than a variant of “he was only doing his job.”

    Nope. Not even close.

    That you can’t follow my reasoning and substituted a self-serving statement wholly unrelated to it is about as surprising as finding out that a Republican Senator is a hypocrite.

    Buh bye.

  120. It seems only Republicans get in trouble for gayness.

    Tell it to ex-New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey.

  121. Reinmoose,

    Neither will ever happen. It’s the nature of identity politics. As long as hypocrisy is possible and victim status grants power, then the rejecting / acceptance of any non-normative label or grouping will be contested to the advantage of someone.

  122. parse,

    First of all, your handle has never been so appropriate.

    Second, I agree with you that there are many variations of human sexuality, and we could come up with all sorts of names and labels. But just as we can label all sorts of different political ideologies as “the right” or “the left,” without assuming that all of those varieties are the same, I’m perfectly comfortable using the word “gay” to describe any man who desires to make nookie with another man. If we happen into a subject where such distinctions are important, then by all means, we should draw those fine distinctions.

    In this case, the situation, the moral reasoning, and the political implications are exactly the same whether Craig wished his dalliances extended to emotional intimacy or not. Do you think the homophobes he has been pandering to with his anti-gay votes care about those distinctions?

  123. ed,

    Only Republicans get in trouble for being gay, because homophobia is only an important part of one party’s political identity.

    Barney Frank’s supporters don’t care if he’s gay. Craig’s supporters do.

    Barney Frank hasn’t made the bashing of gay people part of his political profile; Craig has.

  124. SugarFree, I’m not trying to claim that straight guys don’t exist, or that there aren’t straight guys who never do and never would have sex with another man. I’m just saying that there are some men who do have sex with other men, and if you had to label them “straight,” “gay” or “bisexual,” it seems to me that the most accurate of those three admittedly imprecise designations would be “straight.” As I mentioned before, I’ve had sex with women, but if anyone were to describe me as “straight” or “bisexual,” I’d really feel like they were missing the mark.

  125. Did I overlook some part of the story, or is it possible that he was just tapping his foot, or is this not the H&R I know and love?

    Setting aside for a moment whether he’s a good man or a bad man, whether the law and/or its enforcement method here are good things or bad things, could he in fact have been not soliciting sex?

    What did I miss?

  126. “Did I overlook some part of the story, or is it possible that he was just tapping his foot, or is this not the H&R I know and love?”

    Yes. You overlooked the part where he pleaded guilty.

  127. People can do all sorts of things, if they put their mind to it. Situational homosexuality is common throughout history in the military and in prison. No, those people are not gay.

    If you go out looking for it, if you specifically desire sex with someone of the same sex, you are gay.

    I have no idea how attracted you are to women, parse. If you look at a woman from the back and get that “Ooh, yeah!” sensation, then you are at least somewhat bisexual. If you just did it on a bet or something, and have no attrarction to women at all, then you are a gay man who had sex with a woman. If you want to have sex with people of both sexes, but can only develop emotional, romantic bonds with one or the other, I would still count that as bisexual.

  128. M,

    …and the part where he reached his foot over to rub it against the cop’s foot, in the next stall.

    And the part where he reached his hand under the stall and waved it around a few times.

  129. I’m not just a liberal, but a super-liberal. Anyone can hold two contradictory ideas in their head, but I, I can hold three. I can despise Craig, feel sympathy for him, AND find the situation hilarious.

    joe laughed at it before admonished us against it.

    In his own nuanced way. Which is perfectly consistent with previous nuanced statements.

    🙂

  130. Okay, the accounts I’d read earlier didn’t contain those details, which if true make it a sad story for many reasons. I would like to hear his side if there’s more to it. Meanwhile I wave my hand, joe (in a most fraternal way).

  131. have to agree with joe on this one. If you are a guy who enjoys any kind of sex with another guy (even phone sex), however occasionally, you are at least bisexual.

    Off the topic a bit, does anyone else feel like they’re the last fully heterosexual man in the world?

  132. parse,

    joe : Straight men find the idea of having sexual contact with another man repugnant.

    parse: Straight guys say this all the time. (Lots of gay guys say it as well.) My experience suggests that it just isn’t true.

    This exchange reads to me like you are denying the possibility of men who in no way desire to have sex with other men, whatsoever the situation based on the fact you haven’t met any. (But I accept you aren’t saying that.)

    I just think it’s a fairly simple matter to define “straight” as having no desire for homosexual contact. It’s fine and dandy if men who occasionally have sex with other men want to call themselves straight, but they aren’t. They are, at a bare minimum, bisexual. If culture wants to parse (sorry) “bisexual” along a spectrum, I’m fine with that as well.

    (None of this is to suggest that I find anything distasteful with homosexuality. I’ve just been frustrated with the argument I have encountered many times that “all men are gay, some just haven’t admitted it yet.” I understand where the argument comes from, a community “normalizing” themselves into the mainstream, but it is a facile move. If it is wrong for a straight person to deny the existence of homosexuality (or writes it off as a deviance to be eradicated), then the opposite should be true as well.)

  133. A manly, fraternal waive back at you, M.

    You know, the kind of waive a man might give to his buddies. After shooting a moose. During halftime. You know, that kind of waive.

    See how my hand doesn’t wobble? It’s like I don’t even HAVE a wrist. You know, one of those kind of waives.

  134. Boy, that escalated quickly… I mean, that really got out of hand fast.

  135. I’m amazed that on the supposedly libertarian forum people are preoccupied about whether Craig was gay or not.

    In my opinion the really outrageous thing in this story is that the police were using my tax dollars for something that people can do without the government. Just kick an old man’s hand in your stall if you’re so offended. Aren’t there more serious crimes for the police to prevent?

    Another point. If you’re a policeman sent to catch men looking for sex in an airport bathroom and you see a man clearly interested in sex, will you ignore him or rather go along pretending that you’re interested? The answer is obvious.

  136. I find it rather interesting that the same Radley Balko who went apoplectic over Dateline’s To Catch a Predator series–which, let’s not forget, was initiated by a private party–does not criticize similar tactics by the undercover cops–who are, of course, government officials–but is only too happy to express his glee over the irony of this case.

    And yes, I do understand that the Predator segments are taped in a private residence while this case took place in a public environment, but that does not change the fact that both are intrusions into the privacy of citizens. In fact Balko should be more disturbed by the latter because, again, it involves the government’s meddling in our affairs. Finally one more reason for my criticism: the Craig brouhaha concerns merely a fling between consenting adults, whereas the Predator episode bares (no pun intended) a sick practice that is indeed a genuine threat to society.

  137. the Craig brouhaha concerns merely a fling between consenting adults

    One of whom goes out of his way to use his political authority to make life miserable for consenting adults who do exactly what Craig wanted to do. So to hell with him. Feeling sorry for him because “poor schmuck must have been conflicted” is like feeling sorry for a thug criminal because “poor dear, he had an unhappy childhood.” So what. In Craig’s case, I’m concerned with the people being actively victimized by the state, not with members of the state neurotically victimizing themselves because they dared not admit to their sexual urges.

  138. Nobody reads.

    It was an airport cop working undercover due to complaints about this type of behavior.

    Documents here: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2007/0828071craig1.html

    And Craig knew he was busted as soon as the cop showed him his ID.

  139. What did Larry Craig do to disturb the peace?

    IANAL, but I think it was playing peek-a-boo outside the door that got him pinched.

  140. joe, I have a strong feeling that “shooting the moose” is an expression I’m best not understanding.

    This story seems like another instance of the tragedy of the commons, the tragedy of which is that there’s a commons. Just my opinion.

  141. But everyone thinks this is a “gotcha!” moment when it really isn’t

    no it really is. whether or not he was self-identified as gay (in the privacy of his own head) or only engaged with sex with men on occasion is immaterial.

  142. This story seems like another instance of the tragedy of the commons, the tragedy of which is that there’s a commons. Just my opinion.

    Yes, clearly the root of the problem here is the existence of bathrooms on public property. What else could possibly be worthy of comment?

  143. The existence of government-owned property.

  144. M, if the airport were privatized a person could still get in trouble with the property owner for violating rules on flirting in bathrooms, and that situation could still make for funny news that everybody wants to talk about.

    I dare say that even in Libertopia there would still be sex scandals. Yes, yes, the scandals would involve “Private Association Board Members” rather than “Senators” and they would take place in “Company-Owned Air Transit bathrooms” rather than “City-Owned [or whatever] Airport bathrooms” but still.

  145. Jennifer,

    Just to be clear, I was not trying to defend Craig, only criticizing Balko for a missed opportunity to point out the absurdity of the government’s undercover tactics in cases of sexual “misbehavior.”

    That said, I don’t think your analogy is fair. One may indeed believe in a standard of behavior but not live up to it, just as we all do. Craig may in fact be a hypocrite and have comitted the minor offense of lewd public behavior, but no objective person could say that he is a “thug criminal.”

  146. In the spirit of the earlier Onion and Youtube links, and always apropos for these stories…

    Show me your weenis!

  147. That said, I don’t think your analogy is fair. One may indeed believe in a standard of behavior but not live up to it, just as we all do.

    My beef with Craig is not his “belief in a standard of behavior he doesn’t live up to,” but his use of the government to go against the same behaviors he himself indulges in.

  148. thoreau, that’s what just what the self-irony of the term libertopia, on my understanding, serves to highlight – that we can realistically aim only for what’s optimal, rather than for what’s perfect, and that government control of property goes in the opposite direction.

  149. Jennifer,

    Excuse me for my ignorance, but when has Craig tried to make homosexual behavior a crime? You mean the Federal Marriage Amendment? If you did, do I really need to make the distiction between natural rights and government sponsorship?

  150. Excuse me for my ignorance, but when has Craig tried to make homosexual behavior a crime?

    Excuse me for my ignorance, but when did I say he did?

  151. Ok Jennifer, then let me rephrase using your own words: when has Craig used “the government to go against the same behaviors he himself indulges in”?

  152. I dare say that even in Libertopia there would still be sex scandals. Yes, yes, the scandals would involve “Private Association Board Members” rather than “Senators” and they would take place in “Company-Owned Air Transit bathrooms” rather than “City-Owned [or whatever] Airport bathrooms” but still.

    And this why libertarianism will never catch on, too many syllables.

  153. I haven’t the foggiest idea what you’re talking about. You aren’t with me on anything.

    that time of the month again?

  154. What’s behind the right’s different response to David Vitter’s call girls and Larry Craig’s boy trouble? In a nutshell, the boys.

    As the old expression goes, you are what you eat. And that imagery, apparently, is behind the growing conservative chorus calling for the resignation of disgraced Idaho Republican Senator Larry Craig.

    For the details, see:
    “Behind the Right’s Double Standard on Craig and Vitter.”

  155. I am oh-so in favor of co-ed washrooms.

  156. when has Craig used “the government to go against the same behaviors he himself indulges in”?

    You don’t consider DOMA to be against homosexuality?

    Well, I suppose technically DOMA doesn’t go against Craig’s behavior. He doesn’t want to marry a man; he just wants to fuck one in a toilet stall.

  157. Just so I understand Craig’s mentality here, let me spell it out:

    Men marrying men: ZOMFG it is immoral it will destroy the sanctity of marriage we need to outlaw it or else bad things will happen!

    Men having anonymous sex with men in toilet stalls: Eh, it’s all good.

  158. Jennifer,

    I actually didn’t mean to imply that you were claiming Craig advocated outlawing homosexual behavior, but I purposely played dumb to see what you’d say in response (and also to give you the benefit of the doubt). And voil?, you gave the exact type of response I was expecting.

    As you reluctantly concede, one does not have to be necessarily antigay to oppose gay marriage (regardless of Nick Gillespie’s rather thoughtless remark in his earlier post today). I know at least one or two people who do not mind homosexual behavior but still have their reservations about same-sex marriage. Most fair-minded same-sex marriage advocates–myself included–will admit that opposite-sex partners in general probably provide a more diverse mix of parenting for their kids than their same-sex counterparts. Say what you will about the “It’s for the children” bromide, but this is one rare case where that claim should be taken seriously.

    As far as I know, the only significant “antigay” measure Craig voted for was the DOMA, which, again, one can support without being against homosexuality. So unless Craig had actually advocated making homosexual activity a crime (which is why I used these express terms) or used taxpayers’ money to push other legislation that would have specifically harmed homosexuals, I think you owe Craig a little more than a personal condemnation on his own personal beliefs.

  159. Poor, deluded bastard, he probably thought his political activity was a way of protecting people from falling into the same trap.

    Nah, try the obvious: “If I don’t vote for this Defense of Marriage thing, the Idaho Republican base will boot me out of a job at the next election, guaranteed.”

  160. i’m with joe on this one. i mean, really, who among us, stone in hand ready to cast, hasn’t ever sucked the cock of some stranger in a men’s room? next thing you know, there will be a big hoo-hah because some senator was clocked doing 56mph on the 495.

    I agree with joe for once, too. Idaho is about 1/4 Mormon, so being pro-gay at all is not only political suicide regardless of party, but likely to get you shunned if not harassed bigtime unless you live in a non-LDS university town. But are you seriously suggesting that virtually all gay-bashers have sucked a stranger’s cock in a men’s room? Or are you even just suggesting that virtually all men have done so? Can you cite a reference? Seems a little hard to believe (pun intended).

  161. no, i was engaging in what passes for humor in my household.

    i lived in slc for 6 or 7 years, so am pretty familiar with the mormon attitudes. there did seem to be a greater-than-normal proportion of really in-your-face gays there, something i never experienced again until moving to the sf bay area. not that this affected my life in any way; my problems among the mormons had more to do with my attraction toward wine than my attraction (or lack thereof) toward people of my own gender.

    i don’t recall any sort of gay crackdown during my sojourn in zion. there seemed to be much more concern about dirty pictures, beer, and whether or not the mormon-owned hotel would serve coffee.

  162. “So, I suppose I can safely label all those young girls who make out with each other for attention (at the bars) as “lesbians”?”

    SH: YES….for at least a few glorious and coming of age moments….YES.

  163. “lugs” is the general term, i believe.

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