Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What can a thinking homosexual say about Senator Craig’s Arrest?

There may still be more information to come, but it is just too easy for homosexuals, who have suffered from the votes and words of Idaho's Sen. Craig, to jump for joy and have a "gay" old time with his fall, his hypocrisy having been exposed as has happened to several "conservative" Republicans.
 
But shouldn't we ask ourselves, if he should have been arrested? What have we been working to stop since the 1950s? Of course what we should ask Senator Craig is,"do you think the arrest would have been valid if the person arrested WAS gay?" And in a complete change from what happened in Idaho (Boise) years ago, the local newspaper seems to have been on "our" side. 
 
But has anyone looked into the person who made the arrest? What record does he have? How long had he spent in that restroom? What law was broken? What is "lewd" conduct, and if the individuals involved had not had a sex act there but had gone to a private room, again, what law would have been broken?
 
Sure it could not have happened to a more "deserving" person, but what if YOU had been the person arrested, or some one you loved? Since 1952 (remember the arrest of Dale Jennings that put early Mattachine on the map?) when the idea of a magazine about homosexuality got started the "news" in ONE Magazine was about every city that had constant raids on gay bars and cops making arrests of mostly male homosexuals seeking a sex partner, or sometimes even kissing in public. We put out a card telling people what to do when arrested, and had 24 hour answering services to help people arrestred, etc. Now that our cause had made such great progress, thanks to a minority of homosexuals and a growing minority of heterosexuals who believe in civil/equal rights, we can not now change our objection to such an arrest just because the person involved in a "bad" person.
 
What we must do is use this "discussion" to further educate sincere Americans who still do not understand how we have been misused by law enforcement agents, bigoted psychiatrists—who can testify against us in court and help parents send their homosexual children to a "camp" to "change them"—and the lazy media people who still have no clue as to the real issues of homosexuality and will never make the effort to find out if they only hear from "professional' gays who seek celebrity and lots of money for being gays.

12 comments:

Aristide said...

Billy: You seem to be ignoring the fact that sex in a public toilet is against the law. It does not matter what sexual orientation of the perpetrator is or whether he's a commoner of a senator. I had a friend who used to go to this one particular restaurant in Silver Lake which had only ONE toilet. He would sit on that toilet for hours having sex with men. Diners were out of luck if their coffee went through them. He finally got busted by vice, not because he was gay, but because of all the complaints of customers who could not use the toilet for the purposes for which it was intended. The toilet at the long-gone Arthur J's in Hollywood became so notorious that waitresses would go in there and throw bleach on the floor to drive the "tea-room queens" out. There is no right written in the Constitution giving tearoom queens the right to have sex in a public toilet. There's always more than one side to any issue.

Billy Glover said...

Thanks for trying and for telling us about the "issue." I found the same thing when trying to post something or even get to something on some newspaper sites.

As to public sex, I understand. And agree with the law as you do. BUT the only question in this particular case is, was it going to be public sex. I'm afraid that it had to be. Sadly, homosexuals who like themselves could meet this way BUT go somewhere private for the act. But since Craig doesn't accept what ever he calls the sex act that he sought to have, he can't do that, and certainly not in an airport, where the ONLY people who can use that restroom are people there changing from plane to plane, that is what confuses me as I've said. No matter who says it is a "great" place to find sex, obviously it can't be since to get there you have to buy a plane ticket.

But I also agree with you and most of the people making comments-except the jokers-that no one should have to be bothered in a public restroom either by having someone touch them, or see some people having a sex act. And so, as Ron has said, this event has hurt our cause, even though Craig says he is not gay and so we shouldn't have to apologize or explain his actions-if the arrest was valid.

But even mothers, heterosexual or homosexual, or fathers, should think, as taxpayers, and who are concerned with our nation's security, about why the police are spending hours in a public restroom instead of watching for terrorists. And as someone said, and has been said for years, hire a private policeperson IN UNIFORM and let them stand in the restroom.

Leo E. Laurence, J.D. said...

Billy:

I'm surprised that you come to the senator's defense. From the facts of the case, there was a clean solicitation.

Decades ago - and you should know this - parks and Men's Rooms were about the only place a "homosexual" (as we were known then, the word Gay didn't emerge until Gay Lib in '68) could find sex. Many older men continue to rely on those old methods, and some - like the senator - get caught.

I am currently writing a gay history book and will explore these issues. I plan to do an interview with you when the manuscript gets to those areas of history. You are a valuable resource of gay history.
To rationalize about this is questionable.

Billy Glover said...

I'm not sure I am defending him. It just seems there are many issues here, and some people say this is a lose-lose thing for our cause. Not many people like the idea of sex in a public restroom, while others also question the priorities that keep a cop in a restroom instead of out looking for terrorists, etc.

I hope you get the book done as I think this is a good time to get the public thinking about homosexuality and the movement that has got things changed-except for people like Craig-no matter what his sexual preferences are-if he even knows. I m not sure of my memory, but I am rereading back issues of ONE/Tangents and they are accurate-sadly reporting just such arrests all of the past years, but then Craig would not have bee willing to have a homosexual publication in his possession-just have sex in a public restroom-how do we explain such thinking???

Are most homosexuals today able to NOT have public sex, most can take safe people home but then the type that Craig represents can't, as it would admit being homosexual, or at least having a homosexual act.

Jim Schneider said...

Sorry, fellows, but it's late and I've spent about 10 hours reading thru Billy's 16+ messages today. I tried this morning to hear the argument between the officer and Craig, but didn't recall how to get the sound on my computer to work. Finally Gus Jr. came in and showed me how to do it. Played it 3 times. Interesting stuff. I am amazed! Where have I been? Never once has anyone mentioned the words GLORY HOLE which Don Slater related to me back in the 60's, and nowhere is it being mentioned now in the Craig case.

A circular hole is cut in the dividing wall between stools, and one man sticks his dingy thru the hole, while the man on the other side sucks on it to a climax. Is that now an antiquated act? Is this business of foot tapping, shoe touching, and hand signaling now in vogue for men? Never heard of any of it before. Slater gave me a case to handle of a young man caught up with a vice officer in a glory hold predicament in Santa Fe Springs CA. Attorney Lequita McKay (partner of Ed Raiden) handled it for us, except she botched on one critical issue. Slater called her and told her she botched. So much for that some 40 years ago.

It's after 11 PM in CA and my screen is flashing me that I have 1 or 2 more new messages just now arrived. Talk to you later. Best from Jim.

Billy Glover said...

Well, I am laughing, as it is obviously 2 hours later here-after 1 am, so I feel for you. I just decided to sleep here at Donnie's house as I have to get back early for the dog to go in the yard. They get back late tomorrow night. But I will get and stay at my house about 7 am and till 2 as I watch C-SPAN2's book show on the 1st Sunday of the month, 3 hours with an author and tomorrow-actually today, the person will be Christopher Hitchens, who wrote the current book, God is Not Great. Plus (that comes on at 11 am here, till 2) before that I listen/view several talk shows, and confirm the laziness of the media, since on every show last week, the guest was Karl Rove. No imagination, same person, same questions, and he lied to them all.

About the "glory hole" that is why I am confused-there isn't one I assume, so how were they to have a sex act??? And how long between his arrival on one plane and his departure on the other one on his way to Idaho? Did he deliberately make a schedule that allowed him time to find sex? And had he done this before? And why was the cop in there-had there been complaints?

I assume there are still places with those holes in the wall, but self-accepting homosexuals should not take such a risk, with AIDS, possible arrest, etc, when you can meet someone and if you trust them take them home, etc. As I've said, in the good ole days I could just drive to near a naval or marine place and pickup hitchhikers, and same here in Shreveport-Barksdale AFB is here. But that was the 60s, that is not possible now. So I would not be able to find a sex partner, even if I were young and good looking-which I never was. But there is no place to park to have sex in a car now-I did take some home, but not many. Melvin ended that part of my life. in what year was that-but he was a fresh ex-navy person at 21 and I was 31.

By the way, I tried calling Lequita a few onths ago for some reason, and some woman ansswered and acted cautious and said she would have tell her I called-I had a phone number for her in Bakersfield at the Eye Dog Foundation. I got a call later from another woman I think, who said she lived in San Bernardino I think, and didn't recall what info I needed, I guess it was Todd's wanting to know what the amoutn of the bond was we posted in the lawsuit-so I gather she is in bad health.

And finally, I see (in the Windy City Times) the listing for events at Chicago's gay/lesbian center, the Center on Halstead-whic I gather is a great new building, something like San Francisco's-, and they will be showing the documentary on Harry there the end of this month.

Paul Cain said...

Hey, gang. I just happened to be reading The Other Side of Silence today, and came across this quote (pp. 173, 175), which seems to be awfully apropos:

In his 1970s book Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places, Laud Humphreys delineated the history and the complex sociology of thse places of "controlled interaction." Wisely noting that he was not studying homosexuals, but rather "participants in homosexual acts," Humphreys was careful not to lump in one category the participants he observed. As court records throughout the century have verified, many men who frequent "tearooms" are husbands and fathers whose homosexual experiences are limited to infrequent excursions -- they would never consider going to a gay bar or having a relationship with another man, and ten minutes of oral sex in an anonymous setting is all they want of gay life. For them, the men's room scene has always been an expedient, if risky, choice. ... Gay critics of the tearoom trade grew in number as time passed and more gay bars and bathhouses opened and harassment declined. By the late 1960s, spending a great deal of time in rest rooms was looked upon by a new generation of gay men as a little odd when so many other ways to have sex or meet people were available. This outlook, however, ignored the fact that bar and bathhouse patrons and tearoom regulars are often part of very different groups, both in lifestyle and in the psychology of their sexual arousal.

Interesting, no? So, as I mentioned to you yesterday, Billy, Larry Craig may not be "gay," but he certainly seems interested in performing homosexual acts, like the men referenced above. I guess he's "old school," and we are "new school"! Who knew?!

M. Kuda said...

Billy: Yes indeed, what have we been working for since the 1950s? Isn’t it the right to come right out and ask someone if they are interested in a relationship with us? Tearoom Trade should be a thing of the past, relagated to the back of closets. We are all adults now and don't have to set ourselves up for entrappment. The only people who use this kind of footsie/finger signals under john walls seem to be closeted old “straight” men living public heterosexual lives who think what we do is sick, sinful, or in the very least dirty in daylight. Perhaps that's what needs to be stopped. Let’s dump the toilet trade into the daylight; it’s been 50 years. We should be “flushed” with success by now.

Billy Glover said...

That is what "poor" Senator Craig has to suffer, and he helped either pass laws or support laws that put people in jail for doing what he did, when as you say it is not against the law if in privateand self-accepting homosexujals can meet someplace and then go to a private place for the act.  And I do think AIDS still makes life harder for young people todayh than when an older person like I am went cruising.

(I'm 75 and living a quiet life back in LA where I started, after over 30 years of work in L. A. with ONE, Inc and (co-founder of) the Homosexual Information Center—whose website works sometimes ( www.tangentgroup.org).

Richard S. said...

Yeah, men's room sex—to me it has just a kind of icky aesthetic about it. I mean, I can see 2 guys at a truck stop in the middle of nowhere at 3 AM, but an airport restroom? How weird is that?

Billy Glover said...

I don't travel that much, but the few times I have, the restrooms in the secure zone were constantly busy, so how could you find a place—unless someone is REALLY into sex under stress. But you have to be traveling to get in there, so it seems hard to understand that that many men can find the time between planes to sit and tap a foot, etc. And they had to have a clue that that restroom was “active.” Or maybe they just take a chance.

But Senator Craig??? Does guilt turn people on?

(As I understand it though, that restroom had at one time been outside the secure zone and had been active sexually, so the cops had a hard time and some locals kept trying to slip past the checkin to use it—that seems sort of desperate to me, as if there is not another good place in Minneapolis.

We should start an ad campaign to tell people to carry copies of Gay & Lesbian Review, or their local g/l paper or Advocate or something to occupy their time—mental substitute. But again, Craig is either not gay or in the closet so would be afraid to be seen with such a publication/evidence.

(By the way, you may want to glance at wehonews.com, or West Hollywood News, to see—in the Commentary section—their use of my email on Craig. And I was glad to see that several places, I gather including the New York Times, thought about the old scandal and Boys of Boise, that we wonder if Craig knew about.

But not many thought of how Dale Jennings had handled the situation in the early ’50s when he co-founded early Mattachine. Sadly, every back issue of ONE/Tangents has in the news section how many men have been arrested, often entrapped, including at the San Francisco event sponsored by the Council of Religion and the Homosexual, etc etc.)

Jim Schneider said...

Billy, I caution you not to attempt to compare apples to oranges which you seem to do with Senator Craig and Dale Jennings. Jennings’s case was an original pioneering effort against the police in which he admitted to the jury that he was homosexual, and was found NOT GUILTY of homosexual activity over 50 years ago in a dominating public attitude of hatred for GLBT people.

On the other hand, Craig's blast “I AM NOT GAY!, I AM NOT GAY!” is something to behold. He could have been our first acknowledged gay U.S. Senator, and started educating the public about it. Did you listen to the police officer's tape of his conversation yet? The vice officer asked Craig why he shoved his pant leg under the stool divider. He sure used bad judgement. Remember the recent case of the governor of New Jersey?

I have nothing against Craig’s orientation, but my main empathy is with his wife and kids. I give him and his wife credit for adopting three homeless kids. Believe me, I have run into a number of gay men who are married to a woman and have kids, but are desperate to find a way out of the marriage. One case in particular I recall a young man 30 years ago who grabbed me and cried on my shoulder because he couldn’t let his new wife of three months know about himself. Seems like almost I could write a book about what I came across in my life.

Sure, Craig will now have to step down before he wrecks the Republican party.

Nuff for today. Good nite from Jim.