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When I was living in Australia hitting the toilets at certain beaches was as Ozzie as throwing shrimp on the barbie. Certain beaches for straight hookups, certain beaches for gay hookups.

I wasn't one to hook up in toilets but I did meet a lot of friends in a semi rural part of Oz that way hanging on the beach. It was simply part of the fabric of that society.

Posted by Dave Coffman | August 28, 2007 6:21 PM

No, Dan. You are not the official spokesperson for me. Adrian! is. You, not so much. Just wanted to clear that up.

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 28, 2007 6:26 PM

Dan, for those of us who missed your cnn thing, can you post a link to it?

Posted by Providence | August 28, 2007 6:28 PM

Cruising for gay sex in public toilets is called "cottaging" in England. Just thought you'd like to know.

Posted by fnarf | August 28, 2007 6:31 PM

rip torn? don't you mean rip taylor?? (i can see how you can get them mixed up--if you rip something, it's torn, so to have it mended, you take it to a taylor.)

Posted by glen keenan | August 28, 2007 6:33 PM

first thing he says at his press conference is "thanks for coming out."


Posted by scary tyler moore | August 28, 2007 6:41 PM

Which CNN show? And do we residents of the West Coast still have a chance to catch it with the time delay?

Posted by Nick | August 28, 2007 6:42 PM

Where's the embedded clip?

Posted by Gitai | August 28, 2007 6:42 PM

wait rip torn is gay, thats freaking awesome

Posted by vooodooo84 | August 28, 2007 6:45 PM

I'd love to see the video clip. Any chance of getting a youtube link?

Posted by Jeffers0n | August 28, 2007 6:52 PM

Another thing...

When he plead guilty, "He also was required to stipulate in the statement that he would 'make no claim that I am innocent of the charge to which I am entering a plea of guilty,' the document said."

So he's already breaking some law perhaps by flapping his mouth that he "did nothing wrong"....ALL.OVER.THE.PLACE.

(quote from CNN:

Posted by Lake | August 28, 2007 7:37 PM

Both quotes taken from CNN (#11)

Posted by Lake | August 28, 2007 7:38 PM

What does Janus Shaw Crouse have to say about this?!

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 28, 2007 8:01 PM

Wait! I missed this. Of course, I don't get CNN b/c we get the cheap cable. And I was having dinner (and drinking) at my gay neighbors' home. Where's the clip?

Posted by Michigan Matt | August 28, 2007 8:01 PM

How come they never interview Jim Nabors?

Posted by Slip Mahoney | August 28, 2007 8:43 PM

Why the random diss of British homosexualists?

Posted by The Baron | August 28, 2007 9:03 PM

I don't give a shit if Craig is gay or not. Whatever he thinks about his sexual orientation is irrelevant. He's an arrogant basher who intentionally stood in the way of progress for LGBT (and other) rights so he could feather his political nest.

However, what I do care about is whether at the time of his travel to/from/through the MSP airport, was he on official travel? In other words, was he arrested while on the taxpayer's dime? Someone should find out and pass it along to the Senate Ethics Committee.

Most US Senators travel at government expense (with myriad rules governing such travel, from my days working there for another R Senator). If he was, this tax cut crusading Republican senator is even more of a hypocrite.

Posted by Dave Coffman | August 28, 2007 9:16 PM

While it is deeply funny that this guy is so deep in the hole that he dug for himself, the thing that amazes me is that no-one has mentioned the rather obvious point that he hasn't actually done anything other than sit in a toilet stall and tap his foot. He wasn't caught dick in mouth, or whatever. He was arrested for tapping his foot.

Now I will happily admit that he is more than probably guilty of the crime he plead guilty to, but at the arrest stage he hadn't actually done anything... except think. Which is pretty crap for a country which prides itself on its freedoms.

Posted by Alex | August 28, 2007 9:27 PM


Much agreed Alex

Posted by OR Matt | August 28, 2007 9:37 PM

I'm so sorry I missed the CNN thang. I've been crowing about this and Haggard all day, to anyone who would listen...

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | August 28, 2007 9:39 PM

Dan, I really enjoy the idea of you being 'the' spokesman for us deviants.

Posted by Luis | August 28, 2007 9:43 PM

@ 18,

That makes the whole thing even funnier. He plead guilty to trying to engage in lewd behavior all because of tapping his foot.

Well, actually, let's not forget peeping at the undercover cop for a couple of minutes through the gaps in the stall walls...

Posted by Matt from Denver | August 28, 2007 9:45 PM

@18 - I also agree. As fucked up as it is that he's saying "I'm not gay" instead of saying "I don't suck cock in public restrooms", it is even more fucked up that taxpayer dollars are being spent on cops sitting around in mens' rooms waiting to be propositioned. For a cop, what do you have to do to get stuck on that detail?

For the record, Minneapolis' violent crime rate is double the national average (4,517 incidents for a population of 378,602 in 2003). You'd think the pigs would have other priorities.

Posted by Mahtli69 | August 28, 2007 9:49 PM

Rip Torn appointed you? Wow, Rip Taylor must be pissed. Hope he doesn't use his acid-laced confetti on you.

Posted by dw | August 28, 2007 10:13 PM

dan, i think it is THE official spokesperson for all gays and lesbians. all caps.

i am sorry i missed seeing you on the tube, i was in bellevue shooting a 9 mm glock. not kidding. anyway, you are remiss in not adding the ghost of paul lynde to your list of Gays That Made You Famous, darling.

Posted by kerri harrop | August 28, 2007 11:47 PM

Enjoy that lofty title of 'Spokesperson of the Gays' while it lasts, Dan. They're gonna strip it from you the moment you proposition someone with a vagina.

Posted by Dort | August 29, 2007 12:16 AM

youtube of dan's appearance?

Posted by R | August 29, 2007 12:44 AM

I searched CNN and youtube but found no clip of this, though this was pretty cool from 2006. I guess it also explains the series of 'Chlidren need a mother and a father'

Posted by arandomdude | August 29, 2007 1:16 AM

my favorite parts are the 2 minutes of peeping through the door and imagining a CNN reenactment with commentary of the senators left hand making the movement toward the cop under the senators right wall (the cops left wall). The latter is a very awkward position if you are just doing your business and leaves one to wonder about the senators right hand. As for the placement of cops in airport bathrooms, given the previous war on drugs and the current overhyped war on terror, airport bathrooms would not be a good place to start anything. Add to it, that there had apparently been complaints about sex in the stalls, then of course there were cops in the toilets. where is that cnn clip?

Posted by Philip | August 29, 2007 3:03 AM

OF course --- all the neo conservatives smart pants in the gay community are missing the point ...

The man did nothing illegal. Next, it is YOU.

Are we to now concede we have no right to cruise, to use whatever signal we wish to improvise to say I am interested, are you?

THE COP NEVER MENTIONS DENIAL OF INTEREST - And no mention of the cop coming on or responding in some signal or another - not interested would have been fine.

This is old fashioned entrapment by any take. Here in Seattle, yes, Seattle these stings have happened en mass several times, read SGN accounts a decade ago about Woodland part, and hundreds of gay men arrested for nothing more than interest in a cute undercover cop rubbing his crotch. THEN, they were busted and charged with a felony.

Under great pressure from the gay community, and the Municipal Court Judges, who refused to try the cases - the vice cop sting/entrapment practices of that era abated.

Rumors are of those stings still going on from time to time.

How about arrests of women, when a guy, the undercover cop motions to them to come sit next at a bar... she does come over, sits - and - WHAM, busted, possible sexual contact in the future.

The Senator is a mental case, will most likely kill himself soon - his politics are horrid - but - for gods sake, get some perspective about the police scam in play here ... and how YOU might face a felony under the same game ... at Volunteer Park, Woodland Part ...or ... or... Cal Anderson.

Beware Stranger staff, seems there is a horn-dog or two working there that likes that park, across the street from the Stranger digs ... the bait is a very cute guy rubbing his crotch, and not your intern.

Posted by kelper | August 29, 2007 3:53 AM

@23: Stuck? I'd volunteer.

Posted by Gloria | August 29, 2007 4:16 AM

I agree with #10 and #27, where can we get video of the CNN clip?

Posted by Mike | August 29, 2007 6:40 AM

I've searched CNN high and low and I can't find the video. You tube is a bust also. #11's link isn't working... someone has to have a clip of this; help us out!

Posted by crystina | August 29, 2007 7:03 AM

Am I the only one who thinks the evidence in this case is kind of thin? Read the description of what the officer reported. There was no sex, no offer of sex, no public exposure. Craig blocked the toilet door with his luggage - big deal. Ever try to use an airport stall? That's the only place to put your luggage. He tapped his foot - again, big deal. Etc.

In the old days (as recently as a month or two ago), political sex scandals came with better evidence, like an offer of money for sex, explicit instant messages, showing up in a hooker's phone list, a parade of women claiming inappropriate conduct, etc.

It's easy to pile on a dislikable political figure, but some basic fairness is in order.

Posted by RottedOak | August 29, 2007 7:08 AM

foot tapping - finger signals


cruising - horror of horrors

some of you people are not thinking well

this could be you or someone you know

called entrapment - I bet the cop responded in some way - did not say go away

he, dickhound senator, is a gross hypocrite, political dead duck ? -sad guy

most likely fears ex - communication as well

he will run again and be elected, after all, it is idaho

Posted by Jack | August 29, 2007 7:11 AM

I thought John Aravosis was CNN's go-to guy on gay issues. You must be the gay SEX go-to guy.

Posted by Angel | August 29, 2007 7:32 AM

Well, Angel, it could also be that Aravosis is out of the country and Andrew Sullivan is on his honeymoon (or something like that) Dan is next in line.

Hopefully he will fare better than Deborah Norville and instead become the new gay Katie Couric. I'd much rather see him on CNN than Aravosis or Sullivan.

Posted by patrick | August 29, 2007 8:02 AM

For sure.
But, I'd wager this was not Craig's first tearoom adventure.
It will only take one participant from a previous session to self-disclose his and Craig's dalliance, and the whole thing, a la Haggard, will end in a trip to 'recovery'.

Posted by old timer | August 29, 2007 8:04 AM

Oh, that's right, John's in Greece exploring his roots or something like that. I agree. I would like to see the video. I listen to the "Lovecast" every week, and I'm getting to like Dan's voice.

Posted by Angel | August 29, 2007 8:12 AM

@ 29: slate already has the reenactment up!

Posted by kk | August 29, 2007 8:19 AM

No thanks to Dan (who could at least have told us when he was on, or who the host was, or anything), here's the transcript.

SANCHEZ: All right.

Joining us now, Dan Savage, who writes this syndicated sex column. It's called "Savage Love."

Thanks for joining us.


SANCHEZ: How big a problem is this?

SAVAGE: Well, it is a big problem in the lives of a lot of the men who do it. It is not the problem in the lives of most openly gay men.

Invariably, when there is a bust in a public restroom where there is lewd activity going on, reporters are shocked to discover that the men who have been arrested are heterosexually identified, straight identified married men frequently and priests. Very rarely do you hear about openly gay men being busted in a place like that.

SANCHEZ: So, what are you saying?


SANCHEZ: What are you saying with that? What...

SAVAGE: I'm saying it is a release mechanism for guys who are closeted.

This is once again a la with -- as with Ted Haggard, who claims to be heterosexual now, with Bob Allen, the Florida...


SANCHEZ: And whose fault is it that they're closeted?

SAVAGE: It's the culture's fault. Gay men and gay lesbians don't construct a culture that encourages people to remain closeted all their lives.

It is also, however, this individual's responsibility. I think that Senator Craig has been an adult for, you know, since the gay- lesbian civil rights movement has achieved remarkable successes. And he chose to remain closeted, if he is, in fact, gay, which I believe he is, and I think most sensible people are going to conclude. And he chose a life of furtive sexual contacts to get his sexual needs met in places that are, frankly, kind of revolting and not fair to other people who may be in the bathroom for its intended purpose.

SANCHEZ: I suppose so.

By the way, just to be fair, Bob Allen has not been charged with this, and he has said he said all along that he's not guilty. He's pleading not guilty in this case, just to be fair on that count. I know that there's a lot of names that have been thrown out there.

When you look at this, though, couldn't you just say, these guys, the ones who actually are found guilty of something like this are just plain wrong and it has nothing to do with the culture forcing them to do these things? Because, after all, going into a bathroom to have anonymous sex with somebody you don't even know is in and of itself just creepy, isn't it?

SAVAGE: Oh, it is creepy.

For some men, as your expert said earlier, that is the thrill. Part of the thrill is the risk. But it is an inappropriate kind of acting out. And it is the way the culture used to accommodate gays and lesbians. For 1,500 years, you couldn't live as an openly gay person and you were -- your -- heterosexual was compulsory.


SAVAGE: So, people lived heterosexual lives, gay people did, and then had gay sex in places where the culture said, OK, there, and nowhere else, bathhouses, bathrooms, some public parks. And that cultural compact has now shifted, where you can live an openly gay life and there is less tolerance for this sort of activity, even among gays and lesbians.

Gay people don't like hearing that he was arrested doing something gay in a bathroom. There's nothing gay about what he was doing.



SAVAGE: ... pathetic and desperate in a bathroom and something that very few gay men do.

SANCHEZ: Right. It has nothing to do with that. And you make a very good point. That's important.

By the way, how do these guys know where to go? Are there specific bathrooms that they know to go to?

SAVAGE: There are now, thanks to the Internet, lists of cruisy toilets that are constantly updated and Web sites. And again these Web sites really do facilitate and make it possible for men who choose to remain closeted because they believe Jesus hates them if they're gay or their constituents won't for them if they come out, which is very likely in this case, makes it possible for them to live a double life and facilitates that double life.

SANCHEZ: What about the -- this officer? Did you read the police report? The officer talks about tapping the foot, and then, you know, holding with his hand the bottom of the stall?

Is this true? Are there actual hand signals and gestures that you make when you want someone to engage in something like this with you?

SAVAGE: Well, I never engaged in this, but from what I have read, there is an escalation of contact when people are trying to cruise. One of the things that most people don't realize about these cruisy bathrooms, your reporter showed a clip of children in a park to create the impression of children in peril.

SANCHEZ: Right. SAVAGE: Most of this stuff is very subtle and people have no idea it is going on because the persons engaging in contact don't want to be arrested, don't want to be busted, and also don't want to alarm people unnecessarily.

And so what there will be is, there will be this initial contact, a little initial eye contact, which is where the police report begins, and then the subtle and slow escalation of welcomed and reciprocated subtle signals, the tapping of feet.

The police officer didn't -- you know, as most -- if somebody stared at me through a crack in a bathroom stall as this began, I would give them a dirty look and they would go away, as most people would. The police officer did not welcome the contact, and the senator escalated the contact, which is how these things play out. People don't just leap on each other in public restrooms.


SANCHEZ: That is what the police report says. It is what is alleged. We will follow the story.

We thank you, Dan, for bringing us your insight on this.

SAVAGE: You're welcome. Thank you for having me.

Posted by RonK, Seattle | August 29, 2007 8:24 AM

I saw the clip of Craig's press conference yesterday. Oh lordy. What a sad and scary man. And his poor wife, looking confused and distraught, right by his side, but with big sunblockers on so you couldn't see how red her eyes were. Tragic for her, but he deserves every bit of suffering that comes to him.

On a more positive note, maybe he, Haggard, and Foley can put together a drag act and take it to Provincetown.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | August 29, 2007 8:24 AM

Damn right it's entrapment but that's not the point. Larry Craig is right. He did nothing wrong in that bathroom. The wrong is being committed by Craig saying one thing and doing another. The wrong is being committed by the people of Idaho who judge the quality of their elected officials by their sexual orientation. The wrong is being committed by the press who are focusing on whether he is gay instead of calling out the legislatures of this country for treating homosexuality as a crime in and of itself.

That's why this story is so important. Maybe someone out there in power will figure out that there is something wrong with the whole scenario.

Posted by Smade | August 29, 2007 8:28 AM

I just want to say that this most recent outing of a closeted official, who votes against gay rights while patronizing the sleeziest of gay sex venues, only brings to the surface the issue of what happens when people are not allowed to be who they are publicly. When denied the opportunity to live our lives openly and without shame for who we are, this is what happens.

Sadly, many elected officials - including a most recent gubernatorial candidate here in Washington State - pay hustlers for sex, cruise the parks at night and hide their sexuality from their wives. When I was a teen here in Seattle, the Republican "family man" I am referring to picked me up on the street, took me to the YWCA and had sex with me and paid me $40. When I fell asleep, he and the $40 disappeared. Now he wants to be Governor, and runs as a conserviative!!?

I think the answer is that Homosexuality needs to not be villified in the media anymore as some kind of perversion, or immoral state of being. The actions of these sleezeballs has less to do with their sexuality, than their shifty self-serving nature to decieve others for their own gain and at a great cost to everyone else.

Posted by Disghusted in Seattle | August 29, 2007 8:51 AM

Re: entrapment. It's not entrapment when some creep stares through the crack of a bathroom stall. To me, that fits the description of "lewd misconduct." Not that the cops don't have better things to do, but still. I wouldn't want my son to have to put up with some creep hanging out at a public (park, airport) bathroom and staring through the stall crack. Would you? Ugh. And if it becomes rampant, how to put a stop to it?

Posted by kk | August 29, 2007 8:53 AM

A friend sent me this:

"Why are plains-clothes cops posted in airport bathrooms to arrest men who "solicit sex"? Are there plain-clothes cops in the airport cocktail lounges arresting heterosexual couples if one of them taps the other's leg, with the other's consent?

Is the cop there to protect unwilling men from being annoyed? Or to protect an unwilling public from being put in the position of witnessing a full sexual encounter? Those purposes might well be OK - especially if plain-clothes cops are stationed in the cocktail lounges for the same purpose in regard to heterosexual annoyance -- but then the cop should be protecting real complainants, not becoming the complainant himself."

Posted by duncan | August 29, 2007 8:59 AM

As for the entrapment/Craig discussions, my first thought is... if this was truly entrapment, why didn't Larry Craig use this as an excuse immediately?

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | August 29, 2007 9:18 AM

When a person propositions another in an airport bar there isn't the assumption the sex act will be carried out right there at the bar in front of everyone. I seriously doubt that the Senator was trying to entice the nice policeman back to his hotel room - the expectation was of sex right there in public, which is illegal, and rightly so. This isn't entrapment in any way shape or form.

Posted by John | August 29, 2007 9:38 AM

@47 Because claiming entrapment would mean he interacted with the cop and agreed to something the cop could charge him with.

He's claiming it was all a terrible misunderstanding.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | August 29, 2007 9:38 AM

This is not entrapment. If the officer had initially solicited Craig (looked through the crack in his stall), that would have been entrapment.

It completely grosses me out that you can get arrested for this, though. No lewd act was committed, even if Craig's intentions (to have a fun, lewd time) were obvious. It just doesn't seem very, like, freedom-y that I can't tap your foot in a bathroom stall, giving you the opportunity to either give me your room number or punch my lights out, depending on your mood.

Posted by jeff | August 29, 2007 9:42 AM

And good point @49. He's fully fucked either way.

Posted by jeff | August 29, 2007 9:46 AM

Dan, did you get a Dirty Sanchez?

Why didn't Anderson Cooper probe you?

Posted by michael strangeways | August 29, 2007 9:50 AM

Re Entrapment: Nu uh.

Entrapment happens when a police officer or someone working for law enforcement thinks up a criminal scheme (i.e., a drug deal, lewd conduct in a public place, etc.) and then lures or induces the soon-to-be defendant into committing the crime that the defendant otherwise (i.e., without the luring/inducement) never would have intented to commit.

No entrapment occured here. The undercover officer did not lure Sen. Craig into staring at him through the crack between the stall and the door. The officer did not induce Sen. Craig to stick his foot in the stall next to him.

Minnestota charged Sen. Craig with

1. Interference with Privacy, which is defined as, among other things, "surreptitiously gazing, or peeping into ... [a] place where a reasonable person would have an expectation of privacy and has exposed or likely to expose their [sic] intimate parts ... or the clothing covering the immediate area of the intimate parts and doing so with the intent to intrude or interfere with the privacy of the occupant[.]" Minn. Stat. Sec. 609.746.


2. Disorderly Conduct, defined as "engaging in offensive, obscene ... conduct ... in a public or private place, knowing or having reasonable grounds to know that it will, or will tend to, alarm anger or disturb others[.]" Minn. Stat. Sec. 609.72.

Sen. Craig pleaded guilty to the Disorderly Conduct charge. So even if the foot-taping and hand-swiping was a bit thin for a "lewd conduct" charge, that is not what Minnesota accused him of nor is it what he pleaded guilty to. Instead, it sounds like the charges and his guilty plea matched his conduct (i.e., peeping in at the officer, sticking his foot and swiping his hand in the stall next to him).

Posted by als | August 29, 2007 9:53 AM


I still say he should have been arrested for being a peepy. Everyone deserves to take a dump in peace.

Posted by keshmeshi | August 29, 2007 10:30 AM

The other night I saw Dan on that sex show with that horny old lady. He was fabulous!

Posted by Shaniqua Jackson | August 29, 2007 11:07 AM

sure, it's not entrapment (that we can tell).

but i'm with most here... busting people on the way to a crime doesn't seem like a good idea. maybe wait until they commit the crime?

reading the charges, it seems like they were fair if the police officer's testimony is accurate.

Posted by infrequent | August 29, 2007 12:11 PM

Yes, and if they weren't fair then Sen. Craig should have challenged them in court. He chose to admit guilt instead, and now he's trying to take it back.

Posted by Orv | August 29, 2007 1:11 PM

I say let him withdraw his guilty plea. Then put him on the stand and let him dig his own grave. Now that's justice.

Posted by Greg | August 29, 2007 1:27 PM

I'm glad to see you changed "Rip Torn" to "Charles Nelson Reilly". That was my first thought on seeing the names, in fact -- "where's Charles?" My second thought was "no, Paul Lynde".

Posted by Fnarf | August 29, 2007 2:14 PM
Posted by Strawberry | August 29, 2007 6:05 PM

On a different subject, I'd like to ask Dan Savage his reaction to the unfortunate choice of words Jerry Lewis made during hour 18 of his annual Labor Day Telethon. Mr. Lewis has apologized, and acknowledged their inappropriate nature, and I think most people could concede the point that he was tired, and perhaps had had a few cocktails, and wasn't thinking as clearly as he might. Certainly he was attempting to be funny extemporaneously, and that, in my experience, is fraught with potential for foot-in-mouth disease.
But I'm curious about your reaction, Dan...even though you, yourself, are every bit as straight as Larry Craig. What's your "wide stance" on using the other "f" word on live TV?

Posted by don stitt | September 5, 2007 12:11 PM

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