September 17, 2007

"We believe the sting operation used to apprehend Mr. Craig was unconstitutional."

"The statute the government is relying upon makes it a crime to use certain offensive words.... To be able to solicit sex in private, in public spaces, for instance, is constitutionally protected speech."

The ACLU backs Larry Craig.

27 comments:

hdhouse said...

I'll remember that next time I take a pee in a the public restrooms at Penn Station in New York. I wonder if a fist in my face is also free speech protected.

I suppose it is a fine line...what if Craig were speech impaired...is this a form of sign language? This is an interesting twist however...it reads as if a man approaches a woman - hits on her in a bar and outright propositions her for sex if that is protected speech or to be more specific, if the "my place or yours" line is code for a hookup....so if she were to say, why wait, how about right here and now..

But what if she said no way. Is she protected by any laws or am I off the hook on "hey, I was just being a guy".

the ACLU argument is lost on me...on the other hand (bad choice of words) wouldn't Craig have to admit that he was after sex for the ACLU argument to be workable?

I can't wait for this to play out. At least it will get Faux Noise onto something and fill their hours.

DavidEhrenstein said...

"wouldn't Craig have to admit that he was after sex for the ACLU argument to be workable?"

Yep.

That's what's so delicious about this.In order to defend himself along the lines the ACLU's Amicus brief establishes Mr. "I'm Not Gay" would have to cop to being gay.

I LOVE IT!!!!!

lurker2209 said...

hdhouse said...
But what if she said no way. Is she protected by any laws or am I off the hook on "hey, I was just being a guy".

The way I understand it, if he asks once and you're not interested you just blow him off, go back to your friends and point out that he's such a looser. If he asks repeated times and won't leave you alone, you tell the bartender he's harassing you and the bouncer takes care of it.

That's bar etiquette, but from a legal point of view, the line between protected speech and harassment is also pretty clearly defined. I think the ACLU is saying that these toe-tapping signals in restrooms by gay men can't be considered indecent or harassment.

But yeah, it seems unlikely that Craig would take advantage of the ACLU's support.

Luckyoldson said...

You think this might make it to the Supreme Court?

Gosh...I hope so.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I wonder if a fist in my face is also free speech protected.

I'd lobby for it to be an amendment.

Gedaliya said...

That's what's so delicious about this.In order to defend himself along the lines the ACLU's Amicus brief establishes Mr. "I'm Not Gay" would have to cop to being gay.

No he wouldn't. Getting a blow job in a toilet stall doesn't define you as "gay."

Now...giving a blow job in a toilet stall is another matter...

MadisonMan said...

Politics makes strange (cough) bedfellows.

Mr. B. said...

There is a god....

Revenant said...

HD, I'm pretty sure you can simultaneously argue that (a) you're innocent of the charge and (b) that the charge is unconstitutional anyway. E.g., if you were arrested for saying "George Bush is ugly", you could argue both that you never said that and that it would have been constitutionally protected speech anyway.

Of course, whether he gets convicted or not nobody is going to believe Craig's explanation for thi.

bearing said...

Query: How do you solicit sex simultaneously "in private" and "in a public space?"

nick danger said...

Is she protected by any laws or am I off the hook on "hey, I was just being a guy".

I'm confused. What would she need to be protected from? Why would think that it's illegal to ask someone to have sex with you?

Perhaps there is some confusion about the fact that it's illegal to ask some to have sex with you for money.

Smilin' Jack said...

"To be able to solicit sex in private, in public spaces, for instance, is constitutionally protected speech."

I should think so. In the straight world, if men couldn't do that once in a while, none of us would be here.

bearing said...
Query: How do you solicit sex simultaneously "in private" and "in a public space?"


Hee hee...better figure it out, or Darwin will cull your genes from the pool. Hint: the solicitation and the sex are not necessarily simultaneous....

titus20 said...

I think it was Chris Rock who said straight men are only as faithful as their options.

If straight men had all the options for sex that gay men would have they would do the same thing. Point being they are all men.

So it's not the gay men are more promiscuous it is just that they have more options. Gays are lucky in that respect I guess-if you want to have sex any time or any place. Women, unfortunately for straight men, won't go to a park restroom and show their boobys.

titus20 said...

Well if Craig does decide to run for reelection he can use the ACLU as one if his supporters-I am sure that will make the fine people of Idaho cringe.

ACLU is the evil group that republicans love to hate even though they also supported Rush Limbaugh as well.

James said...

Damn those ACLU bastards, always attacking the straight, conservative, god-fearing Christians of the world, defending those godless liberal homosexuals . . . oh wait . . . :)

Cedarford said...

I think the ACLU is full of it. People will continue to demand society regulates creepy or objectionable activities in THEIR public spaces.

There is no free speech "right" to play "50-cent" at full volume in a public park.
Teens chattering can be hushed by a librarian or by a courtroom baliff in a public courtroom if they upset others in the public space or interfere with primary activities that the public has an expectation will not be disrupted.

Public schools need a variety of free speech activities from not interfering in teaching - to the gay pederast outside the fence saying "Yoo, hoo, young boy! How about you and me go and play some video games and have a great pizza together!"

In public restrooms, The General Public has certain expectations in return for their tax dollars. Absolutely expected is privacy. Like from total strangers looking into stalls or sidling up to a guy taking a leak and commenting on what a hot cock they have.

This is the ACLU that has shitfits when the "sacred privacy rights" of Saudi terrorists are somehow violated when a server in the USA has a computer that intercepts the signal of a Saudi in Riyadh talking to a Saudi in Quetta, Pakistan about "ebola virus".

But as Hollywood gays butter their bread (and other places), the ACLU sees Toilet Twinkies peeping into stalls, signalling, propositioning as not intrusive on privacy but exercising free speech.

Bullcrap. Doing so in the expected privacy of a restroom is not like where social interaction with gay and straight clothed people is expected and anticipated by all parties - like in bars, like in mass transport where at least a single advance is not considered socially wrong...

And if somehow the ALCU wins, and the cops can no longer roust gay peepers from public toilets, expect gay-bashing to make a healthy and socially sanctioned comeback.
*************
What should have happened, IMO, is that the "crapper cop" should have just issued Craig a 1st-time warning and the cops maintained a database of "Toilet Twinkies" and only busted repeat offenders. That they went after Craig so hard and zealously outside the gravity of the "crime" probably hints at why the cop was given crapper duty to start with. (Likely a major league asshole abusing his power and a recipient of civilian complaints.)

Methadras said...

This is nothing more than a backdoor way for the ACLU to introduce some sort of Constitutionality via the Craig case to remove the authorities from busting gay public bathroom sexual encounters and propositioning ala George Michaels. Well, what should one expect from a group of lawyers that defends the freedom of speech of child rapists and pedophiles in the name of the 1st Amendment.

jeff said...

A list of all the laws Craig broke:
1. Looked at some guy in one of the stalls. Creepy, yes. Apparently now illegal.
2. put his bag down in front by his feet instead of leaving it outside the stall or next to the toilet.
3. tapped his foot.
(officer tapped his also, apparently legal when done by a officer)
4. "wide stance" bumping the officers foot.
5. ran hand alone bottom of wall.

While I suppose a case might be made for battery on number 4, I still do not see a violation of the law. I am old school, I guess. I like to see my criminals arrested AFTER they break a law.
This is made for the ACLU. I dont see a way they couldnt get involved.

Luckyoldson said...

jeff,
I hate to break our string of agreements (1), but have you ever, in your life...bumped a foot against another man's foot in the next stall?

Luckyoldson said...

jeff,
I hate to break our string of agreements (1), but have you ever, in your life...bumped a foot against another man's foot in the next stall?

Luckyoldson said...

Or posted twice by mistake?

EnigmatiCore said...

"I'll remember that next time I take a pee in a the public restrooms at Penn Station in New York. I wonder if a fist in my face is also free speech protected."

Let's say a man propositions a woman without making damn sure through sufficient clues of body language and tone that the woman is interested.

Can she respond by slapping him?

Wasn't this the social norm at one time?

If she does now, could the man have her charged with a crime?

Has society become more or less tolerant, therefore, of unwanted sexual propositions from men to women?

On the other hand, same situation, but at the office, and the woman can get the guy fired.

If you think she should not be able to slap a guy in the first, but should be able to get the guy fired in the second, aren't you saying that outside of work, a woman is helpless to prevent this?

Can you believe in 'turn the other cheek', so to speak? If so, haven't you ever encountered the person who is so persistent as to be disruptive? Or so crude as to cause offense? At what point does your freedom of expression impinge on another's freedom to be left alone? Isn't choosing to be left alone a form of expression?

How does anyone's answers change if we make it guy-to-guy?

Were we better off, as a society, when unwanted sexual advances could be met with a quick slap or punch, that made it so that people were mindful of not making such advances without having a good idea if they were wanted? With the cultural expectation being that such strikes were expected in those situations? Where the person subjected to the unwanted advance at least was compensated by the satisfaction of having belted the cretin?

Just asking some questions.

EnigmatiCore said...

Sen. Craig was trying to solicit sex in the men's room.

People don't want that going on in the public bathrooms; ergo, the laws and regulations as they have been crafted.

Arguing that Craig just tapped a guy's foot and that shouldn't be a problem is getting away from the fact that he was doing exactly what people don't want to be done in their public bathrooms.

If you are arguing that men should be able to solicit sex from other men in public bathrooms, then please argue that rather than trying to say that what Craig did was not problematic.

hdhouse said...

I heard an interesting take on all this on the radio a while back...mainly the observation that it is the 21st century now and homosexual hookups are reduced to some minor extent to anon trysts in public restrooms in public spaces...that grown men have to sneak around and tap feet in the quest for sex. This had nothing to do with dating, meeting the love of your life, starting a relationship...zip zero...it was all about a 10 minute fantasy...the proverbial babe in the next seat on the plane taking a trip with you to the lav for a mile high club validation...and one we look at like the plague and the other like wow man cool, he/she scored.

The larger issue is where have we gone as a society that polarizes sex to this extent - and i'm not in any way defending Craig - that rest room was also used by kids and a lot of people who could/would be offended so in the grand scheme of things he is just a slug with no sense of decorum or regard for anyone other than his penis....but that gay sex for want of a better term is reduced to this. that to me doesn't seem fair and society should examine that just a little bit.

Roger said...

What HD said.

Revenant said...

People don't want that going on in the public bathrooms; ergo, the laws and regulations as they have been crafted.

That doesn't address the constitutionality of those laws, though.

bearing said...

Thanks for the hint. I get it now -- the sentence would have been better worded "to solicit private sex in public spaces."

I suppose the constitutionality hinges on whether sex-solicitation of some type can be regarded as obscenity not protected by the First Amendment. Is there a difference between "Excuse me kind sir, could I interest you in a tryst back at my place?" and "Hey, wanna f$ck?"