As no stranger to the transgressions that occur in restrooms, both public and private, and in deference to the activities and unintentional noises that occur beyond thin walls of parental bedrooms, I offer this expression of my current observations.
The tragedy of Sen. Larry Craig's circumstance is not that he may have committed a misdemeanor act warranting only a small fine and a suspended few days of jail service, for there is nothing to regret about the particular personal gratification of his sexuality, human sexuality or gay sexuality. Big media and great news stories do not arise merely from the subjects of petty crimes and common human traits, even when it concerns officials of high office.
What, then, is the scandal that draws the eyes of America on what may be Craig's minor transgression and this lowly place that is Idaho?
It seems that the real news and the cause for America's attention concerns Craig's career of fervent political acts for an agenda that seeks to deny and damage homosexual people everywhere while appearing to be in conflict with his own identity and contrary to the benefit of his Idaho constituents. True to the nature of man and media, it is the perception of hypocrisy that attracts our attention. Through an awareness of this hypocrisy, the discussion of Craig is elevated beyond politics and pointing fingers.
By our higher principles and beliefs, it is evident that the apparent wrongs concerning Craig's behavior are not so much that he seeks love or attention in public places or that by its fulfillment he may make some offensive noise there. The greater wrong is society's stigma for sexuality and same-sex orientation and it is the secrecy, denial, hypocrisy and maladjustment that some lives must endure because of that stigma. The greater wrong is the harm done to individuals and to society by the bigotry that is born from our many forms of human maladjustment.
Now these wrongs are perpetuated and compounded by our harsh judgments and public condemnations of a man's apparent petty act in a restroom. When great problems are overshadowed by little ones, we render ourselves more vulnerable to harm.
Craig's career of anti-gay and suppressive politics has today only served to condemn himself, but tomorrow there will surely be ample blame for his petty crime accusers. Sen. Craig, I am forgiving of your lesser crime but you now stand accused of the higher one. Your unfaithful peers and accusers have condemned and humiliated you and in the past you were one of them.
Though you are now laid low, I implore you to rise above the small perceptions. It would be better to proclaim your right to be yourself and it would be better to come out in support of equal protections for same-sex partners and all individuals. Rather than go down as Idaho's fallen senator, you have the opportunity to arise in self-forgiveness as America's reformed leader. After all, from your perspective you may be uniquely qualified to testify to the future and the ends of man's sexuality and of homosexuality in particular.
Perhaps your experience would indicate that homosexuality is firmly established within nature, within our society and within our institutions. How could you ever again lead us to believe that homosexuality is an anomaly that will ever go away and that its people should be further suppressed by laws and society? Shouldn't we hope, rather, to release those suppressions so that some good people may no longer be oppressed by a petty-minded bigotry and citizen majority?
Shouldn't we also hope for the day when human sexuality receives a more open and reasonable consideration? Sen. Craig, for such a stand of reason and compassion, I, for one, would be proud of who you are. But as an Idaho constituent I would suggest that you represent us with strength and in truth or that you not represent us at all.
Come patriots and humanitarians everywhere and now seek the flag we all must bear. Wave this you readers, senators and Americans and have faith that your flag is not a symbol¾it is an idea, is not an icon, but is within us, is not for your country alone but is for everyone. To me it is not of patterns on cloth mounted to a pole, but is more about this sheet of paper and these words and this plea to you now: It is time to step up or step down.