A conservative US senator, who has repeatedly voted for anti-gay laws, has pled guilty after apparently being caught in a compromising situation in a men’s airport toilet.
Republican Senator Larry Craig of Idaho was arrested at the Minneapolis airport and charged with disorderly conduct and interference to privacy. He admitted guilt on August 8 in court to the first charge while the second was dismissed. He was ordered to pay over $500 in fines and put on probation for a year.
According to newspaper reports, Craig was arrested on June 11 by plainclothes police after complaints of lewd behaviour in the bathroom.
In a statement issued after the matter came to light in the press, the 62 year old Craig, who is married, denied that he did anything inappropriate. “At the time of this incident, I complained to the police that they were misconstruing my actions.”
He added that, “I should have had the advice of counsel in resolving this matter. In hindsight, I should not have pled guilty. I was trying to handle this matter myself quickly and expeditiously.”
Craig has previously denied claims by a blogger last year that he had sex with men.
In Congress, he has typically taken an anti-gay stance. He has voted in favour of a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, against adding sexual orientation to the definition of hate crimes and against prohibiting job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.