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Despite toilet arrest, Craig insists he's not gay

Despite toilet arrest, Craig insists he's not gay

Republican U.S. Senator Larry Craig said on Tuesday he is not gay and had made a mistake in pleading guilty to disorderly conduct after he was arrested in a men's toilet at a Minnesota airport in June.
First elected to the Senate in 1990, the Idaho senator was arrested by a plainclothes police officer investigating complaints of lewd conduct in the men's public restroom at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
"I am not gay, I never have been gay," Craig told a news conference in Boise, Idaho. He apologized to the people of Idaho for what he said was a "cloud" over the state because of the incident. "I did nothing wrong," he said.
According to a police report cited by the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, the police investigator, who was in an adjoining stall in the men's room, arrested Craig on June 11 after the senator made gestures with his feet and hand that are common signals used by men soliciting sex.
Craig, 62, a married father of three, denied any sexual intent and said the whole incident was a misunderstanding.
A grim-faced Craig, whose wife, Suzanne, stood silently by his side at the news conference, appeared defiant in the face of the furor over the incident.
"While I was not involved in any inappropriate conduct at the Minneapolis airport or anywhere else, I chose to plead guilty to a lesser charge in the hope of making it go away," he read from a prepared statement.
"I did not seek any counsel, either from an attorney, staff, friends, or family. That was a mistake, and I deeply regret it."
The conservative Republican, who has spoken out against gay rights and same-sex marriage, said he would announce next month, as planned, whether to seek re-election next year to the Senate where Democrats have an effective a 51-49 majority.
Republican leaders requested a Senate ethics panel investigation and said they were "examining other aspects of the case to determine if additional action is required."


Updated : 2021-04-14 09:25 GMT+08:00