08/28/2007 04:01 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

If You're Gay, Larry Craig, People Will Understand

We read of a police report, noting that according to a Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Police Department report by Sgt. Dave Karsnia, U.S. Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho) used what the officer believed to be hand and foot "signals" to solicit sex from the occupant of a stall next to his.

Craig, 62, pleaded earlier this month to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge resulting from Sgt. Karsnia's write-up, and was fined $1000 and sentenced to a tem-day suspended sentence.

Now, Sen. Craig says it was all a mistake. Perhaps indeed it was. Perhaps indeed, not.

Listen, as a non-Idahoan and as a non-gay person, I don't care what Sen. Craig's sexual orientation is.

But as a non-Republican and most of all, as a human being, I happen to have interest in this matter.

I remember the case of Jim West, the late Mayor of Spokane, Washington. Spokane is a short drive from Idaho, and has many residents with some of the same sociopolitical views that Idaho does.

Also a Republican, West was revealed by the Spokane Spokesman-Review to have frequently solicited gay sex from young men over the Internet.

As does Sen. Craig, fellow Republican West was against the legality of gay marriage or even domestic partnerships.

Despite specific evidence, West refused to admit to that newspaper's reporters that he was gay, or bi. Not long after he was outed, he resigned, and then passed on- a bitter, broken man at war with himself.

Not all repressed people are the same, true. But if this is the path of denial you are on, Larry Craig, there's a graceful way.

If- and let me underscore if- Sen. Craig has been repressing preferences that map back to his essence in the fear this will ruin him politically, I would say that a reckoning with his constituents would not only be welcoming, but would be met by forgiveness from some of the constituents he may have feared would "find out."

At the same time, a forgiveness-seeking Larry Craig might wish to truly unshackle that which he has been repressing by reassessing his public positions about those people who may have been repressing their essences as well.