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July 25, 2008 3:11 PM   Subscribe

Police set up a sting in a park and men are arrested for lewd behavior. The mens behavior is illegal but should their lives be ruined? He says he was told to plead guilty and did so to avoid a harsher punishment that would have come had Giles pled innocent and then been found guilty. Afterward, his employer fired him. "When I lost my job over it my wife was so upset and distraught and distressed that she had a major heart attack," said Giles, whose wife died shortly after ABC News interviewed him. John Stossel does his report.
posted by halekon (118 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
"We don't grant privacy to people who have been arrested for and charged with crimes."

And right there would be the problem, as that sentence should read "We don't grant privacy to people who have been convicted of crimes."
posted by davejay at 3:21 PM on July 25, 2008 [19 favorites]


By the way, the above quote was from Peter Sprigg, senior director of policy studies at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., who is by all appearances a douche.
posted by davejay at 3:21 PM on July 25, 2008


In related news: Circuit court denies Bob Allen's appeal
"The Brevard County Circuit Court rejected a former state legislator’s appeal in his sex-solicitation case.

Former Florida Rep. Bob Allen (R.), 49, was convicted last year of soliciting oral sex from an undercover officer in a Titusville park.

Allen was sentenced in November to six months’ probation, a $250 fine and other court and restitution costs — a sentence put off pending the outcome of the appeal.

The Brevard County Circuit Court panel, made up of three judges, has affirmed the conviction."
posted by ericb at 3:23 PM on July 25, 2008


"We have to look at society's interest as well," Sprigg said. "Society does have an interest in people's private sexual behavior."

Just reinforcing the douche factor, there.

No, it doesn't, shopowner Williams countered. She believes private should mean private.

"They will have to pry this vibrator from my cold dead hand before I stop selling them," she said.


What a way to go.
posted by davejay at 3:24 PM on July 25, 2008


And right there would be the problem, as that sentence should read "We don't grant privacy to people who have been convicted of crimes."

Well, he plead guilty, which is in effect a kind of conviction, although in some cases people will get deals where they'll go through probation and have an actual conviction filed.
posted by delmoi at 3:25 PM on July 25, 2008


In related news: Circuit court denies Bob Allen's appeal

Interestingly, that was not a case of a police sting. The cop was there scoping out a robbery or something like that, and Bob Allen just approached him looking to buy sex.
posted by delmoi at 3:26 PM on July 25, 2008


Sorry, I want to know who does and does not get arrested.

If you're unhappy with your choice to plead guilty, a) don't commit crimes and/or b) get a better attorney.

The audience wasn't pleased and started chanting "City Council sucks."

If only they, you know, voted ...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:27 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


some parts of that article are hysterical:

Ten minutes before the show, police showed up to lay down the law. Lots of police, said bar owner, Scott Stephenson.

"We had 16 uniformed officers, a [police car], a K-9 unit, undercover agents," Stephenson said.


Stephenson followed up: "But when they started saying things like "Uh oh! Did someone call the cops?!" in really flamboyant voices and dancing to techno we realized it was just a rival agency trying to horn in on our crowd."
posted by shmegegge at 3:29 PM on July 25, 2008


A single-link to a video is not a good MeFi post. Not only is it devoid of information, but it's useless to those of us who can't watch spend 4+ minutes watching a video.
posted by tinkertown at 3:31 PM on July 25, 2008


Oh, and by the way, you know who else was caught doing something and pled guilty to a lesser charge? This guy. I don't see anyone jumping up and down to defend his right to privacy.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:32 PM on July 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


I agree that society has an interest in people's private sexual behavior. I know I do anyway. That shit is hot.
posted by puke & cry at 3:34 PM on July 25, 2008 [10 favorites]


"But when they started saying things like "Uh oh! Did someone call the cops?!" in really flamboyant voices and dancing to techno we realized it was just a rival agency trying to horn in on our crowd."

Hot Cops?
posted by dhammond at 3:39 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Present day cops are largely those the Army rejected; I'm sure we can look forward to more legal and reasonable enforcement of the criminal law in the years to come
posted by norabarnacl3 at 3:41 PM on July 25, 2008


it's useless to those of us who can't watch spend 4+ minutes watching a video.

But not quite as useless as your complaint about a post that contains a 4 page article.
posted by dhammond at 3:42 PM on July 25, 2008 [6 favorites]


"Society does have an interest in people's private sexual behavior."

Yeah, like p&c alluded to, we have something like that already. It's called "pornography". And the nice part is that you can enjoy it without needing to ruin a couple of people's lives. Or... is that the part that gets these people off? The knowing that they are hurting people?

this is part of America's "War on Sex".

This would be a bad war to have. Seriously. Let's not do this.
posted by quin at 3:44 PM on July 25, 2008


Doesn't the police blotter print all the arrested people's names anyway? And has forever?
posted by smackfu at 3:48 PM on July 25, 2008


Present day cops are largely those the Army rejected; I'm sure we can look forward to more legal and reasonable enforcement of the criminal law in the years to come

You mean, now that the army doesn't reject anyone?
posted by grobstein at 3:57 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, and by the way, you know who else was caught doing something and pled guilty to a lesser charge? This guy. I don't see anyone jumping up and down to defend his right to privacy.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:32 PM on July 25 [+] [!]


Really?? You can't see the difference? We shouldn't hold lawmakers to a higher standard than the citizens they strip civil rights from?
posted by basicchannel at 4:02 PM on July 25, 2008 [5 favorites]


Aren't sex toy bans probably unconstitutional after Lawrence v. Texas?
posted by grobstein at 4:10 PM on July 25, 2008


Present day cops are largely those the Army rejected

Indeed. I've developed a theoretical Macho Bully Personality Job Hierarchy, as follows:

Couldn't/can no longer make it in - Becomes
The Military - Metropolitan Police Officer
Metropolitan police officer - County Sheriff Deputy
County Sheriff Deputy - Speed Trap Suburb Police Officer
Speed Trap Suburb Police Officer - Higher-level (bank, etc.) Security
Higher-level Security - Pathetic (mall, neighborhood, etc.) Security

Sometimes steps are skipped on the way down, e.g. couldn't make it in the military and straight to mall security, but that's the hierarchy.
posted by DecemberBoy at 4:11 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


The obvious answer to a sex toy ban is to make your sex toy capable of firing bullets. Then the NRA will make sure everyone can get a .44 semiautomatic dildo.
posted by MegoSteve at 4:13 PM on July 25, 2008 [24 favorites]


"We have to look at society's interest as well," Sprigg said. "Society does have an interest in people's private sexual behavior."
Speaking as a part of society, boy, do I ever!
posted by Flunkie at 4:15 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


We shouldn't hold lawmakers to a higher standard than the citizens they strip civil rights from?

You should, but only if you're a terrorist who hates our freedum.

Basically, if the lawmaker is Republican, he has carte blanche to break the law, enact laws to take away others' rights, escape the wrath of the system and otherwise be a completely hypocritical douchenozzle.

But if you're not right-wing, then watch out, pervert.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:15 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Really?? You can't see the difference? We shouldn't hold lawmakers to a higher standard than the citizens they strip civil rights from?

Huh? You seem to be missing my point entirely. I'm arguing for equality in all things. Larry Craig was arrested and it was public knowledge. Ken Giles was arrested and it was public knowledge. Both pled guilty to lesser charges, in part because of that public knowledge.

Some seem to be arguing that Giles' case should not have been public because ... well ... because it feels nicer? Is that it?

Some seem to be arguing that Craig's case should definitely be public because ... well ... because it feels nicer? Is that it?

My take? Treat 'em the same. Fuck 'em both.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:23 PM on July 25, 2008


...but, er, not in the park.
posted by koeselitz at 4:31 PM on July 25, 2008


...even if the grass "feels nicer."
posted by koeselitz at 4:32 PM on July 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


Difference being, CPB, that Larry Craig is a public official. We have to hold them to a higher standard.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:37 PM on July 25, 2008


Some seem to be arguing that Craig's case should definitely be public because ... well ... because it feels nicer? Is that it?

Craig was pilloried for hypocrisy and then again professionally for being an incompetent lawyer while holding a very powerful lawmaking office. His biggest critics were victims of his homophobic political abuses, not the uprighteous citizens of Idaho who elected him.
posted by Brian B. at 4:46 PM on July 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


We have to hold them to a higher standard.

But that doesn't mean lower everyone else's standards ... which is what seems to be argued.

Craig gets hammered, but Giles? Oh, it's OK. He gets to keep his privacy. His case won't be public knowledge. Fuck that. That's the definition of unequal protection under the law.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:48 PM on July 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


That's the definition of unequal protection under the law.

That's one definition. Another definition is using one's official status to subvert the law:

"... Craig handed me a business card that identified himself as a United States Senator as he stated, 'What do you think about that?'..." --Statement of the officer who arrested Senator Larry Craig for lewd conduct in a public men's room at Minneapolis/Saint Paul Airport

Unequal protection under the law, indeed.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:54 PM on July 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Another definition is using one's official status to subvert the law.

I never said he was a saint. But thanks for casting aspersions, bozo.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:55 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


posted by Cool Papa Bell Craig gets hammered, but Giles? Oh, it's OK. He gets to keep his privacy. His case won't be public knowledge. Fuck that. That's the definition of unequal protection under the law.

How about all the folks in the Megan's Law Database? I bet they'd like their privacy, too.
posted by optovox at 5:00 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


I never said he was a saint.

You are saying, however, that Senator Craig's actions are equivalent to those of Ken Giles.

And for this, you do deserve criticism, because unless Giles is a Senator and has behaved in a manner similar to Larry Craig, that equivalence relation does not hold up to the hard light of facts.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:00 PM on July 25, 2008


Craig was a bad guy, but that doesn't mean that what was done to him was okay, anyway. The ACLU has argued that the sting against him was unconstitutional.

The whole scuffle over equal / unequal protection seems to me to be missing the point. What's wrong is the combination of the rough way we handle (just about all) criminals (including publicizing everything) and the fact that lots of mostly innocuous, private things are illegal. If we just had one or the other, things would be different.
posted by grobstein at 5:04 PM on July 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


I don't think Craig, Allen or Giles should have been arrested. I'm not fond of "But Think of the Children!" legislation. I do however take some delight in Craig's hypocrisy being held up. However, I'd trade that delighted moment in a heartbeat for a less insanely puritanical society that treats every possible expression of sexuality as if it were on the same continuum as rape.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:07 PM on July 25, 2008 [16 favorites]


The ACLU has argued that the sting against him was unconstitutional.

? My understanding of the Senator's incident was that the police received a complaint from the public that there was a guy in the restroom propositioning people.
posted by yort at 5:07 PM on July 25, 2008


I don't think Craig, Allen or Giles should have been arrested

I sure as hell do. As said before, people should have the right to take a dump in a public restroom in peace.
posted by yort at 5:09 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Some seem to be arguing that Craig's case should definitely be public because ... well ... because it feels nicer? Is that it?

No, because lawmakers feeling the full bite of the laws they pass provides an excellent gradient towards a freer society.

As a resident glibertarian here you should understand that.
posted by yort at 5:11 PM on July 25, 2008


Oh, a quick glance at the post and I thought John Stossel was arrested. Well, if not for that there are other things that should give him hard time.

Not all crimes by our leaders (elected) are sexual...here, from the GOP:

http://republicanoffenders.com/
posted by Postroad at 5:18 PM on July 25, 2008


You are saying, however, that Senator Craig's actions are equivalent to those of Ken Giles.

You're trying real hard ... and failing, as usual ... to impress a motivation upon me.

The actions are roughly equivalent, inasmuch as they are "lewd acts in public" resulting in an arrest and voluntary guilty plea. Where you could logically "hold someone to a higher standard" would be in the punishment that such acts warrant, not the mere fact of their arrest. Do I think Craig, an attorney and a Senator, should receive a stiffer punishment than if you did the same thing? Yes, yes, I would, in the same way I think a police officer that breaks the law should generally receive a stiffer punishment than John Q. Public.

Now, do I think your record should be kept private while his is released to the public? Absolutely not.

This is what we're talking about, after all. Public records, not sentencing guidelines.

Funny, the article doesn't mention what Giles' sentencing was. Probably because it wasn't excessive and therefore didn't make good copy.

I'm the one coherently arguing for logical equality here. You seem to arguing that because nobody knows who Giles is, and since we should all be enlightened folks comfortable with sex, he gets to keep his privacy after the fact.

Yeesh. There are so, so many reasons arrest records should be public, regardless of convictions. Shouldn't we all know exactly what the police are doing from day to day? But you add sex to the mix and people on all sides of the political aisle freak the fuck out.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:18 PM on July 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'm the one coherently arguing for logical equality here.

SIGH! You're both coherently arguing for logical equality! You just can't agree about what sorts of differences among offenses and offenders can justify what sort of equal treatment. Come on man!
posted by grobstein at 5:23 PM on July 25, 2008


Yeah, it's an awesome idea that any old bullshit arrest should follow someone around for the rest of their lives in the age of Google.
posted by basicchannel at 5:27 PM on July 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Only slightly less awesome than the idea that the police should get to make secret arrests.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 5:29 PM on July 25, 2008


You're trying real hard ... and failing, as usual ... to impress a motivation upon me.

No, but I am accusing you of arguing in bad faith, since you continue to fail to acknowledge some fundamental differences in the character and conduct of behavior of both Craig and Giles. And for that reason, I'm done having this conversation with you.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:30 PM on July 25, 2008


Well, that is a fair point. Perhaps discretion is the point. Note the arrest but perhaps we don't need all the bits about cocks in asses and mouths.
posted by basicchannel at 5:31 PM on July 25, 2008


There are so, so many reasons arrest records should be public, regardless of convictions. Shouldn't we all know exactly what the police are doing from day to day?

Fine, but then those arrested but not convicted ought to be able to sue (and win) for the damage to their reputations that arrests for sex crimes inevitably cause.
posted by Pyry at 5:46 PM on July 25, 2008


No, but I am accusing you of arguing in bad faith, since you continue to fail to acknowledge some fundamental differences in the character and conduct of behavior of both Craig and Giles.

Uhh, since we're not talking about sentencing, their character and conduct beyond the fact that they were both popped for lewd conduct is pretty much irrelevant.

Pure and simple, you're arguing for some kind of inequality -- that it's moral and good and enlightened for us to release records for one guy while sheltering the records of another, when the crimes are pretty much the same.

You want to talk about which guy gets jail time and which guy gets community service, I'm all ears. But you stick your fingers in your ears and go "la la I can't hear you" and go off the ranch into privacy land because you can't hang with the subtle distinctions in the discussion.

That's just bullshit.

And because you go on to say...

And for that reason, I'm done having this conversation with you.

... I think you know it's bullshit, but can't stop arguing out of your own sheer momentum.

That's arguing in bad faith.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:50 PM on July 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


Fine, but then those arrested but not convicted ought to be able to sue (and win) for the damage to their reputations that arrests for sex crimes inevitably cause.

Except it's not generally against the law to simply tell the truth. How others react to the truth shouldn't be of concern to the courts.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:53 PM on July 25, 2008


Hot Cops?

Two Girls, One Cop?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:56 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


From Larry Craig wikipedia link:

Craig supported the Federal Marriage Amendment, which barred extension of rights to same-sex couples; he voted for cloture on the amendment in both 2004 and 2006, and was a cosponsor in 2008.[31] However, in late 2006 he appeared to endorse the right of individual states to create same-sex civil unions, but said he would vote "yes" on an Idaho constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages when pressured to clarify his position by the anti-gay rights group Families for a Better Idaho.[32] Craig voted against cloture in 2002, which would have extended the federal definition of hate crimes to cover sexual orientation.[33] This legislation was passed in 2007 in both the House and the Senate as the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007. Craig voted against the measure[34]. The LGBT advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign issued guides to candidates' voting records in 2004. The Human Rights Campaign group gave him a 0 rating.[35]

So one difference suggests itself: Larry Craig is an elected official making decisions regarding the status of same-sex relationships in the USA. It is interesting, regardless of how the information was obtained, that he himself is a participant in same-sex relationships.

From this standpoint, it doesn't matter if the sting was legitimate (or, for that matter, if it was let's say obtained by some tabloid hiring a PI to follow him around), it is interesting as a case of a public official enacting policy directly contrary to his private life. And not only from a "conservative hypocrisy" point of view, but also as an indication of the current state of acceptance of same-sex relationships within the political sphere as well as general society.

From this same standpoint, almost none of these things are interesting regarding some guy named Giles.

(and I am not arguing that any public official gives up all rights to any and every aspect of a personal life; rather, that the case of an official engaged in contact directly opposed to his decisions made in an official capacity cannot be compared to that of a private citizen)
posted by sloe at 5:58 PM on July 25, 2008


I'll give you guys a hypothetical and be on my way...

Let's say you live in a small town.

The police have arrested the mayor's son 12 times in the past year on suspicion of drunk driving. Every month, he's been pulled over and thrown into the holding tank for 24 hours.

But he's never been charged with anything, nor has he been convicted.

* Is the mayor pulling strings to get preferential treatment for his son?
* Do the police have a grudge against the mayor, and they're harassing his son?
* Is there something wrong at the D.A.'s office? Is he refusing to press charges? Why?
* Is the Breathalyzer broken?

Without public arrest records, you'd never know about the 100 arrests. So you'd be unable to ask any questions.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:00 PM on July 25, 2008


that the case of an official engaged in contact directly opposed to his decisions made in an official capacity cannot be compared to that of a private citizen

Where this falls down is that what you're describing -- exposing hypocrisy and shining light on it -- isn't a matter for the courts. What you're describing is a matter for the voting booth.

And you wouldn't know about it at all unless arrest and court records were public. And if they're public for some people, they should be public for all people.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:04 PM on July 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Sorry, I want to know who does and does not get arrested.

Without public arrest records, you'd never know about the 100 arrests. So you'd be unable to ask any questions.

The trouble is the lack of followup. If you're going to make arrest records public, I want to see that happen after a conviction or lack thereof. If I see "The following people were arrested for indecency: Jack Jones, Michael Miller, Jason Johnson" I'm probably going to assume they're guilty, and there's not an equivalent "not convicted" file that gets released alongside it. On the other hand, if I see "The following people were arrested for indecency and convicted: Jack Jones, Michael Miller. The following people were arrested for indecency and found innocent of the charges: Jason Johnson" -- well, that gives me all the information I could ask for, in fact more than I'm getting currently, and Jason Johnson probably won't lose his job.

Meanwhile, they'll be arrested, so it's not like you need the information NOW; releasing the info can wait for the courts to decide. The only reason to release it before the conviction (or lack thereof) is to feed the media beast, and the hunger of their audiences, for gossip.

Or have we forgotten about Richard Jewell already?
posted by davejay at 6:18 PM on July 25, 2008 [5 favorites]


Except it's not generally against the law to simply tell the truth. How others react to the truth shouldn't be of concern to the courts.

To clarify, I don't mean that you should be able to sue a paper for publishing the fact that you have been arrested, I mean that you should be able to sue the police for arresting you in the first place (assuming you weren't convicted). An arrest is an implicit allegation that a person has committed the crime in question; if that allegation is not found to be true, then it ought to be possible to sue for the damage to reputation it caused.
posted by Pyry at 6:23 PM on July 25, 2008


Meanwhile, they'll be arrested, so it's not like you need the information NOW; releasing the info can wait for the courts to decide. The only reason to release it before the conviction (or lack thereof) is to feed the media beast, and the hunger of their audiences, for gossip.

That's a good point. However, the police blotter should be public record. Tying all the various parts of the blotter to particular court dates does not necessarily benefit the public in all cases. I'm not sure it's really a good idea to make that part of our criminal justice system private, even for a limited time. All of it should be open to the public in the interests of transparent government, except for special circumstances, like children being involved. People will be cruel and gossip, and sometimes they'll ruin other people's lives over rumors. Hiding the blotter for a definitive court outcome doesn't really change that.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:37 PM on July 25, 2008


Giles should have been charged with urinating in public, not indecent exposure. He pulled his pecker out to urinate, not for sex. Bad judgement on the part of the police in this case.

Police and public officials should be held to a higher level of scrutiny, but everyone should be treated equally under the law. What to talk about unequal treatment under the law? How about the fact that the amount of money you have is directly proportional to your chances of being found not guilty.

Don't like your elected officials? Run against them or support an opponent. Think law enforcement is screwed up? Become a cop or get involved with the citizen's board that oversees the police. Idle bitching on Metafilter can only help so much.
posted by Daddy-O at 6:45 PM on July 25, 2008


America from it's inception has been, and still is, fucked in the head about sex.

This bizarre puritan streak has never died out. And what's crazy is the more commercialized and crass hyper-sexual media becomes, the more duplicitous, hypocritical, and dishonest our society at large gets in reaction.

Fuck this country in the ass. It might be good for it.
posted by tkchrist at 6:47 PM on July 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


I sure as hell do. As said before, people should have the right to take a dump in a public restroom in peace.

They absolutely should - but in Craig's case, he didn't actually DO anything in the restroom, and there wasn't any indication he intended to. There's a big difference between meeting someone in a restroom, then going somewhere private to conduct business - which is what ALL of Craig's former fuck buddies say happened when they picked him up - and doing it where other people can't consent to whether they're voyeurs of someone else's act or not.

That whole "wide stance, tapping" thing is designed specifically to very cautiously eliminate people who are not potential partners - in other words, to leave you alone if you aren't interested.

Who knows what Giles was doing; but it sounds like it's dangerous to use the urinals when anyone acts in any way interested in you in a public restroom. Police entrapment of gay men picking each other up is a long-standing homophobic maneuver on the part of police forces. There are plenty of heterosexuals going at it in public in strip club parking lots and parks, but the police aren't running stings on them. Yes, arrest people who are caught in the act of doing it in a public place. But don't set up stings to entice them into acts.

But from what I understand from gay male friends, lots has changed in the last 20 years - it's much easier for men to find willing partners in less dubious circumstances now that the stigma of being gay is reduced, so bathroom cruising is less prevalent.
posted by electrasteph at 7:40 PM on July 25, 2008


Larry Craig still has his job, and will continue to do so until the end of his current Senate term. As a Retired Senator, he will enjoy all the benefits and substantial pension of any ex-Senator who has not been convicted of lewd activity. He remains an honoree in the Idaho Hall of Fame. Maybe the 'scandal' took away his opportunity to be re-elected; but it fell far far short of "ruining his life". There's the difference.

"Public shaming" as a part of punishment is never 'fair' because it is never meted out fairly. Many of the convicted sex criminals on "watchlists" are able to make it have little effect on continuing to live their lives - and in many cases, continuing to commit sex crimes. And the damage is most often worse for those convicted of "minor" and "first-offense" crimes.

Of course, the case in the FPP was reported by John Stossel, so I am confident he's concealing facts that would show Mr. Giles to be totally undeserving of sympathy...
posted by wendell at 8:03 PM on July 25, 2008


he didn't actually DO anything in the restroom, and there wasn't any indication he intended to

"After about 13 minutes of sitting in the stall, the police officer observed Craig lingering outside and frequently peeking through the crack of the door on the stall. "

"Craig then proceeded to swipe his left hand under the stall divider several times, with the palm of his hand facing upward"

Book'm, Danno.
posted by yort at 8:05 PM on July 25, 2008


That whole "wide stance, tapping" thing is designed specifically to very cautiously eliminate people who are not potential partners

He was soliciting.

The cops pick up whores all the freakin' time for solicitation. How can you seriously propose that Craig "didn't do anything"? Ludicrous.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:34 PM on July 25, 2008


Maybe people shouldn't engage in private sexual practices in, you know, private. Just an idea.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 8:47 PM on July 25, 2008


The cops pick up whores all the freakin' time for solicitation. How can you seriously propose that Craig "didn't do anything"? Ludicrous.

It's not a crime to solicit just anything, though! The crime is soliciting something that is itself illegal.

Soliciting a prostitute is illegal because prostitution is illegal. Soliciting a sexual encounter in a hotel room where no money changes hands shouldn't be illegal, because it's not illegal to have sex for free in a hotel room.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 8:49 PM on July 25, 2008


So soliciting someone in a public restroom for sex should be legal? Should sexual harassment be legalized also?
posted by P.o.B. at 9:04 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


... That whole "wide stance, tapping" thing is designed specifically to very cautiously eliminate people who are not potential partners - in other words, to leave you alone if you aren't interested. ...
posted by electrasteph at 11:40 AM on July 26 [+] [!]


WTF! Sticking your feet under the stall or tapping on the wall is by definition, not leaving someone alone!

Craig did this in an airport bathroom, not the bathroom of a gay bar or bathhouse where there is a least a higher chance of someone being interested and patrons may expect(?) to have to reject such advances. You should not have to reject the advances of a morally bankrupt, hypocritical, closeted senator from Idaho when you're just trying to take a crap after a long flight.
posted by no1hatchling at 9:20 PM on July 25, 2008


The only reason to release it before the conviction (or lack thereof) is to feed the media beast, and the hunger of their audiences, for gossip.

The alternative is the police being able to arrest people in secret. That, I think, is a far more frightening scenario than the one we are in now. Better we're all open about these things.
posted by Doug at 9:22 PM on July 25, 2008


So soliciting someone in a public restroom for sex should be legal? Should sexual harassment be legalized also?
posted by P.o.B. at 1:04 PM on July 26 [+] [!]


Bingo!

As always, someone else says it better and more succinctly.
posted by no1hatchling at 9:23 PM on July 25, 2008


You should not have to reject the advances of a morally bankrupt, hypocritical, closeted senator from Idaho when you're just trying to take a crap after a long flight.

But how do you propose to draw the line between legal behaviors that you can legally ask someone to engage in and legal behaviors that you can't?
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 9:29 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


MPDSEA - I don't see a problem with the current system. Legislatures (representing their constituents) have decided that no-one should have to fend off sexual advances in a bathroom, and so, it is illegal. We have also collectively decided that we should not have to fend off repeated advances in public, or at our places of work, etc. So that is punished also (in that you can sue for sexual harrassment, have someone charged with harrasment, etc.)

What is wrong with making these distinctions? There are legal and illegal ways to ask for many kinds of legal services, not just sex.
posted by no1hatchling at 9:35 PM on July 25, 2008


I don't see a problem with the current system. Legislatures (representing their constituents) have decided that no-one should have to fend off sexual advances in a bathroom, and so, it is illegal.

Larry Craig plead guilty to "disorderly conduct," and the relevant Minnesota statute doesn't say anything in particular about restrooms or sexual advances. There might be a more specific statute, but I kind of doubt it.

Also, aren't there First Amendment problems with banning merely asking someone to do something that's legal (and even has some constitutional protection--see Lawrence). Would you be content with any legislation in the form of "it is illegal to ask someone to do X" where X is an otherwise legal (and perhaps constitutionally protected) action?

Can Texas make it illegal to ask people to donate to Obama?
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 9:43 PM on July 25, 2008


There are legal and illegal ways to ask for many kinds of legal services, not just sex.

Also, what do you have in mind? I'm not interested in commercial examples, because commercial regulations are a whole different can of beans.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 9:45 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Larry Craig plead guilty to "disorderly conduct," and the relevant Minnesota statute doesn't say anything in particular about restrooms or sexual advances. There might be a more specific statute, but I kind of doubt it.

Was this what he was originally charged with though? Wikipedia (yeah, not the best source) says "suspicion of lewd conduct" and surely that is a bit more pointed.

Also, what do you have in mind? I'm not interested in commercial examples, because commercial regulations are a whole different can of beans.

Yeah, I had commercial examples in mind. Why do we have to treat these differently?
posted by no1hatchling at 10:02 PM on July 25, 2008


I'm going to work now, so I'll have to leave this discussion for a bit....
posted by no1hatchling at 10:03 PM on July 25, 2008


Generally, it's not illegal to -- while in public -- solicit sex. It's illegal to solicit sex with the planned sex to occur in public, because sex in public is illegal. This is at the core of the ACLU's argument that I posted about upthread.
posted by grobstein at 10:03 PM on July 25, 2008


Yeah, I had commercial examples in mind. Why do we have to treat these differently?

Commercial speech is not Constitutionally protected the way other speech is.
posted by me & my monkey at 10:39 PM on July 25, 2008


But how do you propose to draw the line between legal behaviors that you can legally ask someone to engage in and legal behaviors that you can't?

In public bathrooms works perfectly fine as a starting point for me.

Just like I'm perfectly fine saying prostitution is tolerated in a designated area.

There is a reasonable middle ground. Prostitution should be quasi-legal, to eliminate the pimping. Public solicitation should be quasi-illegal, to eliminate bathroom solicitations. Drug use should be quasi-legal, to eliminate the criminal gangs. Drug sales should be quasi-legal, to permit regulated pricing, taxation, and distribution. So on and so forth.

Our society does not have to be extremely liberal nor extremely conservative. There is a happy middle ground where the realities of maintaining a harmonious society require flexibility in the law. Shit we personally do not like doing, that other people do like doing, is a fact of life: we're all better off if we deal with it reasonably.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:43 PM on July 25, 2008


I'm not interested in commercial examples, because commercial regulations are a whole different can of beans.

Had Craig succeeded in finding a buddy instead of a cop, a transaction would have taken place. Craig and his fuck-buddy were both going to get payment for services rendered, regardless the exchange of cash. It was going to be every bit as personal as purchasing groceries from a till clerk.

"Hi, nice day out there." "Yeah, wish I wasn't stuck here at this till." "I hear ya. Fuck with me, please. Make it quick, I've a flight to catch." "Ohh, oh, ah." "It was good for me, was it good for you?" "Yup, have a nice day, sir. Hope to see you again next week."

I really don't see why there should be the least problem with banning that behaviour from our public restrooms. If that's what you want, go to a fucking dive bar like everyone else.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:51 PM on July 25, 2008


So soliciting someone in a public restroom for sex should be legal? Should sexual harassment be legalized also?

One of these things is not like the other. Unless, perhaps, your boss is the one soliciting sex from you in the bathroom.

Police entrapment of gay men picking each other up is a long-standing homophobic maneuver on the part of police forces. There are plenty of heterosexuals going at it in public in strip club parking lots and parks, but the police aren't running stings on them. Yes, arrest people who are caught in the act of doing it in a public place. But don't set up stings to entice them into acts.

THIS is the root of the problem, and the difference between Giles and Craig. Not that I think either of them should be arrested - MPSDEA seems to be the voice of reason on that - but there's a world of difference between running a sting and responding to a complaint.
posted by me & my monkey at 10:52 PM on July 25, 2008


(Or if your city has a whit of sense, go down to the strip and troll for goodies. Support the local economy. Only a red socialist would demand free sex services.)
posted by five fresh fish at 10:53 PM on July 25, 2008


In public bathrooms works perfectly fine as a starting point for me.

Assuming you're not going to actually have sex in the bathroom, how is this any different from propositioning someone right outside the bathroom door? Or anywhere else for that matter? A guy tapping his foot in a stall seems less bothersome than someone who propositions me directly.

Had Craig succeeded in finding a buddy instead of a cop, a transaction would have taken place. Craig and his fuck-buddy were both going to get payment for services rendered, regardless the exchange of cash. It was going to be every bit as personal as purchasing groceries from a till clerk.

So ... you don't approve of casual sex. I don't see how that's relevant to, well, anything in the thread. As long as they don't actually have sex in the bathroom, who cares whether it's true love or not?

"Lewd behavior" is a dangerously broad phrase, and easily abused by police. Sex in public, on the other hand, is not.
posted by me & my monkey at 11:02 PM on July 25, 2008


Assuming you're not going to actually have sex in the bathroom, how is this any different from propositioning someone right outside the bathroom door?

Let me put it as accurately as possible:

I'm not sitting on the frigging toilet with my pants down around my knees, hoping to have a special experience with my sphincter. I want some goddamn privacy. If I wanted your fucking interference, I'd have left the stall door open, asshole!

Does that spell it out for you?

It isn't about what he does in his spare time. It's about him respecting my privacy. He can go hunt up a whore somewhere that isn't in my stall.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:21 PM on July 25, 2008


As long as they don't actually have sex in the bathroom, who cares whether it's true love or not?

Because most people prefer not to be propositioned while in an ostensibly private venue?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:25 PM on July 25, 2008


So ... you don't approve of casual sex.

I can not fathom how you come to that conclusion. I'm all for casual sex. Going to a party and hooking up is one of the greatest things about our culture. I'd hate to live where parents and the law interfere with who I can and can not fuck. Being free to choose who you spend your private time with is also one of the greatest things about our culture. I'd like to be free to spend my private time on the toilet in peace.

If making that possible requires using commercial law to define a transactional exchange for sexual services that acknowledges the difference between prowling a bar or red light district, and bothering people in public restroom stalls, so be it. If there's a better way, then I'm happy with that as well. The only thing I really care about is that my privacy remain private.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:26 PM on July 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


MPSDEA seems to be the voice of reason

No particular response, just wanted to quote this.

Onwards, I think, five fresh fish, that you are still perhaps making a bit of moral judgment. First off, I'll declare I'm I guess disagreeing with your "transaction" characterization in that I won't consider this as equivalent to commercial speech issues.

Now, would you say silence should be legally required in public restrooms? If not, how should we justify distinctions between the utterances (or encoded 'wide-stance' signals) "Yo," "Don't use that shitter, it's clogged," "Hey Bob," "Hey Bill, let's go out to get lunch in 10 minutes," and "Hey guy, wanna go have gay sex in a motel room in 10 minutes?" I mean, there was this Ask Metafilter question about people talking in there, and while I think it's pretty fucking weird to have a discussion in the shitter, I don't think it should be illegal - and then how should the law say what the discussion can be about?

I can see that it's reasonable to forbid sex in public bathrooms. I suppose it could get problematic, like if people were waiting longer to take a shit because so many gays were using it as a hook up. Then it would make sense for a minor "no casual partner trawling in the bathroom" rule, but I've never heard of that as a problem in that way. The only anecdotal complaints I've heard or read are of actual "enforced voyeurism" in certain men's rooms.

Regardless, I'll still laugh my ass off at Craig because LOL PUBLICLY HOMOPHOBE REPUBLICAN HYPOCRITE CAUGHT IN THE MENS ROOM LOOKING FOR DICKS TO SUCK.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:35 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Onwards, I think, five fresh fish, that you are still perhaps making a bit of moral judgment.

Or, y'know, not. There's no moral judgement attached to "leave me the fuck alone while I'm trying to take a shit."

Want to have some hawt gay sex0r? GO FOR IT. Please! Enjoy!

But don't ask me to participate when I'm on the can. You're already in a somewhat psychologically vulnerable state at that point--partially naked in a semiprivate/semipublic place--and you're doing something that for most people is an intensely private act.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:40 PM on July 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


OK, then, would you support a general ban on talking in the restrooms, or I guess perhaps one on talking to anyone in the stalls?
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:45 PM on July 25, 2008


First off, I'll declare I'm I guess disagreeing with your "transaction" characterization in that I won't consider this as equivalent to commercial speech issues.

Then please propose an alternative.

The outcome needs to be that in places where I have a reasonable expectation of privacy, Craig is strongly disincentivized to bother me. In places where I should expect a reasonable level of public interaction, he's free to hit on me.

Now, would you say silence should be legally required in public restrooms?

Should you be legally disbarred from talking when I'm in the can? Probably not. Should you be bothering me in the can? Definitely not.

If you are proposing that this problem best be solved by banning all speech in washrooms, rather than treating solicitation as a commercial transaction, then sure, whatever. I'm not in love with the form of the law, just the outcome.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:45 PM on July 25, 2008


Not quite just the form of the law, but that I think a law enforcing "Don't chat with me while I'm on the john" seems more defensible to me than a law enforcing "Don't chat with me about gaysex while I'm on the john."
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:51 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


One of these things is not like the other. Unless, perhaps, your boss is the one soliciting sex from you in the bathroom.

So not true.

Now, would you say silence should be legally required in public restrooms?

I think we all can agree someone saying "Can ya spare a square?" is a bit different from "Can I suck your cock?"

If I'm not mistaken, the policeman was in the stall for 10 to 15 minutes and that Craig had been doing his signal thing the whole time. It's not like he was looking for his comb that he dropped or something. So the guy got caught doing what is not socially or legally acceptable. He could've...I don't know...at least admitted to himself he's gay and gone to a bar. The same goes for Giles.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:27 AM on July 26, 2008


Joe Bageant recently blogged a series of articles on sex-offense enforcement in the USA.
posted by telstar at 1:11 AM on July 26, 2008


One of the interesting things to come out of the Mosley sex case decision was the distinction between "stuff the public is interested in" and "in the public interest". I feel this may be vaguely relevant here.
posted by Sparx at 1:34 AM on July 26, 2008


[Craig] could've...I don't know...at least admitted to himself he's gay and gone to a bar. The same goes for Giles.

Did anyone actually read the story?

At a public park in Columbus, Ohio, a topless woman asked a man to expose himself. The park appeared empty to him, but police were actually videotaping him from an unmarked car nearby as part of a sting operation. Once he exposed himself, police officers drove up and arrested him (and subsequently destroyed his life).

What about this story makes you believe that Giles should admit he's gay and go to a bar?

Do you really not see the difference between this and hanging out in a men's washroom, trolling for sex?

Doesn't the fact that Larry Craig was a public figure who publicly worked to pass laws to oppress homosexuals whereas this was some poor guy who went for a run in the park and got entrapped have any bearing?

Are you unable to see the difference between police getting complaints of solicitation in a bathroom, passively staking it out, then arresting someone who actively solicits the officer, and having a woman in park come up to unsuspecting men who are on their own and flashing her breasts at them in an attempt to get them to expose themselves?

Do you not see the difference between arresting someone who's already actively committing a crime, and of goading random citizens who happen to be in a park to commit "crimes"?

Did you note quotes like this: But if he buys a vibrator, someone could get arrested and fined up to $10,000 — almost five times the limit for drunken driving.

Or this: But the 11th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled on Jan. 31, 2001 that communities have a "legitimate legislative interest in discouraging prurient interests in autonomous sex" — masturbation, in other words — because that may be "detrimental to the health and morality of the State."?

I guess not or there wouldn't be so many of you defending what to any thinking or feeling person would be completely indefensible.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:39 AM on July 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow, you guys are tense when you're taking a crap. I don't feel vulnerable or anxious, and if someone suggested some gayness I'd just politely decline. Get over yourself.

There's a lot more in that article that bothers me. Craig may have been soliciting, I think he's fallen foul of a stupid law, but the guy in the story had it much worse. However related it may or may not be, the story suggests his wife died from the stress of it all.

Not to mention the dildo-semiautomatic thing. If I was going to pick a single example to point out how utterly screwed Alabama is (and the whole country for the Supreme Court not hearing it) that would be quite a tempting example. A clearer demonstration of the "violence in films? sure! sex in films? no way!" issue.
posted by imperium at 8:12 AM on July 26, 2008


Does anyone else think that John Stossel is a repressed leather daddy in conservative hysteric mode? He would fit right in at a leather bar if he didn't whine so much about family values - and recent history shows what that usually means - repressed gay - Senator Craig, Ted Haggard, the list goes on and on.
Come on Stossel, jump in some worn out jeans and a leather vest and just twirl!
posted by hooptycritter at 8:36 AM on July 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Add me to the "don't fuck with people while they shit" camp. I suppose you advocates of public sex would have males and females share a john and start knocking on each other's doors constantly, making it an all-out cruisefest? That would be OK?

There's a reason for a separation between public and private, and that separation should be protected. The whole using of public parks for sex is irksome too. What if I want to take a fucking walk in the park? I DON'T WANT to have dudes cruising me, showing me their cocks (pretending to take a piss but looking directly at me), because I'M MARRIED, and that's kinda...uh...Disrespectful of them.

(And yes, I'm also a homo.)
posted by gorgor_balabala at 9:18 AM on July 26, 2008


lupus, the vibrator case was "partially" overturned by Lawrence:

In contrast, facing identical facts, the Fifth Circuit struck down Texas' sex toy ban holding that "morality is an insufficient justification for a statute" and "interests in 'public morality' cannot constitutionally sustain the statute after Lawrence

The dickheaded members of the SCOTUS -- Scalia, Thomas -- dissented in Lawrence, of course. With the addition of Roberts and Alito things are back to their 5-4 majority, too, so being able to buy a vibrator in this country hinges on the vote of an 88 yo jurist now. Sheesh, whattacountry.
posted by yort at 10:49 AM on July 26, 2008


I DON'T WANT to have dudes cruising me, showing me their cocks (pretending to take a piss but looking directly at me), because I'M MARRIED, and that's kinda...uh...Disrespectful of them.

Yeah, sure, such behaviour may be a nuisance, but dude, you don't destroy someone's life just because he is being a nuisance. Just like you shouldn't destroy someone's life because he sent out thousands of spam mails.

On second thought, in the case of spammers, maybe you should.
posted by sour cream at 11:20 AM on July 26, 2008


Do you really not see the difference between this and hanging out in a men's washroom, trolling for sex?

and having a woman in park come up to unsuspecting men who are on their own and flashing her breasts at them in an attempt to get them to expose themselves?

Yes, I did read the story. At least two pages worth of it. You did not get that far.

It's a park frequented by men who want to have sex with other men. The woman was a cop. It was a sting operation. I don't care whether Giles is gay or not. He could of gone to a bar anyway. He was looking for opportunistic sex in the wrong place.

I don't feel vulnerable or anxious, and if someone suggested some gayness I'd just politely decline. Get over yourself.

You would be cool with someone looking through the cracks of the stall at you, while you were crapping, like Craig did? Kudos to you! You must be one cool cucumber while doing your thing.
posted by P.o.B. at 11:23 AM on July 26, 2008


Yeah, I don't want people being intrusive assholes when I'm feeling vulnerable either. But there is not much difference as far as I'm concerned between being solicited for sex or someone trying to proselytize me at the door of my home. Either way I'm going to call the person on it or ignore them. The tendency to criminalize every problem that could be solved by a moment of confrontation seems like a good way to infantalize our entire society. I don't want to converse with my fellow man through the mechanisms of HOA fines, restraining orders, and police complaints. I'd rather man up and confront people for the crap that bothers me and if necessary shame them into better behavior. The momentary discomfort of overcoming my distaste for agression is worth it, especially when you get an immediate apology and realize your fellow man is not the monster your imagination makes them out to be.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:32 AM on July 26, 2008


BrotherCaine, while I agree with the sentiment behind what you say, it appears to be of an impractical anarchist bent. Without enforceble laws, things devolve quickly. With them, the likelihood that your results will be "HOA fines" or "restraining orders" is low, but the likelihood of prevention is high, ensuring that you will not be CONSTANTLY arguing with your fellow man - Who is, by the way, a monster. That your manly arguments warding him off currently succeed owes to the laws that preserve general order, rather then their manliness, I would guess.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 11:49 AM on July 26, 2008


I don't feel vulnerable or anxious, and if someone suggested some gayness I'd just politely decline. Get over yourself.

Uh.. I'm gay. It's not about 'politely declining'. It's about.. look at it this way: many women get hit on all the time, often in fantastically inappropriate situations. Trying to pick someone up in a washroom is the same thing.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:24 PM on July 26, 2008


The fixation of cops on busting people in parks at 11 at night for having sex is a total mystery to me.
posted by Xoebe at 3:27 PM on July 26, 2008


Should sexual harassment be legalized also?

Please point out someone who's been arrested for sexual harassment.

This whole Larry Craig thing could have been solved with floor-to-ceiling stall doors and walls.
posted by oaf at 3:57 PM on July 26, 2008


also, ill-behaved children would not be trying to look at me when I'm trying to take a shit
posted by oaf at 3:58 PM on July 26, 2008


no1hatchling: I'm going to work now, so I'll have to leave this discussion for a bit....

Have no fear, SIR. We will carry on in your absence.
posted by msalt at 4:00 PM on July 26, 2008


Not all crimes by our leaders (elected) are sexual...here, from the GOP:

http://republicanoffenders.com/


Heh. Last time I checked, Ted Bundy and Dennis "BTK" Rader were never elected officials, but they're listed on that site. At least Bundy campaigned for the GOP, Rader gets a spot because he voted Republican, I guess. The site is a bit of a reach, to say the least.
posted by DecemberBoy at 6:46 PM on July 26, 2008


So not true.

So you say. That's some argument you're packing, there.

I think we all can agree someone saying "Can ya spare a square?" is a bit different from "Can I suck your cock?"

A bit different, but I don't see why one should be legal and the other illegal. Now, if you say no to either one and the other person doesn't take no for an answer, that's a problem that might require the intervention of the law.

I suppose you advocates of public sex would have males and females share a john and start knocking on each other's doors constantly, making it an all-out cruisefest?

It's one thing to advocate public sex - which I haven't seen ANYONE do in this thread - and another to argue that it's ok to ask someone in public for sex, if you then go somewhere private to actually have sex.

The woman was a cop. It was a sting operation.

So, presumably, the woman was also arrested for her illegal exposure, right?
posted by me & my monkey at 6:53 PM on July 26, 2008


and another to argue that it's ok to ask someone in public for sex

Except that washrooms, while open to the public, are not strictly speaking public spaces.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:28 PM on July 26, 2008


Meanwhile, back in Minnesota...
posted by gimonca at 8:04 PM on July 26, 2008


Sometimes I wake up and spend the first 30+ minutes of my day just sitting there on the side of my bed, trying to decide whether I should hate John Stossel or Bill Walton more today.
posted by allkindsoftime at 3:27 AM on July 27, 2008


I don't want to be asked for sex in a bar either, by either gender, so let's criminalize that too. Certainly I have much less expectation of privacy in a bar, but my very presence there doesn't mean I'm looking for sex. I'm a mostly hetero female, but I know most gay men don't go to bars looking for casual hookups either.

I also don't want to be propositioned on the sidewalk, through instant messenger, in the grocery store, at the library, or pretty much anywhere. Why are bathrooms special? I'm pretty sure it's mostly because they're (almost always) same-gender by definition, and not just because people want to shit and piss in private.
posted by desjardins at 12:55 PM on July 27, 2008


So, presumably, the woman was also arrested for her illegal exposure, right?

Says in the article that toplessness is not illegal for women in Columbus.
posted by desjardins at 12:56 PM on July 27, 2008


Why are bathrooms special?

Are you retarded? Do you seriously not understand the difference between sitting on the shitter, door closed, and sitting out in an open public space drinking a beer?

I find it absolutely astounding that there are people who do not comprehend basic etiquette. I should have thought if there were one commonly understood social standard, it's that people sitting in a toilet stall are having a private moment, and need not be disturbed. Pretty fucking standard the world around, I'll bet.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:13 PM on July 27, 2008


So you say. That's some argument you're packing, there.

Ok. I'll spell it out for you.

Sexual harrassment can happen anywhere, from anyone, at anytime.

I thought this was obvious, but...this is Metafilter after all.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:03 PM on July 27, 2008


So, presumably, the woman was also arrested for her illegal exposure, right?

Says in the article that toplessness is not illegal for women in Columbus.


It also says:

but police were actually videotaping him from an unmarked car nearby as part of a sting operation.

Police allege that Giles exposed himself to an undercover officer.

posted by P.o.B. at 2:04 PM on July 27, 2008


Do you seriously not understand the difference between sitting on the shitter, door closed, and sitting out in an open public space drinking a beer?

Yeah, I see the difference. I don't want to be propositioned in either venue.

I find it absolutely astounding that there are people who do not comprehend basic etiquette.

Basic etiquette prescribes not propositioning random people for sex, whether it be in a bathroom or a bar or a grocery store.
posted by desjardins at 2:32 PM on July 27, 2008


Yep. Pretty much. My boyfriend, who is small and cute and younger-looking than he really is, was aggressively propositioned at a public rest area while sitting in his car. He had stopped to take a leak, but when he noticed a dude creepily lingering around the building, he decided to just walk back to his car. The guy who followed him was decked out in full Dale Earnhardt NASCAR regalia. He leaned into the open car window and asked my boyfriend if he would like his cock sucked. "No thanks," he told him, but the guy persisted. "C'mon, c'mon. It might be the best you ever had." Then, "Okay, just show it to me. Just let me see it."
My boyfriend is not ordinarily bothered if a guy asks him out or whatever, but he felt the whole scene was pretty creepy. He said NASCAR guy looked like the sort who would have called him a faggot and threatened to beat his ass in high school--which I expect is fairly typical of the guys who solicit sex at those kinds of places: pretend homophones/closet-cases. My boyfriend was sufficiently disturbed that refuses to stop at those public rest areas now.
posted by apis mellifera at 3:31 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


I find it absolutely astounding that there are people who do not comprehend basic etiquette

Understanding basic etiquette is one thing, thinking all rude behavior should be criminalised is another. Should we pass a law so that men are jailed for wearing hats indoors in the presence of a lady? Or for talking on a cell phone while ordering their coffee when a line is behind them?

I'll agree with a bit of what you are saying. Arresting people for engaging in sex acts in open view is probably a good thing. Actually entrapping people into such behaviors seems like a waste of law enforcement time to me.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:34 AM on July 28, 2008


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