Published on
the Bangor Daily News (Maine)

What Larry Craig Has Done for Marriage and Values

How did you spend your weekend?

Did you stand on the steps of the State House in Augusta showing support for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people as part of a national weeklong event called "Seven Straight Nights for Equal Rights"?

Or did you write to the Idaho Hall of Fame and express your outrage that they are still going to install Sen. Larry Craig as a member? Maybe you don't like guys hooking up with other guys. Or maybe you don't like senators pleading guilty to criminal conduct and then claiming to be innocent.

Or maybe you did both.

Standing for equal rights can be consistent with getting repulsed by a fraud who publicly reviles his own urges, then skulks in a toilet stall trying to anonymously satisfy those urges.

But should that keep a guy out of the Hall of Fame? After all, fame has an absolute value, neither good nor bad.

Back in 2004 a woman from Portland Magazine called me and enthusiastically informed me that I was one of their "Ten Most Intriguing People in Maine."

I didn't say anything.

She asked if I was still there.

I was, but intriguingly enough, I had just stepped into an airport ladies' room and didn't want anyone to know. Kidding! Ah, good old Sen. Craig: he's going to make folks chuckle for quite some time I think.

Anyway, I told her that I wasn't sure how to react. I told her that hairy moles on the forehead were intriguing. Intrigue, just like fame, isn't necessarily a good thing - especially if you're a famous "family values" Republican who reportedly jammed his suitcase against a toilet stall opening so no one could see him hook up with an unknown male partner.

Actually it's downright intriguing how much fame you get if that unknown male happens to be a cop.

Suppose Sen. Craig hadn't gone bathroom trolling, but instead had voluntarily acknowledged his conflicted lifestyle and worked to secure equality for all. He would have become famous by sticking up for folks who share his predilections but don't lie about them.

Integrity yields good fame; hypocrisy yields bad fame.

Really, Sen. Craig's stand on gay marriage wouldn't matter if he hadn't become so notorious for his "wide stance" in the bathroom.

And man, what has this done for his marriage?

I mean this whole Craig thing makes you think. Lying does the institution of marriage way more harm than sexual preference ever could. Maybe instead of prohibiting gay marriage we should prohibit liar marriage.

While the statistics are thin on gay marriage - other countries do allow it - so far it seems to have no higher divorce rate than straight marriages.

In fact, after doing a little research I found a whole pile of other factors that increase our chances of destroying the sanctity of marriage. And don't get offended if you do this stuff. Think of it as a firsthand lesson on what it's like to be gay and told that your lifestyle is bad for society.

Stop supporting the war. It's against family values and not just because people die but because their marriages fall apart. According to The New York Times, military divorce rates doubled from 2001 to 2004.

Don't be a Baptist. In fact, while evangelical Christians in general have divorce rates way above the national average, Baptists in particular have the highest incidence of divorce of all the Christian denominations. By the way, the lowest divorce rates of all: godless atheists and questioning agnostics.

Hey, don't get mad at me; get mad at The Associated Press. It published the Barna Research Group Survey.

Reverse our current economic trends. We have a greater percentage of poor in our country than we did a decade ago and, according to the National Statistical Office, economic stresses greatly increase the incidence of divorce.

Poor Sen. Craig: If he had only known that lying, supporting the war, believing in God and voting for tax breaks for the rich were actually worse for the sanctity of marriage than freely choosing his partner, he could have devoted himself to equal rights, stood on the State House steps last weekend and never become famous at all.

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Pat LaMarche

Pat LaMarche

Pat LaMarche is an author, activist and advocate. She is the author of "Left Out In America: The State of Homelessness in the United States."  Her new novel, The Magic Diary, is due out in late spring.

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