OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A state lawmaker who has voted against gay rights resigned Wednesday, days after he was quoted in police reports as saying a man he had sex with after they met at an erotic video store was trying to blackmail him.Of course, even if Curtis and Craig had known of each other, a lot of what drives this picking up complete strangers in public restrooms, adult bookstores, and public beaches for anonymous sex isn't just the need to stay in the closet (since a lot of this is done by homosexuals who are out), but the excitement that comes from doing something risky--something that might get you arrested. This account from the March 2, 2001 Boston Globe tells about the protected status of public sex in Massachusetts:
Rep. Richard Curtis, 48, said he was resigning immediately to spare his wife and children more public embarrassment. In a written statement, Curtis said, "Events that have recently come to light have hurt a lot of people. I sincerely apologize for any pain my actions may have caused."
Curtis, a Republican, told a newspaper in his southwest Washington district on Monday that sex was not involved in what he said was an extortion attempt. He also declared he was not gay.
But in police reports, Curtis said he was being extorted by a man he had sex with at a hotel room in Spokane, where Curtis was attending a GOP retreat. The other man, Cody Castagna, 26, contends Curtis reneged on a promise to pay $1,000 for sex.
Curtis was among state GOP lawmakers in Spokane Oct. 24-26 for meetings to discuss the upcoming legislative session. He went to the erotic video store early Oct. 26 and met Castagna, police documents said.
The two went to a hotel and had sex, according to police reports released Tuesday.
Curtis alleged Castagna took his wallet and later offered to return it for $1,000. Curtis said he had only $200 and left an envelope with the money at the hotel desk, according to the documents. Castagna said Curtis gave him the wallet to hold as collateral "for the money that he promised me."
Police reports said Castagna called Curtis and demanded an additional $800, and threatened to expose Curtis' "gay lifestyle to his wife unless Richard Curtis provided the disputed money."
Having sex in public places such as rest areas, beaches, and parks would not be considered illegal if the activity was adequately hidden from view, according to the two-page order.I sometimes wonder if the reason that accidentally outed gay politicians seem to be so common is that a person who has spent much of his or her life pretending to be something that they are not is thus ideally suited to being a politician--who must also spend quite a bit of time pretending to be something that they are not. Perhaps being gay is "politician in training."
The policy was issued to settle a lawsuit brought by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders on behalf of a gay man who was banned from highway rest stops on Cape Cod. Gays have long complained that they are harassed by police when they gather in public places, said Mary Bonauto, who represented GLAD in the case.
"This order, included in the [State Police] policy manual, is an incredibly positive first step," said Bonauto.
"This is major," said Captain Robert Bird, a State Police spokesman. "The State Police don’t want to infringe upon anybody’s rights and I think this order will help clarify exactly what those rights are."
The plaintiff in the case, called John Doe in court papers, had been convicted a year earlier for having sex with another man in the woods next to a Wareham rest stop.
"We’re not making specific accusations," Bonauto said, "but troopers need to be aware that just because they see something doesn’t mean it’s public activity and a criminal offense — far from it."