November 1st, 2007
01:22 PM ET
6 months ago

State GOP lawmaker in gay sex scandal

Watch CNN's Carol Costello report on the latest scandal.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – It has been a truly scandalous few months for the GOP - for the third time in three months a Republican lawmaker is accused of soliciting sex with another man.

This time it's Washington State Rep. Richard Curtis - whose “I’m not gay” defense sounds a lot like Florida State Rep. Bob Allen's and Idaho Senator Larry Craig's.

Curtis told the Columbian newspaper in Spokane that he did not have sex with the man.

But the Spokane police department tell CNN a different story.

They say that on October 26, Curtis, dressed in women's lingerie, is alleged to have approached a young man in the "Hollywood Erotic Boutique."

The rest of the story is contained in a graphic 50 page police document. The young man alleges Curtis offered him $1,000 for unprotected sex at a nearby hotel.

And he says, "At the conclusion of the sexual activities, Curtis fell asleep."

The police report says the man, Cody Castagna, then took Curtis’ wallet - in order to extort money from the representative - and "threatened to publicly expose Richard Curtis' gay lifestyle to his wife."

At that point, police say Curtis called on an officer to investigate, hoping the incident would go away once police nabbed a suspect for taking his wallet.

Instead the media got wind of the case and found Curtis' alleged sex partner-who went public with his attorney.

"He gave me his wallet…as collateral for what he promised me" said Castagna.

It's a particularly ugly drama unfolding around another conservative Republican lawmaker. Like Florida State Rep. Bob Allen, who has pled not guilty to a charge of soliciting gay sex in July and Sen. Larry Craig, who is trying to withdraw his guilty plea on a charge of disorderly conduct in a restroom at Minneapolis Airport.

Curtis is married with children - and votes conservatively. He has voted against a domestic partnership bill, and a bill that would have outlawed discrimination based on sexual orientation.

On Wednesday he announced he was resigning his seat and said in a statement: “Events that have recently come to light have hurt a lot of people. I sincerely apologize for any pain my actions may have caused.

“This has been damaging to my family, and I don't want to subject them to any additional pain that might result from carrying out this matter under the scrutiny that comes with holding public office.”

The Spokane County prosecutor is considering whether to bring a charge of extortion against Castagna.

– CNN's Carol Costello


Filed under: GOP
soundoff (234 Responses)
  1. Peter, Annandale Va.

    This is what happens when you people keep electing CAREER politicans

    November 1, 2007 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. Deanna Indianapolis, Indiana

    Talk about not caring about women, children or the poor. This guy offered the kid a thousand to have unprotected sex thereby endangering the impoverished youth, his own wife and putting his children at risk of losing both their parents. Not to mention the risk of an added burden to our healthcare system through irresponsible behavior.

    November 1, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. Tom, ALBUQUERQUE, NM

    The hypocrisy of the republican party knows no bounds. These GOPs have mastered at the art of deception, whether its family valve, sexual morality or personal ethics. These guys are pure prevaricators, do as they say and not as they do.
    Look at the Cheneys with their lesbian daughter telling others about lifestyle choices and the dry drunk Bush and the murderous Laura. Hypocrites galore.

    November 1, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  4. Joe L. Mendoza, Houston, TX

    I think its funny to hear people say: "who cares, he has the right to be gay if he wants too" or "if it happens behind closed doors its none of our business." Though, both are very true, this isn't simply a case of a man deciding to feed his homosexual inhibitions; this is about a man who has continuously sided with his party in its anti-homosexual legislation while he himself is a homosexual.

    Though I agree what he does behind close doors is his business, it becomes a matter of public interest when he is not only going against the morals that his party has set up and his constituents expect of him; he is also PAYING people for sex. That in its own is a direct violation of our laws. Lets not forget the facts here.

    November 1, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  5. Matt, Chicago

    James –

    Yes, it's CNN's fault another Republican legislator got caught paying for gay sex.

    Don't address the issue – Keep obscuring the facts by pointing at phantom boogeymen like the "liberal" media. That's what you do best.

    November 1, 2007 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  6. Jack, Syracuse, NY

    The story about the mayor of Atlantic city was on the front page of the CNN web site for several days. But your knee-jerk Republican response of replying to every story about Republican corruption with cries of liberal media bias is much appreciated.

    November 1, 2007 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. Scott, Cincinnati OH

    To the 'voter' in GA who ask if it's his right to marry his mother or his dog, dude I doubt even the dog would want to lay down next to someone who would even ask such a stupid question. To the religous right and other similar wack jobs, keep up the good work pushing your party into the dark ages. I guess Represenative Curtis forgot to wear his WWJD bracelet. Watching the GOP fall is great entertainment.

    November 1, 2007 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  8. Barb, Middleburgh, NY

    It's so sad that these gentleman can't be honest with themselves let alone their families and the constiuency they've duped.

    November 1, 2007 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  9. r sisk, nevada

    Clearly it is understandable why he would need to pay for sex. However, if I am not mistaken isn't prostitution illegal in Washington? So the issue here besides the fact Curtis is a hypocrite, is he broke the law. The GOP die-hards will spin this as the liberal media at work again but those of us that are rational thinkers realize a lawmaker should perhaps obey the law.

    I could care less about who this guy sleeps with but until these losers quit voting against gay rights, the media needs to make noise to show the world how hypocritical they are!!!!

    November 1, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  10. Russ. Columbia, Texas

    Giuliani perhaps is the only republican who actively marches in gay rights parades and supports same sex marriages. Just curious when he'll come out of the closet and be truthful of his orientations.

    November 1, 2007 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  11. Jeff, Chicago, IL

    Not sure if everyone also saw the article yesterday about 20 men being arrested in Upstate NY as part of a bathroom sex sting. Nineteen are married, one was a priest. None identified as gay.

    All of this has everything and nothing to do with the Gay community. All of these men are, in fact, gay, which should be obvious to everyone.

    But they have nothing at all to do with those of us comfortable with who we are, in loving, stable, committed relationships, and who would never think of doing the nasty in some of the nastiest places on earth.

    We're too busy, you know, grocery shopping and vegging on the couch, like everybody else.

    The inevitable GOP backlash against their "immorality" is only a continuation of conservatives' disgusting history of homophobia. What needs a backlash is their antiquated, ignorant policy making which, thankfully, is beginning to fall by the wayside.

    We don't want the right to have sex in public; but I do want to marry my boyfriend.

    November 1, 2007 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  12. Diggy Zazz, Chicago, IL

    Instead of "red state/blue state", we'll have to start referring to the division between blue states and pink states.

    November 1, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  13. Kevin in NC

    I daresay that most Republican politicians who are so adamantly opposed to gay rights, etc. have gay aides working for them and know it. They have gay friends whom they love. They have gay family members that they love. In short, they are privately more accepting of gay rights than they are in public and thus, where it counts: in their voting. This is because they have to appeal to their base to get reelected and this base is largely conservative Christian. Soooo, the hypocrisy does not end in the bedroom. I wish that straight Republican politicnas who are really more supportive of gay rights than they appear to be in their votes would come out of the closet with their true beliefs. They are allowing a small but dedicated and highly organized tiny minority have too much influence over them.

    November 1, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  14. Jan Erikson, Freehold, NJ

    These poor, family-minded Republicans. Clearly, they're only being targeted because they're self-hating hypocrites.

    November 1, 2007 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  15. MT Columbus Ohio

    So another Rep is outted – are we really surprised? What is funny is that many people who vehemently do things to make a gay person's life as miserable as possible are often doing so to hid their own problems with homosexuality.
    What isn't funny is that the US society has demonized homosexuality so much that people like this feel they have to get married & have kids & those spouses & kids are the ones who are truly hurt for no good reason other than society's pressures.
    We should be ashamed to further societal standards like those

    November 1, 2007 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  16. Dustin, Pittsburgh, PA

    First of all, prostitution is illegal. Any member of congress breaking any law should be news, end of story. Secondly, the man asked for unprotected sex. Isn't that extremely irresponsible. Forget that he has a wife and children. He was willingly open to putting himself at risk for HIV or other STDs! Aren't we as a country trying to fight these diseases, not contribute to their spread?
    I don't care what he was wearing or where he was, but unsafe sex with strangers and prostitution are not things I believe responsible congressmen should be doing.
    My sympathy goes to his wife and children.

    November 1, 2007 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Adam from Ohio

    Re: "Im (sic) taking Hillarys' (sic) stance 'this is a vast left wing consipracy', seriously who is this guy, and why all of a sudden do the tolerant left all of a suddent (sic) develope (sic) a case of homophobia (sic)"

    This guy is a Republican who used people's discomfort about gay people to win favor from voters while, at the same time, having sex with other men. Stories about homophobia-encouraging Republicans who are secretly gay themselves SHOULD be reported because they show what a hypocritical, disingenuous bunch the Republicans are.

    November 1, 2007 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  18. Marilyn in America

    I say, so what! Who cares! This whole "gay" "lesbian" thing is a fact of life. We've all come around, somewhat reluctantly, to accepting it, so what's one more? Even if the man is a gay politician, does it really matter? Let the man focus on his job and work for the American people like he said he would do...leave all these people alone! Find something a little more constructive, and less destructive, to do with your lives.

    November 1, 2007 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  19. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    GOP = PARTY OF MORAL VALUES

    Remember that fact when you go to vote!

    November 1, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. J. P., Denton, GA

    Rep. Curtis like anyone deserves to be presumed innocent until PROVEN guilty. Way too often it's assumed someone is guilty first. That plays into political mudslinging and personal attacks, something we don't need and which indicates the immature level of political discourse in
    the US. As for hypocrisy, there's enough of that on both sides of the political spectrum.

    November 1, 2007 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  21. C Frink, Orlando, Fl

    It saddens me that any lawmaker would vote against providing some Americans the freedoms and liberties other Americans enjoy. Protection under the law and other basic freedoms should not be granted based on one's moral, religious, or family values. People are people and should be treated equally. This is why we shouldn't legislate on the basis of religion, but on the basis of the needs of the people. We have to stop separating people based on their life choices and just treat people like people.

    November 1, 2007 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  22. todd simmonds

    so he gay, so what.

    so he's a liar. that's the issue.

    "to thine ownself be true"

    November 1, 2007 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  23. Lyle Adams, Spokane, WA

    When a republican is caught in a sex or money scandal, these right wingers try to divert the topic bringing Clinton into the discussion. These hypocrites are so obsessed about Hillary that instead of condemning their "Family Values" congressmen, they try to spin the main issue. Americans are not going to fall into this Rove tactic this time. These hypocrites can only beg their votes on "terror". All other avenues are closed.

    November 1, 2007 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  24. Angela, Alexandria, VA

    This issue is not about being gay, its about these Republicans constantly LYING and being HYPOCRITES, but acting like they are so MORAL. What else can you expect from the GOP?

    November 1, 2007 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  25. James, Phoenix AZ

    James –

    Yes, it's CNN's fault another Republican legislator got caught paying for gay sex.

    Don't address the issue – Keep obscuring the facts by pointing at phantom boogeymen like the "liberal" media. That's what you do best.

    Posted By Matt, Chicago : November 1, 2007 12:15 pm

    -–

    Matt,

    When CNN decides to run almost 50 (no exaggeration) articles on Larry Craig – but not ONE article about the Navy Seal that was awarded the Medal of Honor (a very rare and honorable event)... YOU call that objective reporting??

    This guy (Richard Curtis) is a political pimple – a Washington State Representative, WOW. But CNN feels it deserves the #1 spot on the Blog and front page of their Headline News *BECAUSE* it's a republican – involving sex.

    If you can't see the agenda – critical thinking has escaped you.

    November 1, 2007 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
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